Rip dad xx love you forever xx
This was the story of my dad's life read out on the day of his funeral.
Allan was born in Cardiff on 16th September 1932 but never knew his birth parents. He was adopted by a couple who were actually old enough to be his grandparents and also had older siblings. He lived his young life in a big house in Roath Park, a well to do area in Cardiff. He went to school locally and was very proud of the fact that his teacher was Viscount Tonypandy, a man who was going to shape his future. With his parents being elderly he lost his father when he was 14 and was left to look after his mother. After leaving school, Allan worked in a bakery, and not really coping, had to put his mother into an old peoples home.
Like a lot of other young men in Cardiff, with it being a sea port, and through the advice of Lord Tonypandy who actually found him a ship, he joined the merchant navy. He joined the crew of the 'Arthur Stove' a cargo ship out of Norway, eventually becoming the ships cook and for the next 10 years he travelled the world, visiting up to 54 countries. This part of his life always held fond memories for him and like a lot of ex sailors, he longed for the sea.
Whilst on leave and visiting one of his relatives, who now lived in the Trowbridge area, he met his wife and life partner 'Judy'. They met in the White Heart pub, where Judy was selling the 'War Cry' for the Salvation Army. He decided not to return to sea and worked locally for a couple of years, getting married and having their first daughter 'Sharon' and son 'Ivan'.
They decided Allan join the army and he enlisted in the Duke of Edinburgh, Wiltshire Regiment. It wasn't long before his culinary skills were noticed and he transferred to the catering corps. They were posted as a family to Malta, where their second daughter 'Sandra' and the twins 'Mandy' and 'Angela' were born. Allan also served in Libya and Cypress before the family were posted to Germany. It was whist he was head chef in the officers mess that daughter number 5 'Thea' came along before he was invalided out of the army with stomach problems.
They decided to stay in Germany and Allan worked as a civilian in the sergeants mess and during this time last daughter 'Lydia' was born. He then became landlord of the 'North Star' public house in Sennelager where they lived for 7 years before retiring to Trowbridge.
In his sixties it was found that Allan had a shadow on his lungs and although he stopped smoking his life expectancy wasn't too good. In his early seventies Allan was diagnosed with lung cancer and he had a course of radio therapy that affected his lungs further. His cancer remained dormant but he was later diagnosed with COPD and Emphysema and although he had to be on oxygen he still got out on his mobility scooter. Eventually though,he had to give this up on orders from 'Judy' because he thought he was on a motorbike and wouldn't slow down.
Allan's fight to stay with us was so strong because of the love he felt for his wife, who he was devoted to, his children, his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He knew he wasn't going to be here for much longer to look out for 'Judy 'so was happy she found a friend in 'Maureen' their neighbour.
In Allan's last few years he rarely got out of the house and he spent a lot of time writing on Internet forums. He used a lot of his experience and his exceptional will to live, to help and encourage others with similar illnesses. He was a very liked member of the 'British Lung Foundation' forum, posting jokes and stories and interacting with the other members.
Last week, they were informed of Allan's passing and there were over fifty replies of sadness and condolence .
I'd like to finish with Allan's last post on this forum, which he wrote only a month ago. It demonstrates how much he valued whatever he could get from his life.
He entitled it "The Colour Green" and it reads as follows:
"Awakening to a grey old day doesn’t necessarily mean a grey mood, not for me anyway, however I do tend to hug the window overlooking my rather unruly garden and study the antics of the bird life feeding out there.
It’s not exactly a small garden but one that rises rather steeply to the road above. At one time several silver birch trees huddled together until they became too unsafe and were cut down to within inches of the ground.
Skirting the stumps are various bushes with assorted ground cover carpeting any spare soil it can find a footing.
Drab? Not at all. It is a lesson in beauty just comparing the various shades of green and the excitement of waiting to see those first buds burst open making the spring so much more special, each one an added bonus to the previous ones.
Today I will enjoy the colour green and when the sun edges closer towards my little garden I will prepare myself for the fiery reds and heated orange of early summer, followed by the hues of those sneaky little plants that appear from nowhere and where you least expect them.
Life is beautiful and valued by us that are unwell and I for one will squeeze every drop of love and warmth from a world that is in constant turmoil.
Never a fan of the ‘Beatles’ I must agree however that, ‘All we need is love.’ Something that we will never be able to get enough of.