Just another tale from my chit chatting with patients that I carry
I have also carried a lady ...we will call her Lizbeth,... She is not that chatty, she told me a little about herself...she worked for the ministry of defence during the war..Mainly clerical stuff...but she would only answer the questions i asked her and never expand...until that is I asked about her departed husband..it went something like this...So Lizbeth “how long is it since your Husband Past....She said ”it must be 20 years now...he was such a lovely man... I said ” did you meet him during the war?”
Then she started to flow.....”Yes I met him when I was in London...he was a dashing airman, he was with a Bomber squadron he had volunteered at the start and was a flight engineer.
We met at a dance, we were both 20 years old and within a month we were married, I know that might sound strange to you but you tended to live for the present ...there was not much point looking too far ahead as you didn’t know what the future was going to bring...
“Did you see much of him then ?”
No..two weeks after we were married he had to jump out of the plane and was captured by the Germans and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war...I didn’t see him again for nearly three years...
“Was he shot down the?
No...well sort of...you will laugh if I tell you!
No I won’t ..what happen?
Well they had just completed a bombing over Germany and were heading back, but the plane got hit by German guns and the engines were shot u, The pilot told the crew that they were going to go down soon as the engines were about to give out...he told my husband and the rear gunner to go to the door and get ready to jump...well they did so and the plane was making an awful noise and they were told to jump...well he landed and was picked up by some French people and hidden in a barn, but the next day the Germans turned up, one of the French had informed on him...and he was sent to a camp for the rest of the war.
“There was nothing funny about that Lizbeth!” I said
But I haven’t finished. Later on in camp some other prisoners came, some from his squadron. He asked after the rest of the crew and they told him that the other chap he jumped with made it back...but what happened after they had jumped was that the engines spluttered back to life and the rest of them flew home and landed safely.
After the war he went to a reunion and apart from one of the men they all got through it ok...My husband met the pilot of the plane for the first time since that night,...the first thing he said was “if you didn’t want me on your crew you only had to say”...they shook hands ...he was also told that the Frenchman that gave him up to the Germans ...did not survive the war and was dealt with by his own people.
I said “It must have been hard for you both after such a short time together and then to be apart for so long”
She said...” some people go searching for true love, I found mine at a dance in Lambeth”