RICK JACKSON: We owe so much to the indomitable spirit of the Second World War generation

Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade was played at Rick's great aunt's funeral - he summed up the spirit of the Second World War
Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade was played at Rick's great aunt's funeral - he summed up the spirit of the Second World War

COMMENT: The return of good weather shouldn’t bring dread

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I went to a funeral last week.

This does sound like a rather depressing thing to talk about just before Christmas, but there is an inspiring story behind it.

You see, it was for my 97-year-old Great Aunt Elsie, or Auntie Nin, as she was known.

She is my nan’s last surviving sibling.

The funeral itself was a very sad affair, especially as her coffin arrived to strains of Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller.

Auntie Nin had a wonderful life.

She married just after the war and had two children. They in turn had children, and now grandchildren.

During the service we remembered her full and rich life, with some wonderful memories of her and my other great aunt, Joan, who died almost 10 years ago.

Nin and Joan were very close, especially during the war years.

They worked for Saunders-Roe, the firm that went on to make the hovercraft, in Cowes, the Isle of Wight.

They very much did their bit in making parts for aeroplanes during the war.

I remember being told stories of how they weren’t allowed to smoke early in the morning waiting for the bus incase a Luftwaffe pilot spotted the red glow from above!

They used to go ballroom dancing at what was a wonderful dance hall called The Seagull at the end of Ryde Pier.

Ii was very popular with people from Portsmouth too, who would catch the steamer over to take part in competitions.

They were both very familiar with Portsmouth. Their father was a coalman at Fratton and their mum was a barmaid at The Crown on the Hard, even though she was an Islander. That’s how they met apparently.

We owe so much to the generation that went through the Second World War. How they just got on with life through so much suffering and hardships, with little complaint.

How would today’s society cope with such conditions?

If you still have a relative alive from those days, make sure you hear their stories too.

I’m so glad I did, otherwise those wonderful tales would be lost forever.

THAT’S THE LAST TIME I TRY AND BE HELPFUL INDOORS

You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I’m always getting in trouble for walking straight past clean washing on the stairs that’s ready to go back in drawers and wardrobes.

So when I saw a black bin liner by the back door, I thought I was doing my husbandly duty by putting it into the bin.

Well, I was in trouble later that afternoon.

Sarah started huffing and puffing because a woman who was coming to collect clothes she had left in the porch, couldn’t find them.

It soon became clear that I was to blame for this lady getting annoyed and Sarah getting grief.

I ‘fessed up. Never again will I use my initiative – it just gets me into trouble!

THE OLDIES ARE THE BEST

The Christmas chart this year is going to be rather interesting.

Interesting because the Christmas number one may well be an oldie.

Today, as you read this, Ed Sheeran is at number one, but at number two is Mariah Carey with All I Want For Christmas Is You.

And at number three it’s Wham! with Last Christmas.

With the first anniversary of George Michael’s death on Christmas Day, Wham’s song is favourite to be number one.

Other Christmas oldies in the Top 40 this week include Elton John, Chris Rea and Brenda Lee!

All this is thanks to downloading as we make our own Christmas albums. But if Mariah or George do get to number, it will be a first for both songs.