Lawrence Ralph Henry Jones was my grandfather. He died six weeks before I was born, and hence he is my namesake (my name is Lauren.)
My mother’s father, Lawrence, also known as Snow or Laurie, died much before his time in Port Lincoln, South Australia, on the 7th of January, 1984, after an all too long illness. It’s horrific to think of losing my dad at my current age, but that’s what happened to my mum. Her dad had died of cancer in the lungs and kidneys by the time she was 30.
I’ve heard a lot about Papa over the years. Mum has shared many a story with me, and she has always been fascinated by his war years, which, as was often the case were strictly off-topic while he was alive. I wanted to pursue this interest, to see what I could find out and satisfy Mum’s curiousity.
Guess what? I found my way to the Australian War Memorial website, and after a fairly comprehensive search I stumbled on the following image.
The man standing in the shadows is Papa. He was on leave from the war and was catching a ride on a train near Townsville, Queensland. I wasn’t sure it was him at first, but I gathered Mum from the lounge room and showed it to her on screen. She confirmed it was him, tears in her eyes, a hand covering her mouth. “I’ve never seen him with a moustache before,” she murmured. She was delighted to have this picture and immediately we ordered a copy from the AWM and distrubted it to the family. I imagine for my mum, nanna and aunties it was like discovering a whole different side to Papa they never knew. I’d always known him to look more like this:
Well, with that kind of reaction, you see why I have been addicted to research ever since. Not all my family share my enthusiasm for genealogy, but Mum gets quite excited at times and I still look forward to sharing things with her.
Speaking of sharing, I’m certain I’ll be sharing more on Papa in the future.
Some details about Lawrence (Snow) Ralph Harry Jones. Born 27 April 1920 in Kensington Park, South Australia, son of Ralph James Thomas Jones and Sarah Katherine Wright. Laurie married Joyce Muriel Thorpe (still living) in 1947 at St Mary of the Angels, Port Lincoln, South Australia.