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WW2 - People's War

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School/Child Life: In Nuneaton

by nuneatonlibrary

Contributed by 
nuneatonlibrary
People in story: 
told by Sally Hammersley from a member of the public who wishes to remain anonomous
Location of story: 
Hartshill South School
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A2733103
Contributed on: 
11 June 2004

School holidays as normal. At night she heard the planes going over and identified them with her friends as either British or German, identified by the noise of the plane. Gas masks were fitted and cocoa was drunk slowly as sirens would go off to tell them the planes were going over. When this happened they took shelter in the Anderson shelter or under the stairs if it wasn't too bad. Pets were a big concern in the eyes of the children as they may have been hurt. Children wanted to keep pets safe and take them to the shelters with them. Children picked rose hips at school for them to be made into rose hip syrup for babies as a supplimentary thing. Sweets were not a regular occurance as they weren't available. Hardly any fruit either due to rasioning. If queues were seen, people would automatically join them just in case food was being given away. Although food was scarce, people never went hungry.Further on in the war, there were a lot of prisoners around Nuneaton. As a child, you realised that the Germans were fighting for their country just like British men were.Children served German soldiers tea etc and then later on, when America joined the war, they served them too. Americans introduced children and adults to chewing gum. As soon as the convoy of Americans came through the streets the cry was "Got any gum chum?" as the soldiers were pleased to supply this to the children. When the war ended, they had street parties, bonfires, long tressled tables in the streets and large celebrations. Food was supplied too eg jelly for the children in celebration. Although we didn't know where all this food came from. To the children, mothers were miracle workers.

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Childhood and Evacuation Category
Rationing Category
Coventry and Warwickshire Category
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