Alan Stanley

  1937 -
  City of Birth:
Romford. Essex. Great Britain.

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I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome.  I wish ...


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Alan's Story > Chapters > Alan's War. One.

" Alan's War." 


Date Range: 01/01/1942 To 12/31/1945   Comments: 0   Views: 7,138
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He flexed the stiffness of his cold fingers moving them up and down and banging them in the glove against the side of his leg as he moved forward. He peered again at the map in his left hand, the right gripping the stick, as he looked for a sign of the river ahead. He realised suddenly, how quickly it was getting dark, as lights glimmered on somewhere in the distance. He checked his position with the compass that he carried on a cord slung around his neck, but noting the sun sinking down behind the horizon, knew instinctively that he was going in the right direction.
'But where in hell was he exactly?'
Turning around he looked for things familiar. He laughed to himself as he had been this way before at least six times, but then it had always been earlier in the day because the clouds had been lower. This day he had left the base later because the forecast had predicted that the low clouds of the morning, which were thicker than usual, would clear up at this height later in the day. Well the forecast had been right, but he had forgotten that darkness came so early.
More lights were coming on in the valley below, and for a moment, just a fleeting moment, he saw a flash of light on the river so knew he was right. He followed it on the map with a stiffening finger. His eyes kept blurring but strangely only when he tried to concentrate on the map, but he knew that it was tiredness. He had been doing too much for too long but that was his way and anyway soon it would be his time to rest; perhaps for good.
The coldness left him and his movements quickened as he thought he saw it ahead. Gripping the stick tighter his eyes flickered again to the map, but sure now of what he had seen in the darkening countryside ahead, decided on a course of action and moving forward now with confidence pressed down hard on the top of the stick.

Jack Douglas changed out of his black pin striped suit, put it on a hanger and hung it lonely in the wardrobe. He put on some casual clothes and went into the bathroom and washed his face in cold water.He shuddered and looked forward to Sunday when he would light the fire and be able to have a warm bath.
 He had just arrived home from work having caught the fast train from Liverpool Street Station to Romford, and walking quickly up Eastman Road to Stanwood Avenue and the neat three bedroomed house that they had bought only two years before. His job in Bishopsgate at the Court as Judges Clerk didn't pay very much but they could manage if they were careful. He pulled a face at himself in the mirror when he remembered asking for an increase only a week before, to be told that 'there was a war on'. He thought that he stood a better chance at 23 of finding that out, if he was called up, than the ancient lawyer who employed him.
He went down the stairs and found her sitting on the bottom step.
A strange wailing sound started up somewhere outside, soft at first, then louder until it filled the hall and they covered their ears. Then it stopped.
"Ug. Hullo darling" Jean Douglas said. "You got home just in time."
"Yes sweetheart. I'm starved. Is dinner ready?"
She nodded and stood up.
"Well the air raid warning just sounded so we can take our dinner with us and eat it in the shelter by candlelight. Romantic."  He kissed her on the cheek as she impetuously turned her lips away from his. He whispered something in her ear but she pushed him away and ran down the hall and through the door to the lounge.
"Not bloody likely Mr Douglas. I'm not going down any hole in the ground with a dirty old man."
He caught her in a shower of giggles but she broke away and slammed the door shut on him.She was putting his steaming dinner plate on the table as he pushed through the door into the lounge. He came up behind her as she put the cutlery down, his hands moving around feeling for things to grab.

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