The person I'm going to start this challenge off with is my maternal grandfather, who was a wonderful man and loved by all who knew him.
|Cyril Prince 1942|
He was baptized at St James (Docks) Southampton on 22nd August 1920. The record states that his father was a seaman and the family were still living at 44 Bridge Road.
He grew up in the Chapel/St Mary's area of Southampton, with his dad often away at sea. When Cyril was 4, his dad dropped his brother at school one day, then disappeared from their lives. A year later his mum Annie met another man, George Richard Wight, and in May 1926, Annie and George had the first of 5 children.
At the start of WW2, Cyril joined the Royal Air Force and was stationed at a base at Little Rissington in the Cotswolds. It was a training school for airmen as well as a maintenance unit, and Cyril's job was as part of the maintenance crew who fixed all the aircraft, so our airmen could go back out to fight.
One day, Cyril was on the bus to the market, when he met a beautiful young woman called Joan Coombes. Her father Walter ran a pub, The New Inn, in a nearby village called Nether Westcote. A lot of the men from the base went to the pub, as it was the nearest to the base.
Joan and Cyril courted throughout the rest of the war, then in 1945 Cyril was set to be posted to Singapore, so they got a special licence and married on Saturday 18th August 1945. Then suddenly, wonderfully, the war ended and Joan soon found out she was pregnant. She had a number of problems throughout the pregnancy which ended more than 2 months prematurely, when she haemorrhaged badly and nearly died, along with the baby. Collin was born in the pub, but they were both rushed to the hospital and treated, and survived. The following year, the young family moved back to Cyril's hometown of Southampton, Hampshire and were housed by the council in a pre-fab in Sholing, until the council houses had finished being built. By the time they were given a 3 bed roomed council house in Bitterne, Joan & Cyril also had a little girl, Ann (my mum) and in 1950 they had another little girl, Janet. In 1952, Joan became pregnant again, but like with Collin, she had terrible problems which ended with a premature birth and another haemorrhage, but this time the baby boy died.
|Me, Nan & Gramps 1977|
|Me & Gramps 1980|
|Joan & Cyril Prince, December 1987|
|Gramps and my son 17th |Feb 1991|