Remembering a childhood friend and protector

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Have We Had Help?

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Back in the early nineteen-fifties, I was a small boy living on a mixed arable farm a mile to the west of the town where I live here in Suffolk. My father was the farm foreman. World War II ended three years before I was born, and yet rationing and the Home Guard was still in existence. The brick-clad place I now call home was originally one of the wooden prefabs built at the end of the war, used to house the POW’s here in Beccles while they were working on local farms.

Besides growing wheat, barley, oats and sugar beet, plus several varieties of apples, the farm had a thousand pigs, bred for bacon. Dad had hired a short tempered Belgian former Foreign Legionnaire to look after the latter.

Besides the two local lads who cycled the mile from Beccles each day to work on the farm, there were…

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