Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Remembering Uncle Denis

This photograph of Uncle Denis lay in a tin box owned by my mother and carried with her always until her death in 1994 when the box was passed on to me.  The tin box survived a fire (when my mum's house was engulfed in flames), for which I am very thankful. It contained just a handful of family photographs that are most precious to me.

Denis Wilkinson RAF, VR

Uncle Denis was one of my mother's four brothers. I never met him. He had hardly begun his life when he was killed in WWII at the tender age of 20. 

The only information I have so far been able to ascertain about Uncle Denis is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as follows :

Denis Wilkinson, Leading Aircraftman; his service number; died 28 September 1942; Rank RAF, VR; Grave: Sec 7c Grave 3149, Widnes Cemetery; The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. 

At some stage, I hope to find out more about him. I can, however, remember one story mum told me when I was a girl and it is about a parrot.  Uncle Tom (who I have written about the last couple of days or so) would come home from the Far East when on long leave. On one of his trips, he brought home by ship, a parrot. I can't remember the parrot's name but one of its tricks was to speak as though in conversation with anyone in the room. Uncle Tom had obviously spent the long passage home teaching the parrot how to talk. My mum told me that she had been looking after Denis and they had been playing hide and seek. She hid under the table and asked another brother not to tell Denis where she was. When Denis came looking for her, the parrot said 'under the table. under the table'. 

I have been fortunate enough to be in touch with a distant cousin who lives fairly close to Widnes and he kindly went to the Cemetery and took photographs of the grave of Uncle Denis and sent them to me. Such kindness.

Uncle Denis, you are remembered.

1 comment:

Sian said...

That's another moving family history story Irene. I have an Uncle Cyril who died in WW2 and I know nothing about him apart from the War Graves Commssion information too.

You asked me about colour schemes. My cards were all created from last month's Midnight Rooster kit - Tobi has an amazing talent for combining colours. Even if you aren't interested in buying, her site is worth a look for her colour combinations.