All Our Yesterdays
David Jacobs the legendary disc jockey who played records for three generations died this week aged 87 . Unlike several of his famous fellow stars there seems to be no darker side. The old chap George who I see each week remembers him.
In August 1945 George and his unit having been away for three years and fought all the way up Italy and then been active in rounding up prisoners of war and restabilising order were on the way home. George did not see his daughter until she was three years old.
On the ship bringing them back from France George got out his accordion. “We were having a right old sing song, someone had smuggled on some wine, we were going home, we had won the war, we were having a good time”. “Bless ‘em all;There’ll be Blue Skies Over; Hitler he only had one;Roll Out the Barrel.”
Joining this party from the Royal Artillery was naval officer David Jacobs. “He was a good sort, nice voice, like us he had missed his family and was glad to be going home. Unlike us he had a job, with the BBC. We didn’t think anything of it. We were all lads on our way home.”
Fast forward thirty years and George is the maintenance manager at Wandsworth Town Hall. Its grand rooms were often used for up market wedding receptions. At one David Jacobs attended. George went up,said,”Do you remember me” Jacobs looked confused and shook his head. George reminded him. The party ended and George and his wife went up to their flat.
George liked his lie in on Sunday. But at 8.30 there was a sharp ring on the bell. He went down to tell whoever it was,the Town Hall was shut. But a uniformed courier asked,”Are you George Rough”, yes he said rubbing his eyes. “Then this is for you”, a bouquet, a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates. The note read” To the accordion player who made coming home all the better. Thanks. David J.”
George,91 caught a virus last week and could hardly speak. He is better now.