- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Harold and Nellie Cock
- Location of story:
- Rough Lee Lancashire
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 27 May 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War Website buy Anne Wareing of the Lancashire Home Guard on behalf of Nellie Cock and added to the site with her permission..
I was 18 when the war started, living with my family on a farm. We farmed 2 farms and as my father had died, I had to work on the farm and help out. I had 2 brothers and they were in charge of a farm each. And as such were exempt from going into the forces. I was courting Harold at the time and his father didn’t fill in the necessary forms for exemption for him, so he was called up and had to go to what is now Pontins in Blackpool for his training. He could drive and went into the transport corp of the East Lancs. Regiment, teaching people to drive.
Being a farmer’s son he was allowed leave at lambing time and it was during this time that we got married on the 11th February 1941. I remember I wore a blue dress with matching hat and a grey coat. I wore the dress for very many occasions after that, it certainly came in useful with the clothes rationing. My brother and sister stood for me and the reception was held at the Barley Pub. My mother providing the chickens and ham and them cooking them.
In November 1942 my husband was discharged with a nervous disorder, probably due to the bombing and all the dreadful sights he’d seen. When he came back we took Intack Farm at Rough Lee. In spite of the rationing we always had plenty of eggs and we used to kill the old hens and make our own butter from the milk. I can remember also cutting up the used flour sacks, sewing them and making tea towels out of them..
Our first daughter had been born in August 1941, then in 1944 whilst I was in maternity hospital having my second daughter, disaster struck. A tramp, who was a regular in the area had been caught by my husband stealing chickens and obviously he had seen him off the farm. But he came back when my husband was visiting my new daughter and I in hospital and when he got back the barn was on fire. Of course we couldn’t prove anything, but we lost cows and hens. We were insured, but not enough for the amount we lost, but we had to carry on.
During the war sometimes soldiers on maneuvers would be billeted with us, and I recall they used to use the wood from the fences and gates to build fires. One time they challenged Harold on his own farm, for the password. ‘Halt, who goes there?’ it really makes you smile.
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