Troubador My Father's and Mother's Century

Released: 01/11/2013

ISBN: 9781783060214

eISBN: 9781783069538

Format: Paperback/eBook

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My Father's and Mother's Century

The Story of an Ordinary Couple in an Extraordinary Time


“I had intended this to be the story of my father, an ordinary man living in an extraordinary turbulent half century, which shaped his life and subsequently mine. However, when researching my father’s life, I realise what an extraordinary life my mother had also lived and I want to incorporate her own tale. This is a story that also belongs to my sister and me and tells how we came to be the adults we now are.”

This book chronicles the family history of Angela South’s father, John Louis Salter. It starts with his army career, at 14 years old, and how he was posted at 15 to Hong Kong and Mauritius. In WW1, he received the DCM – Distinguished Conduct Medal – and returned home in 1918, with a French bride, Albertine Marie.

John left the army in 1925, qualifying as a civil servant despite his lack of education. He settled with his wife in southern England, during the 1920s and 30s. In 1937, Albertine Marie was admitted to a mental asylum for the remainder of her life, due to mental instability.

During WW2, he worked in Whitehall and in 1945 was posted to Berlin, where he met Angela’s mother, Christa, who was 20 years old at the time. They returned to England together in 1947, where she studied English and secretarial skills so she could take over as the family bread-winner. John and Christa married in 1951, after the birth of Angela and her younger sister, Karin.

My Father's and Mother's Century delves into Angela’s childhood, through the 1950s and 60s, in her somewhat unusual family, and reveals how it impacted on herself and Karin. The book will appeal to fans of family history, biographies and family history.

Family Tree

Family Tree

Review featured in Discover Your History

News article in the Aldershot News & Mail, 28th November 2013

I thoroughly loved this book telling the tales of Angela's personal life. I'm only 32 but it fascinates me how life was back in those days... I would've loved to have been around in the 50s and 60s, it truly was an amazing read!

by Rachel Grantham

I was very excited at the prospect of being able to read this book, because I have taught some modern history and this book looked as if it would be a good supplement to a history curriculum. It started very well, with the descriptions of the Boer War and the Great War. At first, I wasn’t too sure about the author’s use of surmising what her characters said and thought, but on reflection, it was a clever technique to give some substance to people who were just names, otherwise. Her description of the First World War and her father’s involvement was quite poignant and my initial reaction was to give the book 4 stars. Unfortunately, the rest of the book didn’t live up to the promising start. Her description of the lead-up to and the later events of the Second World War were patchy and not detailed enough for me. The blitz, an important part of the war was barely mentioned. I know that the book was about her family history in the context of the times, but major events were not mentioned; the Berlin airlift, as an example. There was a hint of a dark side to her mother’s family; association with the Nazi’s, perhaps? This was not pursued and added to my growing disappointment. When it came to the events from the 50’s onward, it really fell apart, with her description of her relationship with her family, rather than an analytical look at the history of those times. These were my times and I wanted to read a description of those years, but apart from the mention of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and short skirts (!), there was nothing to convey some of the major events that took place; National Service, which I and many other young men had to undergo, the Suez crisis, the violent independence campaign in Cyprus, Kennedy’s assassination. I could go on with what was left out, but enough of criticism, the book was an interesting concept, I’m only sorry I couldn’t be more positive about it.

by Terry Gibson

Angela South

Angela was born to a British father and German mother. She was brought up in Plymouth and after moved to Aldershot where she still resides.In 1978 she started work as a lecturer in a further education college teaching business. She retired from teaching in 2008 and worked as a PA to a charity. She became a carer in a home for the elderly with dementia. She has retired and taken on voluntary work as well as indulging in her hobby of story writing.

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