When I was a child, I had nine uncles and nine aunts. Now I have just two aunts [Mum’s sister, and Dad’s sister in law] and one uncle [Mum’s brother] left.
Uncle Les is 90 today.
It is nine years since his wife, Auntie Edie, died. He has coped incredibly well, living by himself, since then. I can’t find a recent photo of him – or the lovely one of their wedding day in April 1945 – Uncle Les was in uniform.
This family photo was taken in 1966, it shows six of the seven Spooner Siblings [Uncle Wally had died about 2 years before]
One the back row; Uncle Les, Auntie Peggy, Uncle Eddie, and on the front row; Mum, Auntie Grace, Auntie May. [May is oldest, Peg the youngest] This was my cousin Hazel’s wedding, hence all the carnation buttonholes. Why didn’t the photographer ask the aunts to move a little? It does look like Peggy’s flower is in Grace’s hair!
Here’s the bride and her bridesmaids. That’s me on the right!
Uncle Les is a fund of stories – particularly about the war.
He spent most of it here in Leicester! Here he met Edie, and they fell in love and got engaged. My Aunt was in the ATS, and posted to the big RAOC Depot, receiving each day German and Italian PoWs. Edie had qualified as a driver on trucks, similar to Jeeps, sometimes pulling 6 trailers through swing doors – and she was very good at it! Les spent a lot of time in heavyweight ‘winter’ uniform, practising climbing up a mock cliff face constructed in the De Montfort Hall.
He’d been told he was going to be posted to Norway. He never was!The most exotic wartime destination they got to was ‘New Zealand Lane’ – on the way out of Leicester towards Melton Mowbray. Here lived a kind lady who kept chickens used to give the young couple boiled eggs for tea [a real treat in wartime] NZ Lane, Queniborough is still there- but full of newer postwar housing now.
I don’t think there are any chickens left there now!
The war ended, and the newlyweds returned to Romford – and Les has been in the same house ever since 1946. He has two grown up daughters, 6 grandchildren – and great grandchildren too.
I hope he has a wonderful day of celebration down in Essex.
Happy birthday Uncle Les