Christmas program: Memoirs of a Military Mother

Fri, 20 December 2019

Joan Tod for web story

Christmas Day is one of the very few days where 2RPH doesn't broadcast live to air, which means some very special programming is planned.

One of the programs listeners can expect to hear on December 25 is Memoirs of a Military Mother, which is read by 2RPH volunteer Pat Tod. The memoirs follow Joan, an Army wife from England who recounts her experience of moving to India with her husband from 1946-1947. Joan was living in India during a historic time as the partition of India took place in 1947, dividing British India into the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.

What makes this story extra special is that Pat is reading the memoirs of her mother; finding the heavily edited sheets of quarto paper in her mother's items as she was packing up her things following her death in 1996.

Producer Pat Tod said, "When the call went out for people to provide material over Christmas, I suddenly remembered mum's piece. I thought many of our listeners would relate to times when life presented quite a few challenges (especially immediately after the War); times where there was not everything ''on tap''; many people may have travelled to India in more modern times and the contrast would be of interest; and I thought also, it would take people on a short trip overseas with a difference!"

Pat said finding her mother's story was bittersweet. "I couldn't believe she had never mentioned it and was so sorry I couldn't tell her how good it was! I retyped her heavily-edited copy and sent it around to anyone to whom I thought it would mean something - family, army friends etc." She hopes listeners might be inspired to share their stories of earlier lives with a younger generation.