Derek Reynolds, lived in London during the war. He is 74 now, and lives in Canada. He reflects on what the Queen Mother's death meant to him.
I first heard the news while listening to CBC Radio. I must admit to being very emotionally touched by it.
As an old soldier and a wartime fighter, I feel a great
loss. A large chunk of my life has disappeared with this
dear lady’s death. She will long be remembered and revered.
Derek's original e-mail
I was born in Lambeth in the heart of London. In 1942 I became a messenger for the Air Raid Precautions service then joined the National Fire Service where I became a Leading Messenger and served through the fire bomb attacks of 1943 and the 'doodlebugs' [German V1 flying bombs] in 1944.
I lived in South London, then suffering the worst of these attacks. Raids by the V2 rockets followed in 1944-1945. I therefore saw much damage and death brought to my beloved city.
I have lived through the reign of four monarchs. I well remember the Queen Mother as Queen and King George VI during the war when they would seem to be part of us Londoners. I worked close to Buckingham Palace and everytime I passed the front of the Palace I would look up. If the Royal Standard was flying I knew all was well with the Kingdom.