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by cornwallcsv

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Richard DAVIES, Amy DAVIES (nee LUMBORG), Richard DAVIES Snr
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
01 November 2005

This story has been written on to the BBC People's War site by CSV Storygatherer Pamela Barnett - Callington U3A - on behalf of Richard Davies. They fully understand the terms and conditions of the site.


My name is Richard Davies and I was born in 1939 just prior to the War and obviously I was a young child then. I don’t have very many memories but with a little bit of help some of them are coming back. My father’s name was Richard Davies. My mother’s name was Amy Davies, nee Lumborg. This was a name which was unfortunately associated with the other side so they had to change one of the vowels from ‘e’ to ‘o’ so that it was more likely a Norwegian name than a German one.

I can remember about my father, Richard Davies, senior, who worked at Shotton Steel Works. He was obviously in a reserved occupation and couldn’t go to war but, like a lot of other men, he did the ARP watching and all the rest of it. On several occasions, he was drafted over to Liverpool to help in the evacuation of the people who had been bombed out. I can recall on many, many occasions, I’d gone to bed in a single bed and when I work up the next morning, there’d be an unknown child top-to-toe with me. Who they were, I don’t know, but my mother’s was obviously some kind of transit house so that they could get these poor people out of Liverpool in their bad situation and on to rural Wales.

One of the little items I can think about is that unlike lots of the town people and city dwellers who were struggling for food or the basic necessities, we were rather luckier. I can recall that when the local farmer slaughtered a pig, he gave my mother some suet and I woke up one night with this what to me was an awful smell. My mother was rendering this suet down and at the time, I felt rather unwell, but later on when we had new chips, which everybody else didn’t have, this was absolutely fantastic. My mates thought my mother was wonderful.

One of the other memories was that because we were in an airbase as well, which was Sealand airbase, we had Canadian airmen billeted with us on occasions. I can recall that we had a very old radio and these airmen had brought a pair of — well, I presume they were earphones — from one of their aeroplanes they were using and they connected them to this radio and I was allowed to listen on these earphones while everybody else was talking. This experience that is commonplace today where you have the earphones on, but a rarity at that time.

One other thing associated with these Canadian airmen was that they used to get food parcels from their own parents and families and subsequently, when they came back to the billet, my mother’s place, they would have chocolate and that was absolutely delicious. At the time I didn’t realise rationing was on, because Mum always provided us with everything, until we had these chocolates. The other thing I can remember was a great big, check, plaid jacket that someone had given to me and, once again, I was the bee’s knees in the local school.

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