Family stories add to the rich mosaic of human experience

Family stories are an important part of our heritage.

They really don’t need to be lengthy or stretch all the way back to the beginning; they can be impressions and recollections from various times and places in your life.


Stories are an important part of many cultures. They hold subtle messages which can guide people as they face life’s challenges. Voices from the past help to clarify the present and illuminate the future.

They are a different take on official history, which is really only a larger family story agreed upon by historians and leaders. Personal histories give our lives meaning and richness whilst filling the gaps in the larger record.

Everyone’s story is unique, adding to the total human experience which is unimaginably varied and limitless. It is of special value to descendants giving them a priceless and intimate link to the past and encouraging them, perhaps, to add to the story.  


Here’s one of my own that I like to share:-

In 1976 my father, who was 81 years old at the time, came to visit us in Holland where I was working on an engineering contract. He came by air and it was the first time in his life that he'd flown.

He returned to England just before Christmas and I had told him all about the duty-free shops in Amsterdam airport.

I learned later that he had enthusiastically purchased way beyond his personal allowance: fine cigars, pipe tobacco and other luxuries he never ordinarily could have afforded.

On arrival back home, the customs official asked my father if he had anything to declare. Dad was somewhat confused. The official explained about personal limits and asked my father to open his baggage.

Upon discovering the expensive cache, he asked my father when he had last traveled abroad. Dad replied, “Sergeant, The King’s Own Shropshire Light Infantry, Battle of The Somme, 1916.”

The official stared at my father for a few seconds, bundled all the items back into the suitcase and said, “Good night, sir, and have a merry Christmas.”