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The Departure

The Departure

A Chapter by Wild Rose

It was time to leave; Arthur picked up his battered attaché case which had previously been used to carry his football kit. He was not wearing his best suit, as many others did when answering the conscription; instead he had chosen to put on a comfortable Harris Tweed sports jacket and grey flannel trousers his comfortable brown shoes and his tweed flat cap, following the rules set by Leeds United for all the team players.

May was wearing the light grey twin set with a dark blue hat and matching gloves, which Arthur had bought for her last birthday with a matching skirt and her brown flat shoes, she was facing a two mile walk each way to the station and back; she wanted to look her best as Arthur left her for who knows where or when, and she knew that the last view would be as important as the first, Arthurs last view had to remain in his memory until such time; after all as a footballers wife she was expected to dress, look and act the part.

Exiting the house, Arthur locked the door, and then handed the key to May saying “Here you are love, it’s yours to look after ”, May put it into her handbag.

They set out to walk the two miles to the station, Arthur carrying his attaché case May holding Harry's hand. They walked in comparative silence, just an occasional word; each with their own thoughts; When would they meet again; how would May manage the household without Arthurs guidance?

It had always been a partnership, Arthur was the "Man of the house" but they had always discussed things. It wasn’t a case of do as I say, as was the case with many families where the wife had no say at all; they worked as a team, and now one of the team was being taken away.

 

Arriving at the station Arthur handed over the travel warrant in exchange for a ticket. The clerk had seen so many of these he knew where Arthur was off to he said "Best of luck mate" as he handed over the ticket and returned to his work; thinking when will I be in his position?

Only those who work directly with the trains are exempt the forces and more young women are being recruited to take over.

It was twenty minutes to the trains due time. Arthur carried his bag into the cold waiting room.

May said it’s cold in here.

Better that standing out in the wind though Arthur replied. I suppose so replied May.

It seemed like hours before the porter poked his head round the door and announced that the train was due in a few minutes. They rose and slowly walked out on to the platform, each trying unfailingly to put off the final moment of departure, May now carried the attaché case as a sort of last act of kindness for him, with Harry in her other hand.

The train pulled up at the platform, Arthur bent down to Harry and said "You are man of the house now, look after mummy for me"; he then gave May a cuddle and said “Take care love, I will write with my address as soon as I can” turned and entered a deserted compartment and lowered the window.

There was chuff from the engine as it began to pull away, May and Arthur touched hands. As the train moved on May followed waiving to Arthur until they went round the bend in the track and was lost to sight. May stood watching the back of the departing train as though wishing it to return and saying a private prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary requesting her to ask her son Jesus to take care of him.

Please Mary Mother of God watch over Arthur and keep him safe, bring him back unharmed, please help me to keep Harry safe”

May and Harry walked home in silence. Each deep in thought of what the future may hold

May calculated mentally how she could eke out her money. Arthur got One Pound per week from the mill and another Pound from his football, less if they lost and more when they won. Now it would only be Tens Shillings from the Air Force and another Five Shillings from the United. She wouldn’t need food for Arthur or any snap for his work, that’s where much of the money went food for sandwiches. Then Harry’s clothes; the gas and electric were on prepayment metres; Arthur had left a jar of shillings for that, but it won’t last forever. I will have to keep saving shillings in the jar and hopefully I will keep on top of those, I can use the coal fire for heating a kettle and keep water in the Yorky that should save some money.

Gas was only used to boil a kettle for a drink and wash themselves and pot and pans with on wash days she used the setpot2

Yorky (A range consisting of an open coal fire with an oven at one side and a water boiler at the other, both heated by coals from the main fire) the front was bare metal  brushed weekly with "black lead" ( a mixture of carbon black and water - applied with a stiff brush) The door furniture were all made from brass, these were polished with 'Brasso' a propriety metal polish

2 Setpot _ a cauldron cemented in place; with a coal fire underneath > filled with a short hose pipe from the nearby sink. Hot water was removed by a laddle 






© 2018 Wild Rose



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Featured Review

You have written an account of what must have been a familiar situation in war time Britain. That last heart wrenching goodbye, not knowing whether you would ever set eyes on your loved ones again and leaving the home in the safekeeping of the woman in the family. And didn't they have to step up to the plate to keep the home fires burning. A good read

Posted 10 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

10 Months Ago

Thank you Christine > It is a chapter in a book in am slowly writing
Began with family durin.. read more
Dave Brown

9 Months Ago

I wonder one day if "they'll" be able to attach a machine to our head and play back the memories'read more
Wild Rose

9 Months Ago

Nice thought Christine
They do have voice recognition machines And THINK ones which can disti.. read more



Reviews

what a story, it blends together and builds. Really great.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you for reading and commenting
You definitely need to edit this for grammar, as there is a lot of missing punctuation that would add clarity to the sentences for easier reading.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


