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Read online or Download Through Adversity to Attainment by William A. Franklin


It's a story of a professional gardener's son, living quite comfortably up until the time of England's general strike. The duration of one year was just too much for the average family, which left my parents practically penniless. When the strike started in late November 1926, it also put my father on the dole. The impossible task - which was beyond his capabilities - created the loss of his job. He was told of additional duties he was to perform, and he refused. The labours of a gardener to provide for 300 plus is a full-time job in itself, but the addition of being a chauffeur upon demand and to be a waiter at the evening dinner table was far more than anybody should be asked to do. Christmas 1927 we were poor, with hardships occuring during the ensuing years before the war. In 1939 the war appeared imminent, so I became a part of the RAF reserve as a storekeeper, and shortly afterwards was mobilized on September 2, 1939. Such episodes as the Brize Norton Bombing are detailed, along with other events which transpired. After I was posted to a mobile squadron #242 Hurricane, we were shipped to an unknown destination. We became part of the allied force in the Dutch East Indies, followed by the Dutch Capitulation, to become prisoners of war to the Japanese, which led to attrocities in four labour camps, then into Fukuoka #2 Nagasaki. Slavery greatly reduced our anatomies to skeletons, myself to 84 lbs. Of all the red cross parcels shipped to us, we saw very little of their contents. The "A" Bomb or "Fat Boy" was our salvation. It saved invasion and the massacre of the POW's. On the way home, we still faced dangers at sea - mines and typhoons. Here my faith was to prevail. Family reunions and rehabilitation was painful and hard. Finally, I answered the requests of the Canadian government seeking tradesmen. After complying with all the requirements of immigration, my family was accepted. I can only say I have given my best, but I deplore the actions of many Canadians who have become gullible to many devices.

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