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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Time off for blackberry picking!

by cambsaction

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Leslie Chennells
Location of story: 
Hemel Hempstead area
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
18 August 2005

[This story was submitted to the People’s War site by a volunteer from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on behalf of Leslie Chennells and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr Chennells fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.]

Father was killed just a half-mile from home. He had had a break-down of some sort before the war and couldn’t join up. He became an ARP but was hit by a bomb and killed.

Mother had to go to work so our grandma brought us up instead — in King’s Langley. I was born in October 1939 and this was the autumn of 1944. We had relatives at Woolwich Arsenal. Our cousin used to come and stay to get a break from all the bombing. Her name was Bonny. We went out black-berry picking — she took her basket and we went to local farmers’ fields. The siren went off — probably for doodle bugs. Bonny was used to running to an air raid shelter. “Where will we go,“ she said, because there weren’t any buildings near us. “Don’t be silly, I said.” “Who’s going to bomb us?”
I was nearly 5. When I was at the nursery school, if the siren went off we just used to crawl under the tables — there was no where else.

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