Sadly due to a somewhat scattered family due to earlier sepatations, relocations and remarryings, I had only ever had easy access to my fathers side of the family.
This had revealed a largely humble honest folk, indentured to the land, during these conflicts, working as farmers on the land, or miners under it. Nothing terribly exciting there though clearly important roles keeping the home country functioning.
I had heard that my maternal grandfather was a mechanic in RAF, but knew little more than that.
Having moved my own little family to the other side of the world, from UK to NZ, I had further lengthened the tenuous links to my past...
Then just today I received a letter from my mums half-sister; Elaine, who was able to provide some fascinating information.
It turns out, her father, my grandfather, Leonard George Ingram was indeed a mechanic in the RAF, having joined the RAF in 1942 aged 18. As part of one posting he was linked to glider borne troops including those that landed around Arnhem, during Operation Market Garden.
Later, after the war in Europe ends, he is then posted to Okinawa, and thence on to Singapore, being involved in the rounding up of remaining Japanese troops in both locations.
After his posting to Sinapore he is demobbed.
And then, the next generation back to Leonards father: George Henry Ingram.
A very young George joins the Royal Navy in 1916, aged about 18 years old. From that time on he serves on several ships and bases including Impregnable, Collingwood, Vivid, Defiance, Centurion and The Hood, famously sunk engaging the Bismark in the Battle of the Denmark straight. Thankfully he had been posted to another ship before that engagement!
He leaves the Navy in 1922 invalided out due to hearing problems caused by gunfire during the war.
So there we go. I now feel I have a definite bloodline link to services personnel who served in both WWI and WWII, and I must admit it makes these conflicts in history just seem that little bit closer, a little bit more real, more tangible...