"I found my mum's grave after 74 years"

PENSIONER John Glasgow has found the final resting place of his mum who died 74 years ago.

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Little John carried to his evacuation by a PC in 1940
John is pictured at his mum's grave.

He travelled from his home in England to a pauper's grave in Sighthill where he laid a wreath in tribute to the woman he lost when he was only three-years-old

Mr Glasgow and his mother Edna were evacuated from their home on Alderney in the Channel Islands on June 23, 1940 as the Nazis drove ever westwards.

Along with many of the other 1500 island residents they were dispatched to Glasgow.

Mother and son were sent to Holy Cross Church in Knigtswood but Mrs Glasgow was found to be suffering from advanced tuberculosis and on June 26 was admitted to Ruchill Hospital.

It was to be the last time the frightened toddler would ever see his mother.

John was taken to Castlemilk Children's Home where he remained for around three months until he was picked up by his soldier father Ian and brought back to England.

Tragically, the youngster's mum died of TB on October 4, 1940 at the age of only 29 and was buried in a pauper's grave.

Mr Glasgow, 77, said: "I can only assume that as a serving soldier, my father had little time to make arrangements for her burial and taking me out of Castlemilk Home to bring me to Winchester near where he was posted."

He grew up knowing little about his mum and had no idea where she was buried. Mr Glasgow said: "My father kept nothing and it took me 50 years to find out what my mother looked like."

One of his prized possessions is a tiny photograph of his mum which he got from a family member.

But Mr Glasgow was determined to try and find his mother's resting place and contacted Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty.

She passed the request to city council bereavement manager David MacColl, who along with bereavement operations manager John Downes, managed to discover Edna was buried in Sighthill Cemetery.

Mr Glasgow said: "I did not know until two weeks ago where she was buried."

This week he made the emotional journey to the grave accompanied by Mr MacColl and Mr Downes.

He laid a wreath with a card bearing the words: "To my dearest mother Edna Marian Glasgow nee Sharp, evacuated from Alderney, Channel Islands June 23, 1940. Died October 4, 1940, aged 29. Interred here October 1940.

"From her loving son, her little John xxxx"

Mr Glasgow described finding his mother's grave as the end of a painful chapter in his life.

He said: "Alderney was evacuated on June 23, 1940.

"Six ships came and church bells rang to tell people it was time to go.

"They were allowed one bag per person - pets were left behind to fend for themselves or be shot.

"We spent June 24 travelling and my mother was already ill.

"We were taken to a church hall on Great Western Road. Medical screening took place and my mother was diagnosed with advanced TB.

"On June 26, she was sent to Ruchill and me to Castlemilk. We never saw each other again."

Mr Glasgow, who worked in the aircraft industry, went on to marry and have children of his own but never forgot about his mother and her tragic death.

He said: "Thanks to all the wonderful help everyone has given me since I have been up here I have been able to close a chapter."

The Lord Provost invited Mr Glasgow to the City Chambers to hear his story for herself.She was joined by bereavement services boss Mr MacColl, Susan Casey of Castlemilk History Group, Anne Stewart, vice chairman of Cassiltoun Housing Association, former Castlemilk Home resident Elizabeth Bashir and the Lord Provost's secretary Louise Henderson.

Mrs Docherty said: "His life story is absolutely fascinating and I would like to think the gentleman John has become is in part down to the influence of his three months in Glasgow."

Mr MacColl, who visited the grave with Mr Glasgow, said: "It was a moving situation - for us too - but it is a fantastic part of our job."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Families

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