Thomas Henry Edwards

Thoughts on VJ Day with my family in Australia, the head of whom, Thomas Henry Edwards, was killed in Singapore by the Japanese in 1942.
Rather struck at how much information is available publicly compared to the relatively poor supply of information for British soldiers.
I’d never thought to ask before, but it seems he was a runner who demonstrated bravery for the British army in 1919 (putting himself at risk just one week before the armistice; and runners are the soldiers featured in the movie 1917).
One of his grand-daughter says “I really think my grandfather must have been an adventurer as he was so intent on doing risky things. He died, I believe, doing and believing in his country.

Although his name is Edwards, I’m actually related through his wife, who was the sister of my Dad’s Mum. Both women married a Thomas Edwards.
Both my grandfathers served in WW1, but my dad and his siblings were too young to serve in WWII.
No doubt lots of people are today thinking of those who served, those who were injured and those who were in some way disabled.
BTW, the South Shropshire village referred to, where my Dad was born, Diddlebury, is actually pronounced differently – Del-boro (like my village Hanwood – often pronounced Anud).

True History of the Kelly Gang

The Director wants you to feel uncomfortable. He must do. And he succeeds. People are under threat from the off.
And maybe that is what the true history was. (Except significant parts of the story are not true.)
Did not enjoy the movie but that doesn’t mean don’t go see. Other quibble – too much of the dialogue is muttered.

Ned Kelly was real. But not illiterate – “Every man should be the author of his own history”. The injustice (that generates parallels with Robin Hood) here is different – fighting against “bent coppers”.
Wiki. Guardian.

Trains and planes and satellite pictures

Loads of scenes with trains and railway lines – much better then “T2:Trainspotting“.
So this film couldn’t miss.
Lion” is at its best when showing action and landscapes; dialogue – not so good – a soap opera style of misunderstanding, whilst some of the lines are swallowed.
Despite it being based on a true story, I was sceptical.  A child being lost in the ’80s and not found?  The film explains it all, including just how many children are lost in India.

Adam Hills’ Clown Heart show


Well, Andrea, a graduate in environmental sciences certainly knew what this gig was about.  The night before halowe’en, but the only member of the audience to turn up in fancy dress – albeit as “Eyeore”.
And it was her 21st Birthday and she was spending it alone; rather it was her birthday 2 days before.
Great fun was had with Andrea, and the discovery of an audience member whose laugh was higher and squeakier than a mouse’s.
The first part of a show that was mainly audience particpation and the second half largely scripted to discuss dealing with disability and with cancer.
The second half was therefore harder work than you might expect on a comedy night out.  And the improvisation suffered from a comedy alphabet of courting activities being reduced by the participating audience to a tour of Roger Mellie’s profanities.
In all, not as topical as might have been expected.
But it’s clear the audience, and the reviewer from the N Post, had a good time.

Julia Gillard, a first

Hard to judge what has happened to trigger Julia’s downfall from so far away.
Knitting a toy kangaroo is certainly not it, even if it might have looked better as a photo taken at her home, but I’m getting dragged into the trivial.
We liked her here of course, cos she was born in Wales.
But whatever we might say on the trivia, Julia Gillard was a first and nothing will take that away from her.
Meanwhile Russell Crowe has taken exception to one comment aimed at Julia Gillard –

“… if you said that about my mum – that menu I’m talking about – or my sister or my wife, I’d be wanting to have a really, seriously deep conversation with you.
“I think there’s just a lack of gallantry that has crept into not just politics but the way politics is reported,
“And I think it gives license to a type of hater that will only further reduce the quality of our lives. The better the politicians that we have in place the better our society is going to be – the better all of our lives are.”

Auntie Pat

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My Auntie Pat died last month, aged 89.
Actually my Dad’s cousin, Auntie just seemed more natural, and to me represented a very special Link with Australia.
Story was that my Dad’s Mum had two brothers and 2 sisters, the eldest of which married an Thomas Edwards (coincidentally the name of the man my grandmother married) and they decided to emigrate from their small South Shropshire village, catching a boat to Canada which stopped off at Perth, Western Australia where they decided to get off and make a life there.
Auntie Pat was one of the eleven children they had together. Thomas Edwards was to become the only relative I have who died in WWII.
Auntie Pat came to England to visit dung the three day week (in the seventies) and the subsequent Christmas cards, invariably featured a golden embossed map of Australia marked in biro to tell us where family members had moved to.
Most special memory was visiting Auntie Pat in Australia in 1997, at her home in the suburbs of Liverpool, by Sydney. Having spent the morning in metropolitan Sydney seeing so many cuisines and cultures, Auntie Pat’s tea was a step back to the special teas of Sundays in England in the sixties, ham, boiled eggs, lettuce and tomato etc.
So I feel the loss of a very special link, even though I intend to keep in touch with others.
So much to her life of course, and nice to read that Liverpool recognised her for her work in the voluntary sector. And she served in the military during WWII too, acknowledged by the military at her funeral
Info courtesy of a lovely 2 page tribute from one of her daughters who has shown what a full, driving and caring life she led.
Reading the order of the funeral service, it was a fascinating coincidence that a colleague of mine Cllr Derek Cresswell (who died 4 days later) and Auntie Pat both had “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Gerry and the Pacemakers as their farewell song.

To be revised and improved.

Oranges and Sunshine

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The terrestrial tv premiere of “Oranges and Sunshine” tonight, the dramatised story of Margaret Humphreys, the Child’s Migrant Trust and some of the people who suffered deportation as children, without their parents knowing.
Not as traumatic to watch as the nineties’ “The Leaving of Liverpool“. which portrayed the experiences of the children, the film is particularly compelling when one of the deported, Len, takes Margaret to Bindoon, where he was raised and for which he was required to pay for his upkeep once he’d left. Huge confidence combined with an inability to emote.
The portrayal of Len at the beginning is a bit scary, but reminded me most of a deported Australian I met in the first few years as a Nottinghamshire County Councillor, when we were introduced to Margaret and her work, which the Council had financed for some years.
And of course any film that features Nottingham triggers very personal reflections, such as the surprise at the use of the Dining Room at The Council House as a government office in Whitehall, but mostly the pride that the Council did do so much to support the cause.