He Was a Diamond, George Was

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“Now I’m not saying this just because he was your dad, but he was a Diamond, George was.” Care worker from Partridge Care Home

On Friday, January 11th, we celebrated the life of my father-in-law, George William Smith, with a service followed by drinks and snacks at the Cock Pub in Harlow, England. I know George would have been chuffed by the sixty plus who witnessed the ceremony, (Family,

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friends, Gang Show Members) loved his eulogy written by his family and laughed when everyone stood and pretended to be planes and pilots when the theme song from the “Dam Busters” was played.

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John and I visited John’s family in September. While there, I wrote this post for George and Edna.

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This “Old Fashioned Love Story” takes place in the Sick Bay at Walthamstow Technical College in London, England during the fall of 1943. It is there where my future father-in-law, George, (now eighty-seven) and mother-in-law, Edna, (ninety-four) met for the very first time. It was “Love at First Sight.”
            

George: Good evening Nurse. George Smith, Rear Gunner of the RAF, reporting to Sick Bay.

Edna: You look perfectly healthy to me.
George: No. My throat hurts.
Edna: It’s five to eight in the evening. The Doctor won’t be back until the morning. Why don’t you take these lozenges, go home and have a good night’s sleep? If you don’t feel any better in the morning, come back and see the Doctor. Right. Off you go.
George: But, “I”  have tonsilitis.
Edna: And “I” have a date….
George: Now look here, I was told to report to Sick Bay by Doctor Blair.
Edna:… with a Vicar, whom I quite fancy

George: I’m in a lot of pain.
Edna:… Oh for goodness sake. Fine. Open your mouth. There, all painted with Mandells Iodine. 
George: Gak. Gak. Yeouchh! Owwww!! You painted the back of my throat as hard as you could with that… with that sharp stick. You call yourself a nurse?
Edna: You call yourself a soldier? What a baby.
George: Now see here Madam. I’m 18. I’m a grown man. I answered the call to serve my country.
Edna: As did “I.” And, if you hadn’t wandered in here at the end of my shift, with your deathly tonsillitis, “I” would be continuing to serve my country by going to that dance with the Vicar. 
George: That’s hardly the same thing.

Edna: Is that right Lord Muckity Muck? (Throws the hospital pyjamas at George) Into bed, Flyboy.

George: (Throws them right back) “I” have my own, thanks.
Edna: Cheeky blighter. Change. Then bed. The quicker you get settled, the quicker I can leave. Because, I am going to that dance with that Vicar. What are you waiting for? Are you too sick to change yourself? Or, do “I” need to help you?
George: No. No. No. I can do it myself…. You know, you are really pretty when you are angry.
Edna:
George:… I bet you are even prettier when you smile.
Edna:
George: What’s your name?
Edna:
George: You might as well talk to me. Not talking to me won’t make the checking in process go any quicker.
Edna: Edna.
George: Edna. Nice. It suits you. Edna, where are you from?
Edna: London.
George: Which part?
Edna: …
George: Maybe you’re a Cockney, eh?  What about a cuppa Rosie Lee? Ha! Ha! Ha!
Edna: I’m from North London. 
George: Tea would make my throat feel better.
Edna: So would not talking.
George:
Edna:
George: Well Edna, since you asked. When I said I was enlisting, my Father, Redfus said, “Son, you’ll not be joining the Air Force. We Smiths have sea water in our veins. You’ll be joining the Navy just like I did, my father did and my grandfather did.” Maybe it’s because we grew up on the east coast in Harwich. Have you ever been there?
Edna:
George: I’m going to take you there Edna. You’ll love it. The sea. The wind. The sand. It’s beautiful. Like you.
Edna:….

George: In fact Edna, I’m going to marry you. You’ll be my “trouble and strife.” Ha! Ha! Ha!  We’re going to have children together. Two girls. We’ll name them Babs and Wendy. And one boy. We’ll call him Jack. No, that’s too common. John. Yes, John Smith is much better.

Wendy, John, Babs
 

We’re going to grow old together, you and me. Yes indeed. How does that sound, Edna?
Edna: Get away with you, you silly young fool. I am going to marry that Vicar. 

George and Edna were married on October 27th, 1945.
RIP Diamond George.
Shelley and John
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19 thoughts on “He Was a Diamond, George Was

  1. Brilliant story Shelley, sooooo romantic, brought a tear to my eye. I can see George now sitting on his bed giving Edna ‘the chat’ xx

    Like

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