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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Diamond Italians!

by CovWarkCSVActionDesk

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
CovWarkCSVActionDesk
People in story: 
Barrie Hawker
Location of story: 
Binley, Coventry
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4155509
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.

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