Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Anniversary thoughts ...

Today marks my father's birth. He died at the age of 57 from a mix of health problems, many having their origins in the experiences he had in WW2. I cannot claim to have ever been 'close' to him, though he taught me my seamanship and a range of other things, most, I suspect, almost by accident. Born in 1923 on this day, he served in the Royal Navy 1940 - 46 and then took a discharge which brought him back to South Africa. He'd contracted malaria while serving in the Cheong War in Burma and suffered from this or the complications that brought with it for the rest of his life. He contracted TB somewhere along the way and my early years at school were marked by his constant visits and sometimes extended stays in the hospital. A chronic alcoholic (It has taken me years to discover what drove him to that!) he died in 1982.

RIP Neville Gray Cox 1923 - 1982

I can't help but wonder what he would make of the world he gave a large part of his sanity, his health and his youth to preserve. He rejected socialism utterly and fought against the very sort of dictatorship that is now being stealthily introduced by the descendants of those who so blithely sent his generation off to war. I seriously doubt he would consider his sacrifice worthwhile if he could see the Britain the descendants of his fellows in arms have created.

He was proud of the fact that his family had been among those that built the roads, railways and harbours and even some of the towns and cities that South Africa now boasts. The family were never 'officially' settlers, we were military - Royal Engineers and Navy - and somehow always seemed to end up there in the run up to it becoming first the Union and Dominion of the Empire and then when it became a Republic we had roots there and in the UK. He was among the many who felt betrayed by the British when they turned their backs on us - as they were already doing to other 'white' colonists they had planted and used around the world. And they certainly used us all. These were the colonists who volunteered to defend the Empire and Britain, in two World Wars, our dead lie in fields and graves far from their homes and families. Our efforts in the lands, in the mines and in commerce sent wealth pouring back into Britain and into the pockets of these same people who then turned their backs and sold their own kith and kin on the market of political expediency.

I watch the slow sovietisation of Britain, the strangulation of its commerce and industry by the combination of socialist misanthropes and Union prejudice and wonder why my father, his brothers and cousins, my grandfathers and great-grandfathers even bothered.

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