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Mrs Horstrup's story

I never knew either of my grandfathers, Philip and Norman, as they both died before I was born – one the day before in fact. My maternal grandfather was a PoW for most of the war having been captured in north Africa and his health never recovered; he died aged 51. My mother says he was the gentlest and kindest father a child could have asked for and she has never stopped missing him. My paternal grandfather was from Northern Ireland and, as there wasn’t conscription in NI, he would have had to have volunteered. The problem was that if he was killed in action, his wife would not have received a war pension and with three children to feed, that wasn’t an option. So, he joined the police as a Special Constable in order to contribute. After the war, he joined the UN to help deal with refugees in Europe and spent a good deal of time in Germany and Austria. My father says he was a real bon viveur who could spin a yarn and have a crowd laughing.
 

My paternal grandfather, Norman, is the one in the middle, grinning.
 

One of the few photos of my maternal grandfather, Philip, in uniform.

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