THE STorY OF DAVID an ex service man and his experiences in ww2

David was born in November 24, 1919, by an English family. David’s father served in the army as a soldier during the First World War and his mother worked in the fields while his father was away. David was conceived at the end of WW1, when the war ended surviving men came back home to their wives and families. From 1918- 1919 during the time of David’s conception, many people suffered from influenza (an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract which is a life threatening infectious disease)Mamelund, S. (2017). David’s father suffered from this disease and died a year later after he was born. During the time David’s mother was pregnant there were no midwifes or antenatal checks, so the means of finding out how the baby was growing and possible things that most have affected the mother during pregnancy were not available. Due to the lack of health facilities and knowledge David’s mother struggled by herself while pregnant, given that her husband was also suffering from a contagious deadly disease.

A portrait of David with his mother and father just few weeks after he was born. months later his father died of influenza due to poor medical facilities. this picture is the only memory David has of his father.

David was born at home with the help of neighbours, he was a small baby at birth because his mother could not afford the right diet while pregnant. He suffered from low birth rate, Low birth weight infants run the risk of developing many complications such as; respiratory distress, sleep apnoea, heart problems, anaemia, chronic lung disorders. And David ran the risk of being affected by one of the following in his later life. Raising a child as a single parent was very difficult for his mother so she could not afford to offer him the usual basic needs and parental care. David’s weight did not improve as he grew up due to malnutrition and poor maternal aid. As a baby his body was exposed to many illnesses due to the poor living conditions he was born in and the poor environment he grew up in. As a baby David was more attached to his mother because of his father’s health she limited physical contact with him with ignorance of how this would affect the baby emotionally in his later life.

the fields worked by both women, men and children.

While growing up, David had to adapt to the harsh environment he lived in. All his childhood David knew only the smell of the fields, mines and noises of factories and children running about the busy neighborhood. At the age of 2 David had to follow his mother to the fields just a year after his father had passed away. He did not have much of the social life kids do like playing around, visiting relatives and going for trips and vacation with parents, he learnt how to walk and crawl in the vastness of the fields “one would say he had plants and crops as friends”. Henri Tajfel (1979) proposed that the groups (e.g. social class, family, football team etc.) which people belonged to were an important source of pride and self-esteem. Groups give us a sense of social identity: a sense of belonging to the social world. David had no experience of these since everyone was busy minding their own business and he was constantly in the fields with his mother. Bowlby’s theory of attachment also focused on early quality relationship. He went on to say that it has evolutionary basis which recognises infant emotional ties to their caregiver i.e. the mother. Though David followed his mother to the fields there was no emotional attachment between the two because the innate signal was not there. she would leave him at such tender age to work the fields little did she know that his cognitive development will be affected.

At the age of 3 David was still going to the fields, education was for the rich and his mother could not afford it. between 4 and 5 David new different crops and their seasons rather than knowing basic numeric skills, his knowledge of the fields was so vast because that was the life he was brought up in, his brain began to mature and he could communicate with his mother verbally. He ran and played in the field by himself and could only dream and imagine a better life for him and his mother just what most children his age would do. At the age of 7 and 11 David’s physical features began developing such as his height and muscles. Due to malnutrition and poverty he looked pale and skinny for his age. David could not read and write which means that his brain cognitive skills development (Huitt, W., & Hummel, J. (2003) were developing slowly due to the lack of education, he could neither count nor read and write.

By the time David was 13 years of age he realised the fields will not help the family much financially, so just like every other young male his age, he decided to start repairing cars, machines and automobiles which made him a service man by the age of 16. As David grew up he began to experience some physical hormonal changes as a male child and because he had no one to talk or educate him he became self-absorbed. During that period, not many cultures existed thereby limiting the amount of cultural differences and diversity, the only people David saw where the same skin colour as himself. There was a barrier between the rich and the poor, this social class discrimination had great impact on his growing up because he felt discriminated upon as a young boy. He learnt how to be independent at a very young age and there was no time to make friends or leisure about. David suffered from depression, he was always unhappy, frustrated and sad because he never had the love of both parents and he had no hubbies to distract his mind.

The conditions in the UK grew worst, crisis and the sound of another war could be heard. This time David knew he had to serve in the war because as a boy if you avoided going to war you were considered a weakling which is a form of stereotyping. By the age of 20 WW2 broke out and David had to serve in the war as a soldier. The fear of moving away from the only family he had left was horrible and heart breaking too. The experience of watching soldiers killed by bullets, spears and swards was very painful. Watching people being burnt in their camps and living with fear of not seeing the next day. Food was more of a luxury now because there was not enough to feed everyone and those who were weak died out of hunger. All these experience frightened David but as a man he had to be brave and strong with hope of seeing his mother again when the war was over.

When the war came to an end, David was 26 years of age and his mother had passed away, at 26 David looked older than his age and unhealthy too. The grief of her little boy in the battle field and absence of family was so depressing she fell ill and gave up the ghost. David returned to a rather void world, the war had killed his mother and left him homeless. He had to start at fresh, he took for a wife a native girl from his home town and started a family with her. David was married at age 28 and by the time he clocked 35 he and his wife had 3 children. Conditions where a little better but just when David thought he could settle and give his children the life he did not get, he was later diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). A psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experiences of a life-threatening event such as military combat, terrorist incidents, physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. The experience at WW2 and those of his childhood where so much that David had little or no good memories to look back at.

A family photo of David and his children.

This photo was taken few months after David had retired from working at the factory. it was also a way to remember his service at the war.

This is a picture of David and his Esther on their wedding day. it was a simple wedding but also the begging of a new life for David.

After the war, David worked as a factory man to support his family financially, he worked as a factory man for over 37 years and retired at 65. As the years grew past the deep sorrow of his childhood began crawly into his memories. David struggled with providing parental love to his children because as a child he did not receive any, the environment he lived in influence his decisions on life and his behaviour which was impacted by nature. He had constant night mares of blood sheds and the sad memories of war due to the PTSD this constantly affected his mood. He constantly felt depressed and lonely but the love and affection his family gave him during his ill health made him a fighter. David had no friends so his children made sure they took him fishing in the local pond at list once a week. When David was 65 he was diagnosed with dementia, his wife and children gave him maximum support and made sure he had enough happy memories to hold on to rather than the painful childhood he had, David died at 75. Though he had a difficult life as a boy he found hope later after war when he met his wife Esther.


Created with images by rich701 - "86 Tyndall Field, Florida WWII" • Aussie~mobs - "Les and May Ikin and baby Lesley" • State Library Victoria Collections - "Picking vegetables" • phlubdr - "do not move (family day out)" • conner395 - "Sgt Archibald Grant Inverness Burgh Police 1905" • rickpilot_2000 - "July 21, 1910 Wedding day in New York" • Robert Cutts - "The Acland Cross, Selworthy Woods, West Somerset"

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