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NauenThen

My granddad

I'm blown away to see this photo—for the first time!—of my grandfather, Charles John Phillips. He's probably about 30 here, in his World War I outfit. The man Grandma Alice loved. The father of my mother & my 3 uncles. He was a violinist & violin teacher, a professional-level candymaker, I forget what else. He looms so large in our family & I know so little, I realize. He was born in Bath. He was a year younger than his wife, which came out when she turned 40 & one of her brothers slipped up & said something. He was the conductor of a transatlantic ship's orchestra, stage name Martinique. My grandparents met when Alice was the singer. When she looked at Jack for her cue, he winked. "I was never so shocked in all my life!" she told me, many decades later. He was gassed in the War & died at 50, when my mother was a girl. He's buried in Anfield Cemetry, across the street from the house she grew up in. 

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