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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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War experiences in London and Somerset

by cambsaction

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Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
cambsaction
People in story: 
Ron Lefort
Location of story: 
London and Somerset
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A7943808
Contributed on: 
21 December 2005

I was nearly 10 years old when war broke out and was living in Willsden. I heard the sirens going but didn’t know what it was about. They used to bring mobile guns around and there was a lot of shrapnel lying around in the streets. There were searchlights which lit up the sky at night and they used to machine gun down the beam In those days people were more united, they would all be together in the air raid shelters and people really looked after each other. Things have now changed and people are much more concerned about possessions.. I can remember the Air Raid Wardens and the Home Guard and that all the windows had to be blacked out. There were buzz bombs and when the engine stopped you knew it was going to land but you didn’t know where it would land. There were also V2 bombers which were silent ones.
Then I was evacuated to Somerset on my own. I was in the coal mining area of Somerset living with a family of miners. I was aged 11. At that time the coal mines didn’t have pithead baths and all the miners used to walk home covered in coal dust having worked up to their waists in water I went to the village school and to church, chapel and Sunday School.
I came back to London to work in the factory making trapdoors for army lorries. We were directed into our work what they called “ Direction of Labour” and if we were late for work we were suspended for three days .There were also land girls working in the factory. Looking back I would rather be living in those days because of the unity and the way people were united.

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