A cruel twist of fate

Lisa Harding, with her parents Fred and Sandy Harding. [Pic: Lisa Harding]

I’ve met the photographer and illustrator Lisa Harding on a few occasions at events in Lincolnshire. Although originally from London, she’s now based in Coningsby and has a fine range of pictures on her website.

She also follows the Dambusters Blog on Twitter, so I was shocked yesterday when scrolling through a bunch of recent notifications to read this:


Lisa was interviewed last week on her local radio station Lincs FM (the full text of the piece is here) and told the horrendous story of how both her parents died of Covid-19 within six days, just before they were due to get their vaccinations.

“If you’re offered the jab, take it.
It’s not just to protect you, it’s to protect your elderly parents, the vulnerable people around you.
I’m so proud of the vaccination programme that we’ve done.
It’s brilliant seeing all these people get their vaccinations, looking forward to a normal future, whatever that may be.
But it’s tinged with sadness that it came too late for my Mum and Dad.
If others can get the benefit of the vaccine and continue living their lives, it means all these other lives weren’t in vain.
Get your vaccine, take it with both hands.
When you do, you can hug your parents.
I can never do that again.”

My heartfelt condolences to Lisa. But please, please, take notice of what she says. Grab the chance of getting the vaccine with both hands – it’s not just to protect you, it’s to protect everyone around you.

This last year has been the cruellest in my lifetime, and the months ahead will be no less dangerous. We must do all we can to stay safe for however long it takes for the catastrophe to pass. For those of us lucky enough not to have lost a loved one, there will be better days ahead.

Lisa’s Twitter feed



Garshowitz and Garbas parents meet at Dam Busters screening

Pics: Garshowitz family

I’ve written before about the pre-war friendship of two young men from Hamilton, Ontario, Albert Garshowitz and Frank Garbas, who died together on the Dams Raid. They joined the RCAF separately, but met in England in the latter stages of training and were both in Bill Astell’s crew in AJ-B. On the flight to the Möhne Dam, the aircraft crashed near Marbeck after hitting a pylon, and all on board were killed.

Here is evidence of how their families bonded in the sad aftermath of the war, in two items kindly supplied by Hartley Garshowitz, Albert’s nephew. They show, as the newspaper caption says, both of Albert’s parents and Frank’s father at a cinema screening of the 1955 film.