During World War II, my father Eduard Gaillard, although Belgian, was conscripted into the British Army to serve with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
During the early 40’s the REME were stationed in Gilford. Some of the men, including my father, appear to have been based at the rear of where the current Library stands today. Many of the army vehicles were kept there.
It was at this time that he met my mother Sadie Hamill from Madden Road, Gilford. They were later married and had three children – my brother Leon, myself Armand and sister Julienne, and the family moved to Wembley, London. However, during the famous ‘London Blitz’, while my father served with his Unit in France, my mother, concerned for our safety, brought us all back to Gilford.
After the War, my father resumed his career as a renowned ballet dancer, dancing with the Royal Ballet Company in London. He was the principal dancer in the famous film ‘The Red Shoes’ and went on to establish his own ballet company – The Minerva, touring extensively throughout the British Isles and Europe. He died after a brief illness, in London, at the age of 80.