Nathaniel Joe Stracey was born in 1891 in the village of Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire, England, but had moved to East Finchley, north London by the time he was twenty. There he married my grandmother, Esther May Cullip, and had three children. An ordinary man, he lived through extraordinary times. He served in World War One in Mesopotamia and India and lost his eldest son to the Second World War. He first worked as a gardener and then became a postman. He retired in 1957 when he received the Imperial Service Medal for 'long and meritorious service'. Joe died in East Finchley in 1961, aged 70.
|This is a teenage Joe, looking very smart and with a flower in his|
lapel. He appears to be attending a wedding, although, as he got
married when he was 23, I don't believe this was taken at his own
marriage ceremony. He looks far too young.
|A very relaxed Joe with puttees on his legs and his pith|
helmet by his feet. This photo was taken in either
Mesopotamia or India.
|In 1935 Joe became a postman, a job he held until his|
retirement in 1957. Here he is standing proudly outside
his home in East Finchley, with Esther May in the
background, with his bike and postbag.
|This photo was probably taken around 1940. Although|
their expressions are serious, it's a relaxed photo with
my dad resting his hand on his father's knee.
|Happy and at ease in the late 1940s.|
|Joe died in 1961, aged 70. He died in the house|
he'd lived in for the last 40 years. Esther May
followed him eight years later.