Unremarkable man was remarkable daddy
In a week when the bravery of those in the First World War is especially remembered, I remember this unremarkable man who survived the Second World War.
He was taken from his two-year-old son and pregnant wife, who he never saw again.
Deemed to be ‘an enemy of the people’ for the crime of having almost completed his engineering qualifications, he was transported from Poland by Stalinist forces to the gulags in Siberia.
Surviving the horrors of the gulag and weighing a mere 45kg, he was ‘freed’ by the Churchill-Stalin pact to be forcibly marched 2,000 miles through the then Persia.
Surviving this, he joined the Desert Rats, conscripted to fight for a country he had barely heard of.
He did nothing remarkable for the war effort in his ‘engineering role’ as a driver.
Sent to fight the ‘lost cause’ at Monte Cassino, this unremarkable man survived a battle none were expected to survive.
He was unable to return to his country and family.
Those who sent him to the gulag were now in control and he had to fight to remain in the country he had fought for, so as not to be repatriated to certain death. This unremarkable man made a new life in Britain, adapting to a different language and different culture.
He never spoke of what happened to him.
He never drove again.
This unremarkable man did nothing brave other than to survive.
This unremarkable man was my remarkable daddy.
It’s time to close fireworks loophole
Many of your correspondents are calling for the sale of fireworks to be banned or, at least, their sales restricted.
This would be a great improvement if it was feasible but I’m sure you’d agree that many of the loudest, most irritating and expensive fireworks are probably bought online.
I believe shop sales are rigorously controlled but who polices internet sales and who checks the ages of those buying?
Until this loophole is closed, we’ll continue to be annoyed, startled and frightened by these mini-bombs.
On another matter, I notice there’s a proliferation of beautiful ceramic poppy brooches being worn by many people this year, particularly by TV personalities.
It seems they’ve become a fashion item now but, to me, it’s a lazy way out of buying a new poppy each year.
Just put it away in the drawer and forget the reason for buying a poppy until next year, when it can be dug out once again.
I would really like to know where the money for these ornaments goes. Are they made and sold by the Royal British Legion?
Beware tax proposals
Anybody considering voting Labour in the upcoming election should ask themselves the following question before doing so.
How much am I worth?
Current inheritance rules allow a moderately valued property and a reasonable amount of savings capital to be passed to your spouse and children without incurring tax. This money, which you will have accrued by working hard and saving all your life is, these days, often essential for the next generation to gain their own foothold on the housing ladder and should be yours to use as you feel appropriate.
Well, if a Labour government is elected, you can forget it. Their current plans allow for scrapping inheritance tax and replacing it with a lifetime tax-free gift allowance of just £125,000.
This will bring any couple with a property worth just £250,000 into the tax bracket, without taking into account any savings they may have.
This, in many instances, will deprive your offspring of sums into six figures.
Presumably the extra revenue will be used to fund Corbyn’s communist policies and distribute to his left-wing friends. What this certainly will do is destroy the housing market as nobody will be able to afford to climb onto the ladder.
Putting Parliament in its rightful place
Kenneth Clarke has stated that the public hold Parliament “in a slightly brainless way, in near contempt”. No, Mr Clarke, I, for one, am not brainless and I don’t hold Parliament in near contempt. After witnessing the lying, back-stabbing and double dealing over the last three years, I hold it in utter contempt!