This is a story about one way in which blogging has changed the world - a small way, but still. A couple of days ago I get an email from a reader in Vancouver. He says that his father is Jack Ferera and Jack wonders whether my father is Jack Geras, who would have been in the 6th South African Armoured Division in a tank regiment during World War II. This is indeed my old boy: as I blogged here on the 60th anniversary of D-Day, my Dad was in North Africa and then Italy; he was the radio operator in a Sherman tank, in a Rhodesian tank squadron in the aforesaid regiment.
I email back to this effect. It turns out that Jack Ferera was in the same squadron as Jack Geras. He is 10 years younger - now 83 to my Dad's 93 - and the two of them have not seen one another since being demobbed in 1945. Jack F sends the names of other guys he remembers. I ring my Dad: yes, he remembers Jack, and he remembers A, and also B; about C he is more hesitant - oh, but possibly. 'Is it OK for me to give Jack Ferera your phone number?' 'Of course.'
After 60 years Jack Ferera in Vancouver will be phoning Jack Geras in London. As he is about to pass through London, he wants to arrange a meeting. His son writes:
He wants me to tell you that he is so looking forward to this and he is so thrilled at the coincidence, he can't help but smile all day thinking about it.