My Uncle Ray was born 86 years ago today, on 9 November, 1924.
Uncle Ray was close to his mother Olive Harris, who the family called Mam. I remember her as a white haired, gentle old lady who loved to play cards... my grandma. Raymond's father and my grandfather was called Amos and he had two older brothers, Sidney, and John (my dad) and a younger brother Theo.
When he was young, probably in 1936, Uncle Ray spent some time at Corley Open air school. Between 1932- 35 he attended St, Mark’s Junior School, Coventry. From 1935 he attended Wheatley Street Senior Boys’ School, Coventry. From 1937 to 1938 he attended John Gulson Senior Boys’ School. also in Coventry. In addition Uncle Ray attended a junior evening course in art and another in technical studies. Some of the cartoons and drawings he left behind show that he was a skilled artist.
Uncle Ray joined the R.A.F. and became a flight engineer. At the time he was living with his family at 8 East Parade, Barnoldswick, Lancashire, where the family had moved from Coventry. He also had a girlfriend - Phyllis who lived at 7 Lower West Avenue, Barnoldswick.
Between January and October 1943 Uncle Ray sent letters to his family and particularly his mother nearly every day. He died, aged 19 in a flying accident in Lancashire and is buried in London Road Cemetery, Coventry. We are very lucky to have many of his letters were saved by his family. They provide a portal into another time and show how the every day things in life were just as important then as they are now.
Over the coming weeks I will be posting Uncle Ray's letters on a blog called Sgt. Raymond Albert Harris. The letters are a portal into the past. They show how the ordinary things in life were as important then as they are now.