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WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
Leicestershire Library Services - Market Harborough Library
People in story: 
Tom Ashmore
Location of story: 
Cambridge
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4079810
Contributed on: 
17 May 2005

[This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Margaret Collinge of Leicestershire Library Services on behalf of Tom Ashmore and has been added to the site with his permission.The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.]

Mrs Stanley had heard that the daughter of a friend of hers in Burton-on-Trent was in Cambridge, living in digs at an address which happened to be just down the road. “I have invited Sheila to tea on Sunday”, Mrs Stanley told Peter and I, who were her lodgers, “and she is bringing the two girls who are living with her”, she added.

Sounds interesting, we thought.

It turned out that we were all in Cambridge due to the “Exigencies of War”. Peter and I were students of Queen Mary College, London University that, like other colleges, had been evacuated from the capital. Sheila, Nora and Joan were on a Ministry of Supply course learning to be Ordnance Factory lab technicians. Later I could truthfully say that I had been at university at Cambridge and they could boast that they had worked in the famous Cavendish Laboratories!

The girls finished their two-year course and disappeared. Peter and I got our degrees at the end of the wartime two-year course and were called up immediately, he to the RAF, me to the Army. Like so many brief wartime friendships I lost touch with them all. Until, months later, posted to Greenford, Middlesex, I remembered that one of the girls came from the London area and that I had kept her address.

Joan and I celebrated our Diamond Wedding anniversary in July 2004.

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