Dad, Nana, and Dah

Lest We forget.

Yesterday was Remembrance day. I thought I’d take a minute to remember my Grandfather who was involved in WWII.

My grandfather died when I was five years old. So I never got to know him. I emailed my dad to find out what he did exactly in the war, and this is what my Faja said.

Dad’s full name is Edward Albert Taylor born 21 June 1911 in London England (somewhere near West Hamm).  Yes he would have been 100 this year.  He died in 1994. I scattered his ashes on the 3rd hole of the short course at Karrinyup and there is a stone seat to commemorate him.  I have kept a small amount in a pewter box for remembrance. It’s on my desk now.

Yes. Dad was in the regular Australian army in the artillery. He had ‘bad’ feet I believe which probably saved him from going off in the infantry. Consequently, he was stationed in Perth for the whole war, mostly at Swanbourne Campbell barracks, where the SAS are now based. In North Fremantle at Bickley Hill, and on Rottnest there are still tunnels and gun placements. We have been there – remember going there on the little train.  So he was involved in shore defence. They fired practice rounds, but fortunately, he never was involved in firing in an actual battle. I have just found out that his job was “range finder”.

This blog is about remembering. I have very few memories of my grandfather, but the ones I do have blaze in my mind and have the shiny iridescent gleam that only sticks to those that have passed away in the early years of our childhood. I’m pretty sure the majority of them are from one stay we had in Perth when I was about four or five.

When my grandparents lived in their (to me) massive house, they had a huge garage. My grandfather had gone into the sporting goods business and he used to still re-string his own tennis racquets and have all kinds of bits and pieces strewn about.

My Dad had this to write about that:

As you know Dad was very good at sport. He represented the state in golf and tennis, and maybe squash.  He also won a championship as a gymnast I believe. He used his ‘fame’ to advantage in running a Sports store. He had a tiny little shop in the best part of town – London Court. After he sold Taylor’s Sports Store, they kept his name for a long time. It was a sports store until only the last few years. He also bought a warehouse in Northbridge, Lake Street. A restaurant is there now in between Roe and James Street.

The garage was under the house and accessible by some stairs. I remember there was a kind of den that opened onto the big garage space and there was an enormous fish tank there. Dah (that’s what we called him – it is apparently German for Grandpa – and my older cousins already had a “grandpa”) would always let me feed the fish (as many times as I wanted – it was pure joy to see them racing for the little flakes) and would always sneak me sugared almonds from Nana’s secret stash.

Dah and I would get the newspaper in the mornings before anyone else was awake.
Dah is the one that introduced me to my love of pickles and gherkins (something only shared by myself, him and my dad only)
Dah had an amazing sense of right and wrong. He stole all my easter eggs back off my cousin Simon (2 years older) who stole them off me.
When I was a kid I used to LOVE sport, any kind, and though I was never an expert at any ONE sport, I would play anything and everything with huge competitiveness and enthusiasm.

I get that from him I know.

And that’s it for remembering. A man who I barely knew, but who I’m told loved his loud, chatty little blonde haired granddaughter.

I wish I’d gotten to know him better.