It all started in the kitchen of my mother’s house in Shannon on a Sunday afternoon in the Spring of 1998. I was visiting with my wife Theresa, son Ian and some of my brothers and sisters were there. My mother was recounting stories of the war years, the nightly London blitz, meeting my father, falling in love and the deep sorrow when he was killed in Sicily. Tales of the blackout, bomb shelters, ration books, the struggle to survive, the funny moments and the sad moments.
They were all there – the Dodsons, the Robinsons, the Smiths and the Jones, the family intrigues, the births and the marriages, and the dates recalled with the precision of Big Ben striking the hour! Suddenly someone said “All of this will be lost if we don’t write it down”. I got a sheet of my mother’s notepaper and I recorded the first few names and dates. The Dodson Family Tree was born!
For several years it was left aside, a page added here, a name added there. However trips to Yaxley England, Canada and Southern Italy, where I knelt beside my father’s grave for the first time, have started me on an exhilarating journey into the past. What started as a collection of names and dates has come alive, for these are real people, my people, who experienced the same emotions, dreams, joys and sorrows as you and me. I hope that my children’s children will make this voyage of discovery with me. To contact me, please e-mail iansnr at iandodson dot com.