It’s strange how nervous I feel about the chance to talk to Jack, having busied myself with work for a morning, I crack at lunchtime and pick the phone up. The phone rings, and someone picks it up;
‘Hello, Jack Jarmy…..’
‘Hello Jack, this is Simon Sommerville…Bob Sommerville’s son….’
‘Ahhhh Simon, how wonderful, I’ve been expecting to hear from you…..’
And so the conversation begins. It’s strange, I know that Jack has been expecting to hear from me, he spoke to Kevin a few days ago and said I was trying to find out about him, but at the same time it feels as if he has been waiting for me since he last saw Bob, I know that’s sentimental rubbish – but that’s what it feels like. The first wonderful revelation – he didn’t even recall Dad was called Robert – it was ‘Jock’. I think this is fantastic, every cliché of RAF nicknames meant it would be obvious that Bob was ‘Jock’ he was Scottish for god’s sake, but to hear Jack say it, validates it and makes it fact rather than a whimsical notion. Listening to Jack talk, its clear he, Allan and ‘Jock’ were very good friends. What makes this the more poignant is that he says he spent years after the war trying to track them down, days spent scouring Edinburgh and Glasgow telephone directories and all the time Dad was in Walton-on-Thames, married to Mum.
Jack can’t remember anything about any of the other crew – I find this mildly frustrating as we talk, I can’t believe that he was so close to Allan and Bob and yet can’t even recognise a surname I give him – it feels if a bigger story is sat there, just our of reach.
Jack is keen to talk more and suggest we meet up, I can’t believe it, this is like a dream. We agree to let the worst of the winter weather pass and we promise each other we will meet. We say our farewells and I put the phone down with a smile wider than my face.