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1949 Paul Pauls life

Life of Paul – 1949

Introduction

Meg and Dave get married and Paul is born.
Meg Dave and Paul in Renata's Garden 1949

In January 1949, Dave and Meg were a recently-married couple, living in an end-terrace house at 60 Hereward Road, Tooting, South-West London. They had met in Germany just after the end of World War II.

Meg had qualified as a Doctor of Medicine in 1943, and had been called up to serve in the Royal Army Medical Corps soon after qualifying. She had joined No. 6 Military Hospital and crossed to France soon after D-Day, eventually arriving in Iserlohn, Germany where she worked at a military hospital for several months before being "de-mobbed" in 1946.

Dave had followed his father (Jonathan David Rugg-Easey) into dentistry, and qualified before he was called up to join the Royal Army Dental Corps. He was posted to Malta, where he spent most of the war years, including the siege of Malta for which the island received the Victoria Cross.

Dave had developed his dental skills and acquired some skill in surgery too, as he treated the facial injuries of the forces personnel involved in the fighting. As the war came to a close in Europe, he was fatefully posted to the same military hospital in Iserlohn where Meg was working, and the two of them met and worked together.

In 1946, both returned to England. They continued to meet up, and soon they were engaged. In 1947 they married (the same year as Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, future Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip).

With their "demob" money, they were able to purchase the house in Hereward Road, not too far from Dave's family home in Fulham, and Meg's mother and sister who had moved to Balham from Bristol.

From his wartime experiences, Dave decided to re-qualify as a Doctor, so he started studying at Guy's Hospital for his medical degree.

Before long, Meg became pregnant, and on 19th January, 1949, she gave birth to the couple's first son, called Paul Jonathan (that's me!) in a hospital in Hampstead. My first name (Paul) was chosen by Dave from St. Paul's Bay in his much-loved Malta, and Jonathan was my paternal grandfather's name. The birth was not an easy one, so I am told (I don't remember it very well!) It lasted many hours, and Mum could never tell me whether I was born late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Whether it was due to the difficult birth or not, I don't know, but the baby was blessed with a large birthmark on his head (sometimes called a port wine stain) over one eye.

I don't remember much from that decade, the 1940s - I only saw the last 12 months of it - but in spite of his strange appearance, the baby boy was definitely loved and cherished, being shown off to grandparents and other relations. I had arrived, and it was a good time to be born, I think. I didn't realise how lucky I was.

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