Captain Dobbin, having retired from the
Then Captain Dobbin’s eye,
Over the flat and painted atlas-leaves
1984. My wife (Linda’s) grandfather, Popsie, lived out his last days in a nursing home in Sydney, the Summer Hill nursing home. We would visit him on slow Sunday afternoons, Linda, Matthew, the twins. The home was an old solid built mansion added onto and converted into an aged care ‘home’. You went up a wide flight of front steps. Inside was dark and smelly. Ghosts of old people propped up on hospital service beds stared from bedrooms. It all seemed regrettable but organised to us casual visitors. But to those who had to remain there, it was what they knew of as life. For a man who served in the Royal Navy and survived two world wars it must have been sometimes hard. Fred Johnson joined the Royal Navy on 24th July 1912. He was out in Africa in WWI and then in WWII survived the torpedoing of 'HMS Forfar' by the German U-boat, U-99. He settled in Australia in the 1960's and died in 1984.