Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Bill Watts- Sully 1956

I have received another email from Ontario,Canda. Bernie Watts sent me the above photograph of his father, Bill, taken with some friends in Sully. He says:: I came across an old photograph of my father with two of his companions and they seem to be convalescing at Sully Hospital in 1956. I thought I would take a look online and try and find out a little about the place when I came upon your website and thought that you may like a copy of the photograph. II understand that the photograph will probably not be of much value in your project but again one never knows what information may one day be yielded from a small item in an ever expanding body of knowledge such as yours. What may be of interest is that my dad was in the Royal Welch Fusiliers at the time (24 years). I have no idea why he was there apart from the fact that he had been quite ill, as you can see his colleagues were both servicemen, so I wonder if it served as a military hospital at one time. My dad is in the middle, the two scans are both of the same photograph, front and back, I am sending the scan of the back to confirm the date when it was taken, Kath was my mum Kathleen (Nee-Devlin), Dads name was William hence Bill. He adds in another email the following information: My father was born in Sarn/Bridgend in Glamorganshire and joined the Army in 1931, he spent time in Gibraltar, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Belgium and France, sometime after the war he was transferred to the School of Combined Operations located in Barnstable (I think) and it was around this time that he became sick. He’d married my mum in 1942, she lived in Hoylake on the Wirral, where he had been stationed during the earlier part of the war and where I grew up. I understand that during his time at the S.O C Ops. He was involved in providing help and assistance in the great flood in North Devon sometime in the 50’s. Unfortunately I have no further information on Sully Hospital, apart from knowing that he was very ill as my mother went down to see him and for her to leave the children would have been significant. I should add that several years later, after the army, in the early 60’s he did have a major operation which at the time, I understand, was quite ground breaking as he had apparently grown a cyst the size of a football on his liver, which was written up at the time in the Lancet or maybe another important medical journal. Perhaps it was related to the earlier problem, I don’t really know, and as my mum and dad have both passed on now I guess I never will. At the time of the operation he was told that the cyst had been caused by some sort of parasite associated with sheep which he had been carrying round, based on its size at the time of the op, since he was a young boy in rural Wales.

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