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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Scrap Metal

by cambsaction

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Barry Freeman
Location of story: 
South Norwood
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
06 July 2005

When the war started Barry was nearly 10 years old and living in South Norwood, London. In his parents’ garden there was an Anderson Shelter, which was used nightly during air raids.

In the spring of 1940 Barry was evacuated to Berkshire where he stayed for a year.

Barry then travelled with his father, who worked for the Ministry of Works building army camps in Bletchley and Aylesbury. In 1943 he and his father went to Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset to ‘process’ scrap metal and railings for the war effort. His mother and new brother joined them there.

Hammer and acetylene cutters cut up the scrap metal on the cliffs at Wachett. David regularly went there with his father and watched anti-aircraft artillery units practice target shooting at towing Hawker Henley aircraft.

His relatives lived at nearby Padstow and were visited regularly.

At Delabolle, near Tintagel, Barry remembers watching experimental rocket firing from Swordfish aircraft.

Eventually the family moved to Beckenham, where his father was involved in building caissons for the Mulberry Harbour. During this time there were daylight strafing raids by German Me109’s and Fw 190’s.

After D-Day he travelled around the country with his father who advised on bomb damage repair.

Whilst living in Chiswick, Barry had 2 paper rounds and remembers being invited into people’s houses during air raids and drinking copious amounts of tea.

During one paper round he glanced at the headlines — it was VE Day

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