Great Uncle Willy

(4 minute read)

While discussing courage, Alistair Barkhouse shared the story of his Great Uncle Willy with me.  In Alistair’s words …

“My Great Uncle Willy has been an inspiration of courage to my family.  Growing up he was always a source of cheeky, quiet entertainment to my cousins, siblings and me.  He had a great way of keeping us amused and seeing the lighter side of life – he could find a joke in every situation.  Sitting quietly in the corner of the room at family gatherings – he simply got on with life with a cheeky grin.  You would never have known that behind that grin were experiences that most of us couldn’t imagine.  He simply got on with things without fuss; an approach that required levels of resilience and courage that are genuinely inspiring.  He penned the attached account of an incident in World War II whilst he was a merchant seaman.  He never spoke of this – and only after a lot of encouragement from his sisters (my grandmother & great aunt) did he think it worthy to write down.  The matter-of-fact account is typical of his stoic approach to life and it’s inspiring to me to read about his genuine gratitude to those whom he encountered in the story and upon reflection, everyone in his life.”

The attached document is the story of the WWII incident that Alistair mentions; in
Great Uncle Willy’s words …

Willy MacIntosh – Story from WWII


Photo: California Star; Allan C. Green Collection

Courage shows up in many different ways.  Alistair, thanks for sharing your reflections and those of your Great Uncle Willy.



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