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"They forgot to tell me that war had been declared"

by Lancshomeguard

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Mrs Teresa Harford
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29 July 2005

This story has been submitted to the People's War website by Jenny Finch of the Lancshomeguard on behalf of Mrs Teresa Harford and added to the site with her permission.

I was one of fourteen children - thirteen girls and one boy we lived at Stable House Slade Street. My father was a general carrier and had forty five horses. Most of the cartage was done to and from the docks and those horses knew every pub along the dock road and would stop of their own accord at each hostelry. Many of the horses were blown up or badly injured as the dock area really took a battering. I remember when war broke out looking up at the sky at all the planes dozens and dozens of them then the bombing started and nobody had told me there was a war on.

I used to colour my legs with gravy salt due to the stocking shortage and one night as I stood at the corner awaiting a date with my future husband and a dog licked one leg clean before relieving itself on the other-what a fashion disaster. I was married at sixteen and had to get my Dad to give his consent—I remember he couldn’t sign quick enough—but he gave me away to a very good man —I suppose I was a war bride-a very happy one.
When St Bridgets was bombed I lost four cousins and I remember the ARP men digging frantically trying to get the bodies out. These latest events in Iraq and London have brought the horror of it all flooding back-I couldn’t go through it all again.

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