I'm sure that more-or-less this same story must have happened many, many, many times both in the second world war and also in countless other wars throughout history. I still can't figure out why that war was necessary. Honestly, I think that the Nazis had some pretty legitimate grievances with the allies, by which I'm mainly referring to the ridiculously unfair war reparations stipulated in the treaty of Versailles, and the brutal ethnic cleansing of Germans in territory which had been captured by Poland in the first world war. For that matter, I also think that the Nazis had some pretty legitimate grievances with certain segments of the Jewish population, by which I mainly mean the communist revolutionaries attempting to seize power in the Wiemar republic. Why couldn't the allies simply forgive Germany's war debts, and allow German territory which had been captured by Poland but which was still populated by ethnic Germans, to be reclaimed by Germany? I can't help but think that that probably would have prevented the entire European portion of the second world war, and likely would have prevented the Nazi holocaust as well. I say that because there is no evidence that the Nazis planned the holocaust from the beginning. From everything I've seen, heard and read, it seems that the holocaust was something the Nazis only resorted to out of desperation, due to the immanent entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Germany. You have to keep in mind that nearly of all the leaders of early communist movements were Jewish, and so were most of the officials both in the communist party of the Soviet Union, and also in the Soviet Government. Although the Nazis were already fairly antisemitic even before they came to power in nineteen-thirty-three, it seems from my research that what finally pushed them over the edge to the point of simply killing each and every single Jew they could get their hands on, was the fear that any Jews in their territory would be inclined to betray Germany and collaborate with Germany's enemies in the Soviet Union. Anyway, my point is that I honestly don't think that that horrible war was in any way necessary. From what I understand, I suspect that the whole thing probably could have been averted simply by, like I aforementioned, forgiving Germany's war debts, and allowing Germany to reclaim territory which had been captured by Poland but which was still populated by ethnic Germans. For that matter, perhaps blowing out the brains of a few Jewish-Communist nut jobs, and then taking in the rest of Germany's Jewish population as refugees, would have been a good idea as well. That's just a thought. All in all, you really have to wonder: What on earth was the point of that war? Who on earth benefited from it? Did anyone even benefit at all? I know that nothing I've written here pertains specifically to the story that you're writing, and that it's really all about the actual historical events in which the story that you're writing here is set. However, the story you're writing is just so historically realistic and believable that it got me thinking about, well, the actual history.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Months Ago

I have played war games in several places {University weekend courses; some 'educational' courses] y.. read more
Wolf Alfatherson

1 Month Ago

Well, thanks.
Off to war, no exceptions, well maybe some. Your country needs you.
Yet right away, there are two wars. Harry's war after a short training period.
Mays war, looking after the house and lack of money.
Great write. You can feel it.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Months Ago

Same when it came to our turn to go for National Service
Some got exemptions for educational.. read more
Paul Bell

2 Months Ago

could you imagine that happenin g today. Just dropping your salary old chap, hope you don't mind.
Wild Rose, you are quite the story teller.
I often get lost reading stories and I can never pinpoint exactly why but your telling of it kept me engaged right through. I found myself feeling for this woman's predicament, and I imagine that there were so many women in the same predicament during those years when the men went off to war.


Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

6 Months Ago

Thank you > Pleased it kept your interest right through
A heartbreaking scene pictured perfectly within our mind's eye on reading this familiar situation that happened during wartime in the UK. You could really relate and understand how they felt. Both the soldier going to war. And their families. The emotional piece is done, sensitively and nicely.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

6 Months Ago

Thank you Dawn
I was three at the time
Although you've omitted quotation marks and placed more than one speaker per line, the story is well-worded and easily understood. Even though it takes place in a different time and locale, I could easily sense their feelings, having been a military person myself. There's fear and sorrow all around, then the possibility of friction when the service member returns. By necessity, wives learn to take care of everything by themselves and may have difficulty returning to their previous role.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

6 Months Ago

Thank you for your constructive comment > It was written as a draft for a book about life as a child.. read more
A great reminder of how war puts the ordinary people to test. A greatly moving story of apprehension and deprivation. A reminder of the horrors to people in peace time.

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

7 Months Ago

Thank you > I am the 3 year old seeing daddy off
More to be written > 'Arthur' > was dad ent.. read more
Dhara_Ditzy Kat

7 Months Ago

Those who have lived through it have so much to tell. They know what life is and how to appreciate i.. read more
What wonderful details, what heartwarming though sad as sad memories! Your thoughts shine loud and clear here, seems as if you've just set pen to paper and let thoughts and pictures flow - simply yet with amazing detail, touches of fact couched in such personal language. Reading the second time, aloud.. i can near hear the voices, the concern, the stress. The love. How many times must this chapter have been real, distinct - not just in our country but all over Europe. This is a story about courage and necessity, dear friend. Superb writing. Sighhh.

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

7 Months Ago

Thank you Pleased you have read and you comment
Great period writing Wild Rose. Excellently written and detailed story of WWII British soldiers and their brides and the sacrifices both made. You bring to live the characters, places, customs and settings in vivid and authentic descriptions. I Would love to read more of Arthur, May and Harry’s experiences.

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

7 Months Ago

Thank you Pleased you liked it
I have rewritten the chapter one and posted as "Birth of an E.. read more

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Added on May 30, 2018
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Wild Rose
Wild Rose

Lake Disrtict, Cumbria, United Kingdom



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