Saturday 7 April 2012

April A-Z blogging challenge 2012 G is for Glory

G brings us to the seventh of 26 short stories – 250 words or fewer - about Alice’s life and times.

G is for Glory

The first months of the war were surprisingly quiet and became known as the Phoney War. People relaxed and stopped carrying their gas masks everywhere. In the spring of 1940 they were made to think again when the Netherlands and Belgium were invaded and the battle for France began. Suddenly the enemy seemed uncomfortably close.

Letters home calmed the anxieties of Alice’s family but they had little idea where the brothers were. They dreaded seeing the telegram boy and sighed with relief when he passed by. One day in 1941 he stopped at the house. Edward was missing in action, presumed killed. He was just eighteen. His parents wept and Ruth and Alice did their best to comfort them though they could hardly stop their own tears from falling.

Three years later another telegram arrived reporting Charles’ death. His ship had been torpedoed in the Atlantic in early January. 

When VE day came in 1945 there were ecstatic celebrations for those who welcomed home their loved ones. There was proud reference to the sacrifices of ‘our glorious dead’ but the bereaved could not see it and could not rejoice.

Finally, Daniel returned. He’d left his legs behind on a battlefield but at least he had survived. Alice watched Ruth as she got ready to visit him in hospital.  She was trembling. Alice recognised her fear and hoped somehow Daniel would be the same as he had ever been.

She was thirteen - half her life had been lived in wartime.


  1. People went through such awful times but somehow managed to carry on.

  2. The voice here is great. Not only does it seem to reflect the people in the story, but the time period. Thanks for posting.

  3. It must have been such a horrible time. It's hard to imagine how awful it would have been, awaiting news of loved ones who were far away.

    Beautifully written! I love it when someone's work makes me feel emotional!

  4. How does a family recover from something like that? It would take such strength.

  5. So hard to lose two out of three sons and to have the other son come home damaged. What price victory! This is a riveting story...

  6. I think this is where things will really become interesting.

  7. Janice, this is absolutely compelling. I was so afraid to read this because I knew the brothers would not be coming home unscathed, if at all. Made me weep.

  8. There was a time when a telegram heralded good news… but somehow I think I know I would have hated getting one during the 1940’s

  9. This reminds me of when my sister Liz went to the Gulf War. We learned where Bahrain was and watched the news constantly. We were so happy when she came home unharmed.

  10. what a time in world history. you mention that alice was 13 and had lived half her life in wartime. i think of my nephew who is 11 and has only known this 'war on terror' as a normal state of the world. i resent this is the case.

  11. Those who are not touched by war don't realise the perils and destruction it can bring to family and a country.
    All for the greed of power of a few.
    When one looks back, one realises that it was all wasted for nothing.
    This story is touching.
    I had written a similar one especially on the POW.

  12. It's easy to sit back and comment on war whether in your La-Z-Boy or in Congress. But it's our soldiers on the front lines and the families who are willing to stand by their choice to go who should be deciding if it's worth the cost. What a beautiful story. It made me think of the times my brothers went to various places, including Desert Storm.

  13. kind of makes me think of all I have to be grateful for.

  14. The last sentence is so poignant.

    Look forward to your challenge run…
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  15. How awful for Daniel, Ruth and the rest of the family. But I'm wondering if Edward is really dead.

  16. So much tragedy for one family but then many other families faced the same grief.

    Janice, you are writing quite the page turner.


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