I woke up today thinking about my grandfather Ewan Bloomfield. This photograph of of him was taken in 1945, four years before he died tragically when my mum was 2 years old. Sadly he committed suicide soon after he returned from the war. Several friends have told me the same happened to their grandfathers, so I can only assume this was an all too common event. Before I began this project, I didn’t know much about him, other than that he had been in the RAF and was taken prisoner of war in Germany for 3 years. Nobody really talked about him.
As I’ve been meeting veterans in the run-up to this trip, I’ve shown them this photograph and found out more about him. Jack Bruce, who served in the Glider Pilot Regiment on D-Day and also at Arnhem, told me that the ‘B’ on his jacket stands for Bomber Command. It’s been quite moving finding out about him from the men who are his contemporaries, more than 60 years after he died. It’s also been quite unsettling finding out exactly what his job would have entailed and what he must have gone through.
I’m going to try and find out more about Ewan on the trip.