May 15, 2011

Circus 157 Prologue

Family, each of us grow up supported by a collective of people who we discover along the way may or may not be directly related to us. In my world direct blood relations exist in low numbers... but lucky for me they are all amazing :o)

Going back a generation, as a child my fabulous grandparents, Dad's parents, had a massive positive impact on my life and twenty years on from their death I still miss them :(

Mum's parent's were absent from my life and figured very little in Mum's life...

I'm not sure at which point the small child that was me figured out that the older generation on Mum's side were Grandparents rather than parents to Mum. My sister and I always knew them as Nan & Pop rather than Grandma & Grandpa, but then using different names saved confusion, didn't it?

Curiosity is something I'm not short of... so I hope I wasn't too persistent in my childish "why?" type questions because the facts were a little low on the ground. In brief Mum was born during WWII. Her father, a spitfire pilot, went missing and was presumed dead months before she was born. Some time after the war Mum's Mum remarried and emigrated leaving Mum to be brought up by her Grandparents.

This sort of sets the scene for September 2010, inspired by watching BBC history programmes with extended narratives on WWII spitfire pilots, I sat with my laptop and started to frame searches based on the few known facts available on the life of my long lost grandfather.

Name: Karel Pavlik

Nationality: Czech

Occupation: Spitfire Pilot, Czech free airforce attached somehow to RAF and based in Essex early 1942, missing presumed dead spring 1942.

Not much to go on... but the web is a powerful thing if you know how to go about searching!

At school, my history teachers knew nothing of Czech pilots in RAF, leaving me disillusioned, I dropped history at earliest possibility. Hopefully teachers in this digital age have a broader knowledge of WWIIcombatants!?

To be continued...

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