Dad 64yo (1961)
8 months before he died



In the same way that I wish dad had spoken of his life experiences, so that we would have a better understanding of him, so I am setting out my thoughts on this web site for the generations to come.
Here are some of his stories.


Dad was a shop steward in the motor industry. As he got older, he was given a job 'off the line'. He was a 'left winger' and educated himself in union matters. His speciality was industrial injuries. His advice was, "If you see anything in the aisle, don't pick it up, fall over it; then claim compensation." That way he opined that the bosses would tidy up things.

Over the years, he became a thorn in the side of management. Someone hatched a plan to get rid of him. (allegedly!)

Everyone took home small bits of wood in their lunch bags for kindling. It was an accepted practice. The plan was to catch dad 'stealing'. But, he was warned.

As he was walking out of the gate, he was called over and asked if he would mind being searched. He replied to the effect that it was OK by him. The security man searched him and asked him if he would open his bag. Dad said, "No, if you want to see what is inside, you open it." He was then asked what was in the bag. He replied, "SHIT." The security boys were not impressed. "NO, come along, mate. What's in the bag?" Dad's reply again was, "SHIT!" They opened the bag and found a newspaper parcel. On opening the parcel, what did they find? Yes, you've guessed it. It really was shit.

He had gone to the toilet and made up the parcel. That's my dad!!


Dad was a 'slinger'. That is, he went with the crane to put the slings round equipment that had to be moved.
Now, dad could not move quickly at the best of times, as he had bad feet due to arthritis. Coupled with the fact that management saw him as a trouble maker, (he was a shop steward), they wanted him out of the Press Shop. Dad was on nights, and he was called up to the office for 9:30am. So, he came home, got himself tidied up, and went for the appointment. It was held in a large conference room. Several people were there, and Mr Roper conducted the meeting.
He started by saying, "Mr Aylward, none of us are getting any younger, and we thought that your slinging job would be more suitable for a younger, more mobile man."
Dad said nothing, got up, and ran three times round the big table! (I say ran - he must have hobbled quickly) He sat down, and said to the assembled managers, "Mr Roper, I have just done a night's work, can any of you do what I have just done?"
There was silence, and dad got up and went home.
A while later dad did take a job in the die store. He didn't have to do any work. Just make tea and read the Daily Mirror. This time it was convenient to him.


Dad was very proud of his regiment, "The Shiny Seventh", The Seventh Battalion - City of London. Though, he was never one to support war. He never said anything about his time in France during WW1. He was a stretcher bearer, and must have seen some terrible sights. Perhaps, if returning servicemen and women, spoke of the terrors of war, the next generation would not be so keen. I have put a photo of his regimental blazer badge here.


When dad was being demobed from the army after WWI, he was put into a barracks in one of the London parks. Things were not moving very quickly, and everyone was keen to get out of the army. There was a visit due from the 'top brass', so all the squaddies were told to say that they had fictitious jobs, so that the 'top brass' were impressed. Dad was told to say that he worked cleaning the ablutions.
All the men were on parade, and the officers walked round the ranks inspecting the men, and talking to them. All the men, as told, explained to the officers what jobs they had.
When dad was approached, and he was asked, "And, what job do you do private?" Dad replied, "Nothing, sir." The sergeant major said, "No, sir, that is not correct, private Aylward is detailed for cleaning the ablutions." Dad responded, "That is a lie, sir! We have all been told to lie to you. None of us have any work to do. We are wasting our time here" Calling a sergeant major a liar, was a serious offence!
Anyway, the officer questioned dad further, and no action was taken, other than the men were on their way to 'Civvie Street' pronto!