Share a special moment from Susan's life.


Shared by Edward Oliver on April 15, 2021
This is in fact a picture of Mum and Dad with two friends. Unfortunately I cannot remember their names. I remember mum saying he was an entreprenuer and enjoyed spending his money. I think he might have paid for the holiday.

Jack went through here

Shared by Edward Oliver on April 14, 2021
Here are three memories from mum's childhood, you will have to forgive any inaccuracies as they are second hand. At the bottom of mum's grandmother's garden was a hole in the fence and above it her grandmother had written "Jack went through here". As a boy mum's dad was nicknamed "jumping Jack ". As a girl mum lived in a cottage called Mimosa and her dad quipped he should rename it Verbosa Cottage. 

Mundesley village hall

Shared by Edward Oliver on April 12, 2021
To keep up the wonderful tradition of wonderful family Christmases, like we had at Incleborough house East Runton,  Frettenham rectory Norfolk, a chateau in Normandy,  Springfields in Buckinghamshire. Caroline (God rest her soul) organised some wonderful Christmases at Flaxman's farm Norfolk and as part of the entertainment she had arranged she booked us all in to see "Frozen" at Mundesley village Hall. It was such a delight for mum to have all the excited grandchildren and great grandchildren bouncing about.
It was even better when Christmases were extended by going to the Wyses House to meet up with our extended family.
Here is some music from the film to bring it all back. 

"Spear me a tangerine"

Shared by Edward Oliver on April 12, 2021
Mum had so many anecdotes of us children. Here are a few, one where she heard me talking in my sleep so she bent down to listen, thinking she might hear some great insight, and all I said was "just a little bit more compost" I was a keen gardener from a young age. Another one was at the bottom of a letter John had written to Father Christmas he wrote "I would be more than joyful if you could spear me a tangerine"  Another one was Caroline was desperate to get a horse and everytime she was out with dad and saw a horse she would faint.
Mum was very keen every Christmas we gathered around the piano to sing Christmas carols and to have Carols from Kings playing in the background during the Christmas eve preparations. Here is one of her favourite Carols. 

A treasure John Oliver found

Shared by Edward Oliver on April 12, 2021


This was written by a fellow officer of Daddy’s I think – George Marriner.

A braver man I never knew than John Brett. I can assure you that if he is not to return he would have gone down fighting the enemy to the last second. We had no one on board who showed a better example than Uncle John (as I used to call him) when up against it.

He was loved by his men and admired by us.

He had already done the work of a thousand men in destroying the enemy so as to make the world a better place for his loved ones.

Letter to Jen and me (1)

Darlings Susan and June

Well, I wonder so often what you are doing and what sort of a time you are having. It must be fun getting back to the proper school again and all your friends. I remember the Teign estuary very well. There are not so many birds there as there are on the Exe but there are quite a lot. There ought to be a few shelducks about and all the waders that we had at home, redshanks, curlews, oxbirds and sandpipers. There are some ducks in winter too. Between Teignmouth and Dawlish I’ve see three miles of widgeon! It’s a pity that you can’t get your little boat down there. I’m so glad to hear June can swim – that’s fine. Now we shall all be able to go alone in boats.

This ship is alongside a quay which half encloses a sort of inner harbour. The yacht club is inside the inner harbour and we watch the races nearly every day. People are frightfully lazy. The native boat-boys rig the boats and launch them from the boat-house and leave them at the end of the club landing-stage with sails up and all about ten minutes before the race. The people come down and get in just before the gun goes! When they come back they just make the boats fast to the stage and go up to tea. The boys do all the rest.

They have two classes “Faeries” which are biggish boats with deep keels and 12-foot dinghies. I long to get into one of the dinghies, and if you were here, we’d show the lot of them the way round. I don’t think any of them look very good. Their starts are rotten.

The scow is in the club’s boatshed. I had it brought in when I came in here so that it shouldn’t get knocked about on board with nobody to look after it.

