My father Alexander Kenneth Bailey
Anderson was born in Maybole (the Vicarage) in 1922 and attended Carrick
Academy in the 1930's. My grandfather Charles Anderson taught there at
that time. My uncle Dad's older brother Fredrick Charles Anderson was
also at the school. Fredrick died several years ago of cancer.
showed my father this website yesterday and we had a look at the
Carrick Academy War Memorial. He knew many of the names there, some
from his class or Fredrick's. He had known that Stark and Kelly had been
killed in the war but was surprised to learn of others like Sgt Peters
and the Kilties whom he did not know were killed. Kelly was in his class
and Stark was a few years older.
He left school early (at 15 years old) and
joined the RAF in 1938 prior to the war. He has often told me that there
was a guardian angel riding on his shoulder at that time. When war broke
out on Sept 3 1939 he was in
an isolation ward on an RAF station near
London with Scarlet
he was very sick from for a few weeks then Rheumatic Fever as a secondary
infection which apparently was believed to weaken the heart at that time.
Of course that was wrong and he is still hale and hearty at 82. But the
disease was deemed sufficient to make him unfit for flying - a very good
thing as it turned out. He looked at the memorial and mused that had he
stayed on at school he would more than likely have joined the RAF at a
later time along with his friends whose names now appear there. The
likely outcome for him would have been to have his name there as well.
Instead he went on to serve throughout the
war with the RAF (in England, Canada, Egypt and finally Iraq). He then
joined the RNZAF in 1953 and has lived in New Zealand ever since. He
married a London girl (my mother) who migrated out here a year later (they
were engaged) and is soon to celebrate 50 years of marriage. He has a son
(me) and a daughter (my sister Helen), three grandsons and two
granddaughters. He retired from the RNZAF in 1978 and then worked in a
hospital until retirement. He still lives in Christchurch.
When I look at the names on the memorial I
can't help but reflect on what a great future was lost to the men there -
one which my father has enjoyed and which all turned on a slight twist of
fate. At the time the disease was deemed life threatening but as it
turned out probably saved his life.
have visited the place where Dad was born (in 1983), visited
and even met one of his old school friends (still living next door) and
one of his old teachers (Miss someone?) who was in a nursing home at the
time. She remembered Dad as her pupil as one "with a quizzical smile".
I would be interested in learning more
about my grandfather and father's time in Maybole and also about Stark and
Kelly who were my father's friends if you have any information about them.