Home » From Cairo

From Cairo

Available now in paperback and ebook at Amazon sites worldwide

Read Chapter 1 Philip 2023 Chianni

Read Chapter 2  Claude 1945 Cairo

Read Chapter 3 Claude 1948 Aden


Introduction Video

Author’s Note

When I was eleven, I found a silk bag filled with old letters. Curiosity got the better of me, and I secretly read them. Fifty years later, my sister gave me those letters, and I again read of a time in my parents’ lives, long ago, before their marriage. She was living in London, and he was in Aden and later Asmara.

My parents’ letters, the first dated 1949, started as pen pals before evolving from words of friendship to those of love. The letters concluded in 1952 with my dad, Claude, making his first visit to England to marry his sweetheart, my mum, Jean.

Recently my Aunt Meg sent me a photograph of a man I never knew, and who died in 1954. The back is inscribed, “Father – to you, I owe my existence and my life. I have loved you during my life & I love you more now that you are gone – Please forgive me for the suffering that you received by loving me.”

The man who wrote these words died sixty years after his father. He was my Uncle Ronnie.

They were cousins, Claude and Ronnie, born in Cairo between the wars. Children of a unique era. Their destinies followed wide yet parallel paths. Over several months, I found myself digging deeper into their lives. People and places I thought I knew were revisited, and my family history was explored, exposed and rewritten.