Oxhey Village Environment Group | www.oveg.org
After publishing Ted Parrish’s ‘Echoes of Old Watford, Bushey and Oxhey’ a year ago, Lesley Dunlop is now working on another book. Entitled ‘Two Lives, Two World Wars’, it will focus on local historian Ted Parrish and his father Reginald.
Lesley will delve into Ted’s life in the area and his experiences in the Royal Air Force in India and Burma during the Second World War. Extracts from the many letters he sent to his future wife, Peggy, will be included in the book, as will cartoons he created based on life within the South East Asia Command (SEAC). He did not forget his beloved Watford and Oxhey while he was at war, as is evidenced in his letters.
As a comparison, Lesley will explore the life and experiences of Ted’s father Reginald, a military musician and regular soldier with the Royal Fusiliers. Policing the Empire, his regiment was called back in late 1914 to support the fighting on the Western Front, but instead was sent to Gallipoli. After being wounded, he was despatched to Malta to convalesce and subsequently fought on the Western Front. He, too, spent his married life in Watford, instilling a love of the area in his only son, Ted, and entertaining local people with his band, The Sylvanians.
Lesley has visited sites on the Western Front and Gallipoli where her grandfather fought and will visit Malta, where he convalesced, in the spring. She is also exploring the possibility of visiting World War II-related sites in India and Burma, where Ted was stationed. Life in Watford during the First and Second World Wars will be interwoven with the two life stories.
‘Echoes of Old Watford, Bushey and Oxhey’ is available from www.pastdayspublishing.com or from Watford and Bushey Museums, price £12.99.