BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

Diamond Italians!

by CovWarkCSVActionDesk

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Barrie Hawker
Location of story: 
Binley, Coventry
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
05 June 2005

I was about four in 1942, but I can remember the Italian P.O.W reparing the roads in my village Binley, Coventry. They used to follow the big old steam rollers down the road, and fill the holes in the road. They were so distinctive because of the big diamonds shaped patches sown onto their trousers!

I can remember the Victory Parade through Binley as well, it's a bit vague, but I can picture the pipe band playing as they marched through the village with thir line props and singing "We're gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried line"!

I was evacuated once from my house on Abbey Cottages because there was an un-exploded bomb behind the houses. We were fast asleep, and the next thing I knew my Mother was bundling myself and my two brothers into a pram and pushed us up to my Grannies house further down the road to get to saftey! I was too young to be afraid.

We didn't have an Anderson Shelter in our back yard, but we had a steel shelter in the front room, which looked like a big steel table with mesh on all sides, us kids had to sleep in there at night time incase a bomb fell on the house during the night. It was called a Henderson Shelter, I think!

I can remember the Army Barracks which was just on the outskirts of binley it was like an anti aircraft base, I can remember the sound of the guns going off when they were over Coventry.

We used to go to the soldiers Christmas party that they gave for the kids of the village. I can remember them training and marching. The camp was where Deerdale Way is now.

I can remember after the war when we used to go into the camp, on the gunsites it was like a silhouette of Coventry drawn onto the site.

I can remember the American lorries coming through the village, the soldiers used to throw sweets and chewing gum for the children, we thought that they were marvelous.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Childhood and Evacuation Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy