Turbulent Times

By August 1943, World War II was well underway.  Families were separated and the future was unknown. In this turbulence, my father was a thirteen year old, too young to fight, but too old not to be affected by the prevailing circumstances.

With the eldest brother away at war, his young bride clings to the two remaining brothers while resting atop her new car, perhaps a necessary diversion of the serious state of affairs and a symbol of a brighter future ahead. My teen-aged dad (standing) and his middle brother (my uncle) flank their sister-in-law.

One can only imagine the full range of emotions experienced that summer day, but photography, thankfully, allows a glimpse into one family’s story.

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30 thoughts on “Turbulent Times

  1. So true! Makes me want to dig throught my grandparents and parents old photos. It’s crazy how resilient human beings can be. I loved this post. So much history and rich with nostalgia! Thank you for sharing!

  2. A fascinating glimpse into the past. Thank you for sharing this. It is interesting to me too for how different, relatively affluent, life seems to be in the USA compared with life in England in that year. Certainly, there would have been no car, the clothes would have been old and mended and the people skinnier. But the emotional trauma of loved ones going off to fight would have been the same. She looks so young here. One would be forgiven for thinking this a shot from the relatively carefree fifties. It is moving to think what her thoughts might have been beneath the happy veneer.

    • Thanks for the thought-provoking comment, Rachael. I’m sure there was a significant chasm between the material lifestyle in the US and England during the war years. Having said that, I know that my grandparents struggled greatly throughout their lives, particularly raising four children (3 boys, 1 girl) in the Depression.

      The bride was quite young, in her late teens when she married. Her family had somewhat more means, and provided her with the car. But, as you mentioned, the happy veneer could have been disguising the inner turmoil of having a husband fighting a war overseas.

  3. It’s interesting how people are affected differently on both sides of the war factions, and how they act or react to it in different ways, speaking of the new car used as a background for this picture and as you said; of a hope for better days ahead.

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