As I Remember - An Autobiography. George Harris

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 Rob Forsyth

 

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George Harris was born in Clifton in 1931. He lived in Deddington Parish until 1958 and then moved to Kings Sutton and later Kidlington until he and his family emigrated to Australia in 1969 as ‘Ten Pound Poms’. He wrote this autobiography so that his children would know more about where he grew up. In doing so he vividly brings to life the hard living of agricultural families between the wars, the very high standards required to work on the Railways, the good and the bad aspects of National Service – he served overseas in the Far East at the same time as his friend Robin Hall who was killed in Malaya - and what it was like to work on the production line in Cowley. It is a unique account of living in Rural Oxfordshire in the early 1900’s and so takes up where Lark Rise to Candleford leaves off.

George and I first became acquainted when he emailed me a contribution to A Parish at War (p.65 and back cover) summarising his National Service time. I knew he told a good story because he kept sending them to me long after A Parish at War went to print. I suggested he should write a book – he said he had! I persuaded him to send me a copy for our parish library. I was amazed to find that he had typed, copied and cut the pages by hand which he then glued and bound into his own hand-made laminated covers on his kitchen table in Australia. I am not that talented and so this edition has been machine printed and bound; but otherwise it is the same as in his book - including any of the grammatical or spelling errors he apologises for at the end – with the sole exception that it was too costly to print his images in colour..

I am delighted that George gave me his permission to publish this highly personal, but very evocative, story of his life in our parish. It is an important piece of history containing as it does the names of over 200 people who George mentions in his book and his and his wife Pauline's numerous relatives.

The book can be downloaded  HERE.

It is a very large PDF of some 37Mbs so will take a few minutes if you have a low download speed.

An Index of surnames and relatives can be found HERE

To search the book for a name or a relative first download the pdf.

  • Turn to the first page.
  • PC users: Press Ctrl + keyboard F
  • Mac users: Press Cmd + keyboard F
  • A search box will appear at the head of the page. Type in the name you wish to search for.

Note that the search will also find parts of words that include the letters of a name e.g. searching for Fred will find Wilfred as well!