At my German family's home in a small town near Frankfurt, I was sometimes allowed to play in the garden.
To do so I had to slip past the prisoner's cells which were on the ground floor of the same building, containing I don't know who.
They could have been ordinary criminals, or those who were to be sent off to the labour camps. I slithered past, hoping they wouldn't break down their bars and do me in.
Instead they just looked mournfully at me, silent and contemplating their fate, whatever it was.
My own fate was to learn the excitement of exploring the bombed houses all around us. The big thing was to look for old bicycle tubes made of rubber.
A small factory full of them had been hit by a British bomb and the tubes could be found on walls and in trees all over Fulda.
That supplied material for a good game - making little tanks out of cotton reels, propelled by the rubber bands that you could cut very easily off the end of each tube.
I thought maybe I could sell some of these small rolling machines, because my mother and the rest of us had very little to eat, and I hoped - by now aged five - that I could make a little money and feed us.
It didn't come to anything.
Instead more and more homes around me were bombed, with beds and tables sliding down off the blasted-open floors in the streets around.
One day, rooting about in the rough area I found some mushrooms, and I was so hungry that I took a nibble of one of them.
'Mmmm,' I guess I thought, in German. 'Very nutty'. After eating one or two more I took some in to my mother to share the bounty.
Panic. This was mother in a flurry of telephoning, rushing me to hospital and telling me how terrible it would be if I died.
Fair enough, I thought.
However the doctor knew his mushrooms, and no - it was not poisonous.
So, with bombed houses appearing more and more often around us, after great blasts we heard in our bomb shelters, the war dragged on.
I longed to see my father over in England, whom I'd last seen when I was aged six weeks.
But the day we all saw the Americans advancing down the road, giving out gum - well that seemed to me the moment where finally meeting him might actually become a reality.
All over Europe the dispossessed were given back their lands, their buildings, their dignity.
i'd never been fed any Nazi rubbish about England - but as a six-year-old I was told I had to behave myself and not be a bother to anyone.
My mother knew her English language very well, since she had been an English-German translator when she met my father, Charles Mayhew, while he was a visiting opera star in Munich before the war.
Both sides in the war didn't have the heart to promise their children very much at all by the time the war ended, and all those lives had been lost.
My mother was allowed to keep her English passport throughout.
That made it easy to approach the Red Cross and through them the first letters from my father came to us, saying he was longing to see us both.
That was Europe, then, with millions just longing to see each other after familes had been torn asunder.
Soon we made the big journey - touching down in a military plane at Northolt airport where my father, big and in his heavy tweed coat, hugged us.
I had to take a sip of whisky from his hip flask because everyone was scared of flying and it was seen as a huge shock to the system.
But I hugged back, and soon we followed my father to his singing engagements round England, where we met theatrical types staying in the same towns, from George Formby to Arthur Askey.
As I started going to school I found that not speaking much English and having a strong German accent was a cue for those who wanted to take out the woes of the country on anyone that was different. I was the demon, come to the playground, for a few hard years.
But things got easier, and within a little over ten years I became a young National Service officer in the Rifle Brigade and went off to keep nasty people down over on the border between the Soviet Union and - poetic justice - Germany, naturally.
The misery went on for years for everyone of course. However we all pushed on through, as we all understand very well - particularly on this yearly Remembrance Sunday of ours.