Our Remembrance Stories: Amanda Pritchard
As the term draws to a close we just have time to squeeze in a couple more stories! Now we have ‘Meet the Singers’ part 7 from Amanda Pritchard. Amanda’s husband Gareth, daughter Beth and granddaughter Clara are all part of the Sing United family. Here she shares her special connection to the songs in our show, ‘Lest We Forget’. We can’t wait for her to hear us this Sunday, 10th November, at the Whitley Bay Playhouse.
“My dad, Edward Child, was born in 1925. At the age of 17 and a half, in 1941-42, dad volunteered to go into the Royal Navy rather than be called up at age 18 into the army. After this, in Devonport, Plymouth, at HMS Impregnable (the signal school) the numbers were whittled down to 12 men. Dad went through tests and rose through the signalling ranks. He worked with, and trained, other signalmen on Allied signalling. As an example, he worked with the Americans while on the Isle of Wight, then on the ship ‘The Queen of Thanet’. After this he was with the Free French on ‘Croix de Lorraine’ (wherein he got both the quota of rum and French quota of wine!)”
“He went for the exam for Leading Signalman. A man came in, stood beside dad as he was reading light signals and took down what dad was dictating as he was reading the lights. “Well done” the man said and walked away. The examiner then confided in dad that the person who had taken his (perfect) notes was Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander. Later dad was involved in taking ANZAC Prisoners of War home to Australia and was in Operation Coronet which was part of the planned invasion of Japan. The Japanese surrendered after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dad went into Hiroshima a short while after the bombing and remembers people he met being polite and very human. After demobbing, dad came home and married mum in 1947. For several years when dad spoke to us his fingers also tapped his speech in Morse!
Dad’s son in law Gareth, granddaughter Beth and great granddaughter Clara all sing with Sing United.”
At the age of 94, Edward will be in the audience at our ‘Lest We Forget’ show wearing his medals, and Gareth will be wearing his own father’s medals on stage as he sings with us.