Dec. 22nd, 2014

llywela: (me-tot-specs)
My grampy Arthur would have turned 100 over the weekend, if he were still with us. He isn't, of course, and hasn't been for 20 years, never made it anywhere near his centenary, but still the occasion got me thinking. Arthur was born in the early months of WWI, the oldest of 11 children. He lived through WWII as a young husband and father, had seven children of his own and fostered an eighth, followed by 17 grandchildren and (to date) 9 great-grandchildren. But what is most striking about his life is how very much the world has changed in those 100 years since he was born, and how few generations can connect us to a past that seems so long ago.

This is the earliest photo I have of Arthur: here he's a toddler during WWI, pictured with his parents Alf and Edith and his baby brother Kenneth.
Arthur1

Arthur as a young man (back row, second from right) with his parents and nine surviving siblings (Kenneth, Ivy, Cyril, Phillip, Robert, Stanley, Marjorie, Marion and Georgie)
Browning-family

Arthur pictured on his wedding day, with my nanna Vera, and with his two oldest daughters: Joan, who I was named after (in turn named after Arthur's little sister who died as a toddler, which makes me Joan III) and baby Hazel, who died of meningitis at the age of three
Arthur3 Arthur4

Arthur (far right) with his brothers Stanley, Phillip and Cyril, in uniform during WWII
1940s - Stanley, Philip, Cyril, Arthur Browning - 202 Railway St

This is Arthur as I knew him, the grampy of my childhood:
Arthur-70

And here he is (far left) with his surviving siblings (Stan, Ken, Ivy, Georgie, Cyril, Marion and Marj) at a party in 1993, two years before he died
1993-01-30 - Browning siblings - Arthur, Stan, Ken, Ivy, George, Cyril, Marion, Marjorie - Marj and George Piddock's ruby wedding


He was a bit of a grumpy old sod, really, a man who'd worked hard all his life and took no nonsense from anyone, but he loved his family and I remember him fondly.

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