- Contributed by
- Wakefield Libraries & Information Services
- People in story:
- Location of story:
- South Kirkby, West Yorkshire
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 November 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Christine Wadsworth of Wakefield Libraries and Information Services on behalf of Margaret of South Elmsall and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
We had to go to an old school in South Kirkby to get our gas masks. I tried mine on and couldn’t breathe, it was absolutely awful. We were given a box to carry it in, but if you were lucky enough to be able to afford it, you could buy a leather handbag style one to carry it in.
Dad was in the RAF. When there were air raids we regularly went in our next door neighbours house and we always had a cup of cocoa. I often wished we didn’t have to go in.
Because of rationing we had no choice of cheese, it was hard cheese and that was it! Fish and chips weren’t rationed. We went blackberrying, picking rhubarb and broccoli.
We got news about the war when we went to the pictures — we always thought that we’d win! We listened to Tommy Handley and ITMA on the wireless.
My Mother had phlebitis and thrombosis and my sister, rheumatic fever, so I was left at eleven years old to do the washing using rubbing boards and tubs.
Sometimes I walked miles and miles around Askern and Campsall with jam and bread to eat and a bottle of water to drink. Out in the open air I felt safe.
We had evacuees staying in my area, some people were good to them, others were bad.
Three women came from London and moved in next door, to work in the sewing factory. They all looked alike, thin, wearing dark clothes and hats. Years later I went on a trip to London and met those same ladies in a park.
One day in school a girl was crying in the cloakroom and I asked her why. She said that France has fallen and I thought well so what! I didn’t realise the significance nor the problems this would cause.
There were no iron gates, nor railings all had been taken to use for the war effort. If a chink of light was showing the light warden came and knocked at your door.
We were on double summertime which meant that it was light until midnight, this was to allow the farmers to get their crops in.
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