"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana
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"1936 was a terrible year, for my mother's family. I've told this story before, but it bears telling again, I think.
"In the late spring, in a space of less than a fortnight, two of the six children lost their lives as a result of contracting diptheria, in an epidemic that raged in the foetid slum housing of the mining town where they lived.
"My mother's four-year-old brother succumbed first, alone, in a bed in the isolation ward of the local fever hospital, his father looking on, punching the glass wall in despair, forbidden to hold him as he died.
"His-six year-old daughter died a few days later, shortly after making her first holy communion - a source of some comfort perhaps, if there was any, to my devoutly Catholic grandmother."