Joanna Bristow Watkins

75thAnniversaryOfEndOfWWII

  • Friday 8th May, 75th Anniversary of VE Day - personal stories

    Alec Bristow in uniform 1940 croppedFriday 8th May is a Bank Holiday in the UK (replacing the early May Bank Holiday Monday this year). It commemorates the 75th Anniversary of VE Day which marked the end of World War Two within Europe. If lockdown is still happening it will probably feel like every other day for most people! 

    This isn't typical of one of my Harmony Healing Blogs, but I do have personal family stories of relevance, should any readers be interested.

    My late father Alec Bristow (pictured right), was an RAF Pilot Officer during WWII and, having crash landed off the coast of France in November 1942, he was interrogated by the Gestapo and spent the rest of the war as a POW (Prisoner of War). 

    From December 1942, was in Stalag Luft III, which was a special high security POW camp for airmen, because they were so ingenious at escape attempts. In fact, he was involved with what later became known as The Great Escape on 24th March 1944 in which 76 men escaped through a tunnel intended to get out at least 200. The feat was immortalised in the 1963 Hollywood blockbuster featuring Steve McQueen and other superstars of the day. Men who spoke German and other languages fluently were given priority as they had a better chance of making it alive through enemy territory. Dad learned some German in the POW camp but his escape number was over 100 so he wasn't in the tunnel when it was discovered. 

    Months later, in late January 1945, all the prisoners were suddenly evacuated from the camp on a forced march because the Russians were only 30 miles away. All the POWS (and the guards) had been on meagre rations for sometime and were given just an hour to pack as much as they could carry of their possessions and food to last them for an unknown duration. They left at 1.15am, it was -25°C with brilliant moonlight on the snow.  They tramped 63 kilometres in 41 hours including only 15 hours rest in a barn, humping a heavy load under the most difficult conditions.  Alec described himself as completely and utterly exhausted. By the time they were loaded onto cattle trucks (38 men to each truck in pitch dark), they had walked 96km (60 miles) in three days. Many had fallen sick by the wayside with pneumonia, pleurisy, frostbite and old injuries re-asserting themselves. Eventually they reached Marlag und Milag Nord (Tarnstedt) sometime in early February.  .

    Lines Written in the Sunshine, Fl/Lt Alec Bristow, Tarnstedt 25/3/45 
    Sing on sweet lark, delight me with your music
    Your freedom holds the essence of our dreams
    High o'er my captive soul, you preach of beauty
    Winging it back to England - shady streams
    and other glories sacrificed for duty

    Towards the end of April, they were forced to march again, this time to Lubeck.  En route, several POWs were accidentally killed by RAF strafing(machine gun fire from low flying aircraft). Each day they were receiving news that more cities had been captured by the allies, the end of the war seemed close. German 'hausfraus' were sympathetic and helpful, often happy to exchange eggs, hot water and even hot wine, for cigarettes, coffee and fragments of chocolate. At last, on 2nd May, he was liberated by the 11th Armoured Division.  

    He eventually arrived back in the UK on 7th May 1945, so the day before VE Day 75 years ago. Not surprisingly, he valued his freedom, and the freedom of others regardless of their nationality, right up until he died in 1990.

    Violet Rampton wedding to Ken Watkins 5th Feb 1944My mother-in-law, Violet Watkins (nee Rampton), aged 97 and now living in Woking remembers VE Day with mixed feelings. She was 16 when WWII broke out and married Ken mid-war on 5th February 1944 (see image left).  Ken was a high-speed telegrapher in the RAF, specialising in Morse Code.  He was working in Exhibition Road, which she says was 'a tuppenny bus ride from where I lived in North Kensington.  

    Her two youngest brothers, Ron (now 92) and Vic (now 87), who both now live with their wives in Plymouth, had been evacuated to Nailsea after the Blitz and she spent a few months down there too but couldn’t wait to get back to London.  

    From the end of April 1945, she knew the War was coming to a close with the daily announcements of new victories, the trial and execution of Mussolini, Adolf Hitler’s suicide followed by the demise of many other Nazi leaders. 

    She recalls “I spent VE Day partying in Piccadilly Circus with my older brother FredTrafalgar Square was pulsating with dancing and singing, and everyone was hugging and kissing each other. I was hugely relieved that Ken would be in less danger with the War ended, and that Ron and Vic could return to London and would be spared conscription onto active duty.  But there was sadness and regret for all the lost friends and family who’d died during the last 6 years and my older brother Charlie was still fighting in Burma, so of course I was worried for him.

    Although Violet saysChurchill’s speeches were always a great inspiration, she can't remember his victory speech at all (a wonder she can recall much at 97) and she later heard that the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were severely reprimanded for going along and mingling with the crowd, but she didn’t see them.

