A sweet friend, never forgotten

When I was about ten or eleven our little junior school in Cambridge England, was twinned with a school in Cambridge Maryland, and we had pen-friends  My pen friend was Barbara  and she was such a sweet girl; sometimes you are able to connect with people even though you may never meet them. I guess that happens now more than ever with social networking and all the ways to make ‘friends’ on-line. Barbara and I wrote to each other for quite a few years, I don’t remember quite when it stopped, but what I do remember was that there was trouble in Maryland at the time we wrote to each other  She would tell me that sometimes men would stop her and her friends going places, and that sometimes she was very frightened. I was very sad for her, how could people be so aggressive and full of hate for an innocent child?

I was so safe in my world, but my dad Donald had been through the war and seen a lot of ugly and terrible things; he was very socially aware and outraged that my little friend was suffering such hate and prejudice. I guess he had been very aware of what he was fighting for, and who he was fighting against and had hoped that racism and anti-Semitism would be at an end. There were a lot of people from all over the world in Cambridge then, because of the university I guess, and Donald knew many Jewish, Indian and black people. He fought alongside Sikh soldiers in the war, and admired them for their courage, dignity, and strong personalities.  He passed on those ideals, hopes and aspirations, and the desire to fight against prejudice and discrimination.

Several years ago I tried to find Barbara again, and managed to get in touch with her sister for sadly Barbara had died when was in her twenties. I still have her photo, as you see, and I won’t ever forget her.img016

2 Comments

  1. Mike

    Well that is a sad story Lois. It makes me curious as to how she died, but you don’t have to go there. Your father fighting in that war to save the world also creates a great deal of emotion in me. He was, is, a hero and I know you know that. I can think of no greater deed than to have defended humanity during that time. Whenever I come across a WWll vet I always thank him for his sacrifice. Not many left. We, you and I, are here because of them.

    Like

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