A Celebration of My Dad’s Life

John Anthony Shipperlee, whom we all know as “Tony”, was born in Leigh-on-sea, Essex, on 12th January, 1921. He was an only-child with an enthusiastic and adventurous spirit, whose loving parents encouraged him to play the piano, sing in the boy’s choir and join the boy scouts, where he was a drummer in the band and participated in numerous Drumhead parades in the Oxford area. Athletically inclined, his favorite sport at Southfield School was rugby and he was also an avid train spotter, but his artistic talent was undeniable. He loved to draw and he was rarely without a sketch pad, or far from his easel and paints. Continue reading →

Snap Decisions at Fareham – a Train Story

Happy Armistice Day!

I thought this would be a good time to share another of my Dad’s WWII stories for anyone that might have an interest. All of his stories are either handwritten or typed on an old fashioned typewriter, then mailed to me from England or Australia, usually along with a cover letter such as this one:

“Just the anecdote about the train affair in March 1944. Not a great war-winning event, but a rather unusual experience and reflection of what one of your children’s ancestors used to be like, since they still seem interested in these things. The one thing that appears different to me on reading it myself {from the days in 1944} is that then I felt very adult, confident, experienced and mature, but now I realize that I was only 23 years and 2 months – surprise to me at this ripe old age!
Love, Dad”
Continue reading →

A Night of the Portsmouth Blitz

Tomorrow is Father’s Day 2016 and my thoughts wander across the Atlantic to my Dad, now 95 years “young” and a widower since last year.  He is coping remarkably well with the help and support of some of the most loving, caring friends and daily care givers.

I am comforted to know Dad lives in a rare community where people know their neighbors, shop keepers, postal workers and so many more. And not only do they know each other by name, but they truly care … they live out God’s commandment of “love your neighbor.” They are hands on and quick to volunteer.

I am so grateful and so inspired by the spirit of love and generosity that envelops my Dad. Thank you Lord!

So as I cogitate on all this, my mind gravitates to our safe wherein lies a buff-colored folder with a selection of stories typed up by my Dad in bygone days. Stories that I’ve read and put away for safe keeping.  Last year I published one and this weekend, I share this next one in honor of my Dad and Father’s Day. Continue reading →

Just One Other Passenger

Hi Everyone!  Today is Memorial Day and a fitting day for me to post the first of a series of my Dad’s stories from his WWII days. My Dad served as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm, a branch of the British Royal Navy.

Just One Other Passenger: by J.A. Shipperlee

Tony - UniformcropWhen a very young, inexperienced, extremely new and junior officer, I was proceeding from the Portsmouth area on a brief visit to Oxford bearing an official rail pass issued by the Navy. Reaching one of the local stations, I found the Basingstoke & London train already at the platform and ready to depart. So I hurried to a 1st Class carriage (as entitled by the 1st class pass), opened the door of one of the six- seat compartments, pushed my case onto the floor and mounted the step into the compartment. Quickly I lifted the case up onto the rack and turned to sit in a spacious, comfortable seat beside a window. Continue reading →