My name is Robert James Franks, the title of my book of memoirs is "Franks For The Memory". I decided to write my story about when I was serving in the London Fire Brigade in order to record some of the varied emergency calls that I attended which included many horrific incidents which remain indelibly imprinted within my memory cells. I retired from the London Fire Brigade in December 1985 and began to produce my manuscript during 1986. Having completed some of my fire brigade experiences I put my manuscript away for a time. Because I enjoyed writing about my life as a fire-fighter, I decided to add more chapters of my life to my story.
I joined the army just before my 18th birthday and completed three years in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. Not a very good move, not my kind of life, therefore I didn't enjoy it very much. When I left the army I vowed never to get a job where I had to wear a uniform again, that vow didn’t last very long.
I added my army memoirs to my manuscript as a lead-up to my fire brigade experiences, it then occurred to me then that I was writing my book back to front. Once again I put my writings away for another lengthy period until I decided to write about my earliest memories which included my schooldays living with air raids during the 1939-1945 Second World War, followed by leaving school aged 15 and starting my first job. I added that as a lead-up to joining the army. By writing that phase of my life I had arrived at the beginning of my life story, so once again I put my manuscript away for a time.
Having purchased a parcel of land while I was still in the fire brigade I began to enjoy some life changing experiences mostly in the form of hobbies such as beekeeping, pottery and wrought iron work but what I enjoyed the most was raising a few farm animals, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks which I found to be an extremely interesting way of life in the countryside, after living and working in built-up areas for most of my life.
Finally after a few years had passed I decided that I was at an age that I could justify the phrase “A lifetime of memories” so to complete my memoirs I began to put on record some happy family occasions, hoping that a distant relative sometime in the future may be interested in their ancestry and have the opportunity to read my book , just to let them know that I once existed.
26 years after I began putting pen to paper I inserted my last full stop. That was on the 28th August 2012, my 76th birthday.