- Contributed by
- CSV Media NI
- People in story:
- Mr Biss, Mrs Biss,
- Location of story:
- Killyleagh, County Down, N. Ireland
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 11 November 2005
This story is by Anon, and has been added to the site with their permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions. The story was collected by Joyce Gibson, transcribed by Elizabeth Lamont and added to the site by Bruce Logan.
I lived in Killyleagh, County Down, with my parents and elder sister, and was four years old when the war was declared.
Food rationing remains quite vivid in my memory although we were not affected as much as those in Belfast. My father grew vegetables and fruit and had several hives of bees — so there was surplus honey and sugar.
When the German planes came over during the night, my father, who was a police sergeant, had to go on duty. My sister and I would have got into bed with our mother as we were very frightened.
Our bungalow was right down at the shore with a road and stretch of grass along the sea wall. It was on this grass that the American soldiers lived. When they got their rations they called at the houses with candy. How we looked forward to this! Sweet coupons were needed to buy sweets — we were blessed as one of my uncles had seven children, so they shared their sweet coupons and we sent them clothes when we had grown out of them.
At Killyleagh we had refugee children who moved into the district, also an extra teacher to assist. We were happy to have refugees from Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, all lovely people and very talented. The Uttitz family started the United Chrome Tanners in Shrigley, about a mile away. Mr Biss set up a business making leather handbags and belts — both these enterprises provided a log of employment. I remember Mrs Biss helping us to make dolls’ houses out of cardboard margarine boxes and furniture from match boxes. Mr Father was responsible for getting these folks their naturalization papers.
Out on Strangford Lough, a boat called the Alrada was anchored and was home to interned IRA prisoners. Food was taken out to them by a small boat.
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