Waters’ lifelong search for father ends
Pink Floyd icon Roger Waters has written a personal poem of thanks to a war veteran who ended his lifelong search for his father.
Lieutenant Eric Fletcher Waters was killed in World War II – But that’s all his son ever knew about the dad he never met, and his sense of loss has inspired much of his creative output, including 1979 Floyd masterpiece The Wall.
He’s admitted in the past to being “very angry” about having grown up without a father figure, and continues to support veteran activities, including inviting fans to submit photos of their family war dead for inclusion in recent live performances of The Wall.
Now 93-year-old Harry Shindler, who’d never heard of the band until he met Waters at a veterans’ memorial event, has followed a paper trail which resulted in his discovery that Lieutenant Eric died around 11.30am on February 18, 1944 during the Allied landings at Anzio, Italy, in a once-open field that’s now the centre of the town of Aprilia.
Shindler – who himself fought at Anzio – tells The Guardian: “Waters didn’t know where his dad was killed. But nobody had lifted a finger. I knew there had to be a war diary, but I never thought it had been kept for 70 years.
“I’m talking to the council in Aprilia about unveiling a plaque and holding a ceremony next February 18, to which Waters could come.”
The musician wrote the poem, entitled One River, and gave it to Shindler with the inscription: “To Harry with gratitude.”
The old soldier says: “He might think his war is over now.”