Our Grandparents' Stories

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Our Grandparents' Stories

Postby mathsparks » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:14 pm

Title amended, to include stories from/about our grandparents. Thanks, jedamum for suggesting.
===========================
Decided to start this topic for anyone who wants to share stories of those difficult wartime years.

I've often thought about the grandpa I didn’t have a chance to know.

During the Jap occupation, my dad lived with his parents in KL. Grandpa was the principal of a chinese school which amazingly is still open to this day while grandma was a school teacher...a working mother, rarely seen in those days.

One day, the Jap came, rounded off my grandpa and he was never seen again. Story goes that anyone who looks intelligent (wears glasses, smooth palms/fingers etc) were deemed to be in collusion with the anti-Jap forces and .....

While fleeing the air bombs one day, grandma carried 7-mthold dad and ran into the jungle, and left him there. We never failed to be shocked at how a woman can be so heartless to leave her baby behind, but she did!

Fortunately, dad was picked up by a kind man, who returned him to grandma and married her as well..and they lived happily thereafter.

The surname that I have today isn’t what it should’ve been. I’m not bitter about the past, just thought that while our/parents/grandparents’ memories are still clear, lets share them here so they will not be forgotten. We’re here today because of contributions and sacrifices made by them. So, must 饮水思源.
Last edited by mathsparks on Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby jedamum » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:37 pm

Was told that Grandpa was a very rich man in SG (living in large landed property, stocked up with plenty of food and necessity; and while my bro and some relatives are pretty interested to trace back our complicated family history, i seriously don't give it a damn) and was told for political reasons, he abandoned his family and absconded to China - that was when my dad's miserable childhood of abuse really began. The wealth, good headstart and family background that Grandpa could have given to his children were diminished not solely cos of the war, but cos of his lack of foresight and some said, irresponsibility. Living in those times, the horror stories that dad had share had nothing so much as to do with the Japanese Occupation but much to do with the fight for survival in a house full of food that none of them but the stepsiblings could have access to, and a wicked stepmother who had caused decades of hatred and bitterness till the very end.

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Re: WWII Stories

Postby mocharita » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:46 am

mathsparks wrote:Decided to start this topic for anyone who wants to share stories of those difficult wartime years.

I've often thought about the grandpa I didn’t have a chance to know.

During the Jap occupation, my dad lived with his parents in KL. Grandpa was the principal of a chinese school which amazingly is still open to this day while grandma was a school teacher...a working mother, rarely seen in those days.

One day, the Jap came, rounded off my grandpa and he was never seen again. Story goes that anyone who looks intelligent (wears glasses, smooth palms/fingers etc) were deemed to be in collusion with the anti-Jap forces and .....

While fleeing the air bombs one day, grandma carried 7-mthold dad and ran into the jungle, and left him there. We never failed to be shocked at how a woman can be so heartless to leave her baby behind, but she did!

Fortunately, dad was picked up by a kind man, who returned him to grandma and married her as well..and they lived happily thereafter.

The surname that I have today isn’t what it should’ve been. I’m not bitter about the past, just thought that while our/parents/grandparents’ memories are still clear, lets share them here so they will not be forgotten. We’re here today because of contributions and sacrifices made by them. So, must 饮水思源.


Well, my grandma was 18 years old and the eldest. The rest of her younger siblings were married. She came from a well to do family but being the eldest and unmarried, her parents were eager to married her off. ( Maybe, she was also ‘gatal’, and jeyles afterall she was the eldest one, and not married yet. I think so lah.). They lived in Lumut, Malaysia. Lumut then were sea, sand and wind. So romantic.

My Granpa arrived from China after his parents sold all their precious belongings for his ticket. Being a young fella and lacked of guidance, he set up what he was good and needed during the Japanese Occupation. He cured a lot of soldiers and his neighbours.

My grandma’s father noticed him and secretly persuaded him to marry my grandma. Being ignorant, and alone in a new place, and summore, a year younger than the bride, he married her. My great grandfather was promoting the goodness of his elder child ( getting rid of her and for face value feeding an ‘old-maid’ was an embarrassment. I think so lah). My grandpa married her.

