52 Ancestors: #1 Roy William Gradwell

Genealogy blogger Amy Johnson Crow has issued a challenge to blog about one ancestor every week, a great idea that should get us thinking about some of the individuals in our trees and sharing details that help bring their stories to life. For me, this has to include siblings and extended family, because so many of them had lives that clearly influenced people in my direct line.
My choice this week is my dear Uncle Roy, who died in February 2013. In 1927, he was the cherished first born of a working class family in south west London. As a child among those evacuated in World War II, he insisted that he and his sister return to stay with their parents when they were mistreated on a rural farm. He remained the protective big brother to my mother all of his life.
He and his wife emigrated to Canada from the UK at the same time as my parents did in the early 1950s. By then, he had served in the British Army, and learned enough about radar to eventually have a long career with the Canadian government. He loved electronics of all kinds; he delighted in taking videos of family events, leaving dozens of priceless memories for us to enjoy for years to come.
He was a huge influence in my life from my early childhood, even though he and his family often lived many miles away. I’ll always treasure his beaming smile and the hug he greeted me with every time he arrived for a visit. His zest for life, no matter what was going on around him, fascinated and inspired me.


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