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- Edna McMahon
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- 15 September 2004
Before the war I worked at the Lewis’s Shoe Factory in Northampton. We lived in Tanner Street, near the gasworks, in Northampton. When the sirens went, we used to run through the meadows and shelter under the railway arches. We had to take our gas masks. My mother used to tell the dog to shut up in case the German pilots heard him! Once there was a stick of bombs were dropped in Jimmy’s End, for many years after the war kids used to play in the bomb craters, this went on until St Peters Way road was built in the 1970s.
In 1940 my friend (Beatrice) and I decided that we would like to join the forces, so we joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).
We signed on and were sent to Leicester for a 6 week basic training course. We were then posted to Purbright Camp in Surrey, this was the base for the Brigade of Guards, and there were Scots, Welsh and Irish Guards there. My duties were to serve the food in the Guardsmen’s mess.
We spent our time off in the village of Bookwood, in a café on the square.
I was stationed at Purbright Camp for two and a half years, and then I was sent to the Horse Guard barracks in London. We lived in a house at Knightsbridge in central London. I was terrified when the bombers came over London.
At the end of the war I was demobbed and paid £40. I still live in the house in Tanner Street where I was brought up.
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