Some people will recall that the Geddes brothers supplied fish and chips in Rossington. Dave had a van that travelled to various spots in the village, and parked up to serve suppers, but Bob had a shop on Wilkinson Avenue. He had it from it being brand new and his young family lived above the shop. It is still a fish and chip shop: Frank’s Golden Cod.
Bob was a bombardier during the Second World War, and served in North Africa, including the battle to push back the Axis forces at Wadi Akarit in Tunisia, in March and April 1943. A wadi is a river bed that dries up in the hotter weather, and the wadis often have steep banks. In this case, the Germans had dug themselves in at the top of the banks, and the Allied forces had to move along the bottom of the wadi to engage them in battle. The forces included New Zealanders and Indians, who carried kukaris (long knives).
Bob wrote in his journal that he and his platoon were narrowly missed a couple of times by enemy shells, and some were injured, and eventually on 6 April, he too was wounded and taken to a hospital for treatment and recovery. Although soldiers were not meant to keep diaries, Bob had jotted down some memories in a notebook and it travelled with him to the hospital, but it got left there. Some time later, it was returned to him via a doctor at the hospital, and it remains in the keeping of Robert, his son. Also with Rob is the photo of his father recovering in the hospital and being visited in May of that year by General Montgomery, one of the iconic figures of the War. (It would have been considered a great privilege to meet the General, who was referred to as ‘Monty’. He had also served in the First World War, but he is known as the leading strategic planner of the battles in North Africa, and at El Alamein which defeated the Axis forces in those areas).