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Byline: Tom Slemen

THE Britain that four million demobbed men came home to between the summer of 1945 and the Christmas of 1946 had changed, and the people the servicemen returned to had changed as well.

A man, we shall call Rick, returned from the war and had also undergone a drastic change, in looks, in personality and attitude. He had been cocky when he was called up and was now war-tamed, mentally scarred by the unspeakable horrors he had witnessed whilst separated from his wife Maureen and their six-yearold daughter, Jean, for so many years. The day Rick returned, a man Jean called Uncle Jimmy fled the house via the back door and vanished into the cratered streets of post war Everton. Maureen was seven months' pregnant by this man, but Rick was forgiving and just wanted a hot dinner on the table each day. Jean just wanted Uncle Jimmy back and asked her mum when Rick was going home.

After the birth of her baby, Maureen nagged Rick into selling his demob suit for a fiver. She wanted to go on a holiday to Blackpool and the fiver made that possible. Blackpool had emerged almost unscathed from Nazi air raids so the piers and Tower looked the same as they had when Rick and Maureen had courted here before the war. It was like old times again, and the couple rediscovered their love.

Then Christmas loomed, and Jean wanted toys and Maureen hinted at the gifts she fancied, even though money was hard to come by and rationing was still in force.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 5, 2014
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