Editor Peter Stewart was working late into the night to get the final edit of the Living with the Enemy documentary to be ready for music outlay the following morning. I headed home to see my Dad and I got a call from Peter. ‘Julie there is one picture we are missing, and that is to show and remember all the Service Men who left Jersey voluntarily to help the British fight the war’. I drove to my Dad’s with a worry as I had no idea where to find such a picture.
My Dad was watching the TV and I went into the bedroom to have a think about this picture. Moments later I noticed a picture at the bottom of my Dad’s cupboard. I looked at it and decided to open the door. There in front of me was a tiny photograph and in there was all the information I needed. A Man in his RAF uniform walking toward the harbour with his family, a little boy looking away at something and the really interesting part is a little girl looking at pure admiration at her father. I held the photo and looked at it again. Is this my Grandfather and how was it when I was thinking of such a photograph it ended being right in front of me. It was meant to be I guess.
My Dad was still watching the TV and I went into the sitting room. I said ‘Dad, is this Grandad in this picture?’ Dad turned to me and I gave him the photograph. I could see emotion in his face as he looked at me and said ‘It is and so many Men like your Grandad left Jersey to fight for the British and when they came back they felt forgotten’. ‘There is your Grandmother Nellina Florence Ne Marie, your Auntie Betty and me’. My Dad is the lad who has his head turned and I can see his shoes are shiny and my Grandmother is holding his hand tightly.
It brought back memories of Leslye Le Maistre’s interview in the documentary when she spoke of all the Service men who she felt were forgotten.
I said ‘Dad, may I take this to Peter the Editor as he has been looking for such a picture’. The time was 12 pm and I knew Peter would keep on going until he had the final film edit for the following morning. I got back into my car and drove to the edit suite and once Peter saw it he smiled and said ’Julie, that’s the one’.
So in short, that’s how this picture became one of the three iconic pictures. Titled Grandad going off to War.