    By commemorating the brave actions of our ancestors and predecessors, we hope nurture a sense of gratitude and connection with our history, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, Joanna offers distant intuitive readings (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing shares. We also have meditations available.

    A number of virtual courses are now ready and starting this month, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events. Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. We don't recommend giving a reading or healing to another person, without first checking whether it would be welcomed.

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is  (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

  • Thursday 11th November, Armistice Day

    11 Nov armistice dayThursday 11th November is Armistice Day to commemorate all those who died in World War 1 and 2. Poppies are traditionally used for this. The event is marked every year on the 11th November date itself but a bigger commemoration takes place on the nearest Sunday; this year Remembrance Day is Sunday 14th November. 

    I personally see this as an opportunity for a very cathartic release of all the sorrow, grief and disappointment for the thousands of families who were directly affected by WWI and the souls of all the millions who died, especially those whose bodies were never repatriated to their homelands. It's a pertinent day to undertake a meditation and send our love and gratitude to these people who selflessly gave up their lives.

    11 Nov 11 11 portalWe also have the annual 11:11 Energy Portal. With many people worldwide recognising the 11th November as a powerful date, this, in itself, will create a heightened energy on the day. The effect of a high number of people all having positive expectations on the same date, due to the impact of quantum physics, will make it even more significant. 

    I will be offering a low key 11:11 event in Surrey (Guildford/Shere) with a few locals (contact me if you live locally and would like to join similar events) but if you want to positively mark the occasion, simply sit or lie down at 11 am (or pm) for 15 mins, thus spanning 11.11 on the clock, and imagine holding hands with other healers, lightworkers & positive thinkers  all over the world. Send love & gratitude to all those who gave their lives selflessly in mankind's many wars, and imagine a safe world for all of us to look forward to living in. ?

    Poignantly, three years ago was 100 years since the end of World War One, making it an even grander occasion. I marked 11th November 2018 by visiting the 'Beyond the Deepening Shadow' flame installation in the Moat of the Tower of London.  This year it will be 103 years since the end of WWI and 76 years since the end of World War II, athough it happened earlier in 1945 than November.

    Rob Heard, a talented Somerset based artist, created 72,396 shrouded calico figures, one to represent each member of the British and Commonwealth forces who died during the battle of the Somme (which raged for several months from 1st July 2016) and whose bodies have never been recovered or who has no known marked grave. Whilst their names are engraved on the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) managed Thiepval Memorial, near the Somme battleground in northern France, some surviving relatives are seeing this as an opportunity to symbolically bring home the body of their loved one(s). See my YouTube video about the Shrouds and an interview with Rob himself.

    It took Rob 4 years to create these figures and, for the centenary, they were displayed in an artistic installation at South Park Lawn, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (near Stratford, London) - see a video of Rob creating the figures and the installation being set up. More details here: Queen Elizabeth Park Shrouds of the Somme. After the exhibition closed, the shroud figures were made available to purchase, see Rob's Shrouds of the Sommewebsite for details.

    Traditional festivals like this helped communities to feel connected, bringing balance and harmony into people's lives. 

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is on Thursday 18th November at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT +1). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (small admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    During these monthly sessions, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of my work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme. And, most importantly, it's a step towards making a difference to the global predicament.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing, to bring balance and harmony. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) has been modularised so that Level One (introduction) is now available to complete online as 3 units. All the units can be taken alone but together make up the RSE 1 syllabus. The below modules commence a new cycle and run on UK evenings for six consecutive Wednesday evenings, also offering US friendly afternoon time slots.

    Khemitology (£88) = 1  unit, 3 x 2¼-hour Wednesday sessions, 7.15 - 9.30pm (UK time = GMT), 10th (now started, but late starters can be accommodated), 17th & 24th November. Missed sessions can be caught up by watching video recordings. For details and to book, see Khemitology.

    Mindful Alignment with your 11-chakras and Axiatonal Awakening £66) = ½  unit, 3 x 2¼-hour Wednesday sessions, 7.15 - 930pm (UK time = GMT), 1st, 8th and 15th December. For details and to book, see Mindful Chakra Balancing & Unity Consciousness 

    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing+ Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    Other services

    Reyad Sekh Em® is an ultra high vibration healing system combining ancient Egyptian philosophies, alchemy, angelic elemental healing rays, sound vibration, sacred breathing and etheric crystalline energies. The next series starts with Khemitology on 10th November, for three Wednesdays, then Mindful Chakra Balancing & Unity Consciousnesson 1st December for a further three consecutive Wednesday evenings.

    If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucher for a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    Joanna offers distant intuitive readings  (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing circles. We also have meditations available.

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is  (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.