It was a lovely day and since I'd been up Greengate Street finding out what I couldn't from the Park Leisure Centre website, I walked back home through the park proper. As I passed the cenotaph on top of its hill it occurred to me to have a look at the names on the plaque. And there he is, look! Fourth from the bottom, C Spry, lance-corporal in the Lancashire Fusiliers and my dad's elder brither, who was killed while serving in the Burma campaign in 1943. Obviously this was well before I was born. The only image I have is a photograph of him looking rakish in a bush hat, and a medal. Both are in the possession of my mother. My Grandma Spry had the same photograph on the mantlepiece.
It's not that my dad was a draft dodger. Far from it; he was eager to serve in the RAF (and in one of those hidden family surprises my mum has leaked out over the last few years, it turns out that dad was actually a qualified pilot. But he was needed as a key worker in the shipyard, as a skilled ship draughtsman, and had to stay at home and make do with the Home Guard. Not that this did anything to assuage bad family feeling. I have a suspicion that this is at leat one of the reasons why he needed to get away.