During the Japanese Occupation, they had their second kid, my mom. My uncle is a year older than my mom. My grandpa took my uncle into hiding, and my grandma took my mom with her. My mother was fed with water instead of milk because grandma’s breasts were dried up. (must be lacking of food to produce milk, I think so lah.).
To cut the story short, they united after the Jap Occ and produced 10 kids. After that short separation due to Jap Occ, my grandma was very loving and depended so much on my grandpa. Probably, during that separation, she must be raped or molested ( I thnk so lah. Anyway, tested all my uncles and aunties came from same mother and father. Hmmm.., come to think about it, maybe grandma kena molested.)He passed away when he was in his 60s. My grandma went into depression because she lost her lifebuoy. She passed away not long ago, and am glad. At least I know all these years during her depression, her mind was thinking of my grandpa. A lesson to learn, never depend on anyone too much.

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Postby EN » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:13 am

I've never had the chance to meet up grandparents from my mother's side. They perished on WWII as their house were bombed. My mother was a young girl then. The whole house was bombed, just left the huge empty land. Her sister then married a widower. He took the land, build a new house over it. My mother then moved in with the elder sister to help raise her 12 children. Despite the land taken over by his brother in law, helping out with house chores & looking after their children, my mother was never given any basic education. Zilch.

I've only known one grandmother which was from my father's side. We got along very well. She's from a well to do family. Never attended school before but instead a private tutor will come over to her place to teach. Has a driver to send her to places and privileged enough to learn how to play piano. But the wealth all gone even before the WWII hit. Her brother squander it on high stakes gambling. She's got married with a good looking man (I saw the picture & my grand uncle). Several kids and even gotten an identical twin. Unfortunately, due to malnutrition during WWII, she lost both of her twin. Grandfather died because of asthma (not sure if it is during WWII) at a very young age of 30.

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Postby cnimed » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:33 am

What an interesting thread!

Maternal grandma was a young teenaged girl, and together with a couple of young relatives, took to hiding among the mangrove trees during the day. Every morning before dawn, an uncle will take them to the mangrove swamps where they would hide away from the Jap soldiers. After nightfall, someone will fetch them and bring them back home. She soon married grandpa and they had a hard life as farmers and raised 10 kids together until he died suddenly of heart attack one day. Life was hard and my mother still shudders at memories of her childhood.

Paternal grandma was from a rich Peranakan family, but wealth was lost during the war. Married grandpa who was from mainland China when she was only 15. Grandpa was twice her age, but had managed to make good from a labourer to foreman to owning his own sawmill and life was good after the war except for a year when she was held hostage by in-laws in China when she went back to show them their grandson. She had to bribe someone to help her and her toddler escape and took a boat back to Singapore. I think she gave grandpa a big scolding after she returned and she never ever went back to China until her last day. The mere mention of the country repulsed her and she swore she would never treat her future daughters-in-law badly. (My mum adores her.) They had a good life until grandpa suddenly died of heart attack and money was swindled by business partner and the family's wealth was lost. That, according to my father, was when he had to "wake up" from his irresponsible life of partying and sports cars, and find a job to feed his younger brothers.
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Postby mathsparks » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:35 pm

Not many forummers are here to share their stories; :? perhaps loss of family, surname, fortune, dignity...are best kept private.

Sometimes I wonder, if grandpa wasn't rounded up, dad would still be living in KL which meant that he wouldnt have met mum and there wouldn't be me....mathsparks! :roll:

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Postby jedamum » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:47 pm

Mathsparks,
perhaps if you change your thread to 'Our Grandparents' Stories', it can include history of how, many of our immigrant parents came to SG and their success stories or lessons.
JMHO.

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Postby mathsparks » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:00 pm

Good idea, jedamum. Done! But sound a bit like llls stories how?

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Postby jedamum » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:03 pm

mathsparks wrote: llls stories how?
:?

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Postby mathsparks » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:04 pm

You never hear before har? when people say dont tell grandparents' story they also mean get to the point. dont lo-li-lor-so.

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