I shan’t be here very much longer now I hope. Now I’m better I’m getting fed up with it and want to get back to my ship.

There are practically no birds here – it’s a dull old shop that way. There are hardly any seagulls even. If it wasn’t for all the sailing going on it would be a very dull harbour. There are literally hundreds of native boats sailing about all day. They don’t do very much. Some fish in a small way and a lot are waiting for hire. They take people off the ships a lot, and as the wind is always the same every day and you can sail both in and out without making a tack, it’s a very good way to get ashore.

Well, my dears, look after Mummy and Martin. Give them my love and have the best time you possibly can. I’ll be back one day, and let’s hope it won’t be too long.

With very much love

Your Daddy

Letter to Jen and me (2)

23.11.40 HMS Goucester

Darlings Susan and June

Thank you so much, both of you for two letters. The ones with the congratulations and the ones with the pictures and plan of the house and furniture. What with them and the postcards Mummy sent, I’ve now got a good idea of the sort of place you live in. Susan’s photographs were good too. I hope you had a lovely holiday – it sounded grand and I just longed to be with you all. Martin looks fine in the pictures – in fact none of you look exactly thin or worn!

This letter may get to you about Christmas, so I wish you a very happy time, my dears, and I shall be thinking of you, even though we still are thousands of miles away.

There’s not really a lot of news out here. We get some quite exciting jobs to do and not very much time in harbour. We get a big thrill when we see the Italian aeroplanes come blundering out of the sky. We saw three in one forenoon the other day. They are getting a bit canny about coming near the fleet now. The other day when our Fleet Air Arm machines sank the Italian battleships in Taranto we were somewhere near and it was fun watching our machines come back in the middle of the night, all right on time, and land on the carrier. We had to wait until daylight to know what they had done, because of course there can be no signalling with lights at night. We are all getting like cats and can see to keep the ship in station when there are only a few stars in the sky to give light. As a matter of fact the atmosphere is very clear as a rule and you can always read the typewritten signals that come up by moonlight, when there’s less than half a moon. You musn’t get

inside the chart table cover or use the light in there, because when you come out you are blind for quite a while until your eyes get used to it.

We saw an enemy ship blow up not so long ago. It was the most terrific sight. An enormous mushroom of smoke leapt into the sky with the top of it all glowing red and after a bit it left the water and went up miles. There was only a little patch of oily water and a few bits of wood and a hat left floating. We were so close we put on our tin-hats in case of any bits coming down on top!! The chaps in it had all got into boats and rafts first and they must have had a lovely view!

I went out snipe shooting the day before yesterday and two of us shot a teal, a gadwall, three snipe and twelve jack-snipe. The jack is smaller than the full snipe but jolly good eating. The teal I tried to eat, but she was as rank as a curlew and must have been living on frogs or something fishy. Usuaally they are safe and in England are about the best of the wild ducks. This one stank. We saw whole hosts of birds, lots of them the same as English ones and there were redshanks calling everywhere – just like home.

I still use the scow a bit but the evenings are getting short and we sometimes get air-raids about dusk. They never amount to much, but the harbour’s a fairly lively place in a raid. It’s just like the very finest firework display and the noise is simply terrific. They are usually rather fun, but it’s jolly annoying when we have to keep getting up in the middle of the night for them. I’m getting fed up and stay in bed.

Give my love to Mummy and Martin and look after them and give them Christmas kisses

from me. Here are yours - S X J X

With very much love and God bless you

from Daddy

Grandmother's piano

Shared by Edward Oliver on April 11, 2021
I have shared three pieces of music. One is The Harmonious Blacksmith, mum remembers playing this as a duet with the vicar's daughter when she was a child. The second one is Fur Elise it was just a piece she liked and it reminds me of listening to mum playing the piano in the sitting room of Incleborough house. 
The third piece isn't piano music, it is from the film "Jules et Jim", a film she enjoyed.

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