762. All my love

762dickpeers

A departure today! In honour of Armistice Day (Remembrance Day, Veterans Day) I’m posting a recording made in New York during World War II of my mother’s brother, Dick Peers. Air force personnel, upon finishing their training in Canada, would head straight for New York before returning to war.

Nola Luxford, a New Zealand-born actress from Hastings NZ, the same town my uncle came from, had founded the ANZAC Club in New York. Throughout the war, her club hosted over 35,000 New Zealand and Australian troops. My uncle made this recording there to send home to his parents. I hope you can understand his fairly strong New Zealand accent! The Margaret mentioned was a sister, as was my mother, Doreen.

He never returned from war.

31 thoughts on “762. All my love

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      I don’t think my mother ever listened to it. I thought that Nola ‘s little “Alright” at the end of her intro sounded very American! She was an actress most famous for the silent movies so accent probably counted only “outside” the filming.

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  1. Cynthia Jobin

    Blubbering, here, the first time I listened. I am always more affected by sound than by photos…it seems so alive, and that’s what makes it so heartbreaking.
    On listening again, I realized I noticed Dick’s accent yet I understood him clearly, even on the old staticky recording. Nola sounded almost American to me, except for the rolled “r”….she sounded very much the way people in old films sound around here.
    What a nice memento you have there (even though–especially since— you weren’t even born when this record was made!)

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thank you for blubbering! I think sound affects me more as well – as in hearing you read your poems! One of the things I noticed (and my mother was the same) he addresses his parents as Mother and Father. It always comes as a shock to me on American sitcoms, when kids address their father as Sir! It’s not something I’ve ever know, but Father and Mother, yes!

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      The record disappeared along with all the old 78s when Mum died. Fortunately I’d made a copy of it on cassette. Fairly recently cousin Jane made a digital version and now all cousins (his nieces and nephews) have a copy.

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  2. arlingwoman

    Third blubberer! So sad. I understood him fine as well. The actress sounded NZ to me, though, just toned down a bit. But Cynthia may be right–it could be mistaken for an upper class eastern seaboard accent (listen to recordings of Eleanor Roosevelt).

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks for the blubber! It’s not impossible, that she had to put some accent on to get into the film industry. These days it’s that universal trans-Atlantic non-accent that they use so no one realizes there’s an accent. My uncle’s accent I would call the “typical New Zealand bloke” accent.

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  3. Pingback: #WordlessWednesday – Veteran’s Day | JT Twissel

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      There would be no one alive who knew him, so in some ways it’s of a more objective interest… maybe… Come to think of it – the woman he was going to marry is still alive. I don’t think they ever played it to her or gave her a copy. She’s not mentioned, and the “Dear John” letter he sent her was intercepted after his death before she go it…

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Gentle thoughts and expressions of astoundedness are both gratefully accepted.

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