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- Jacqueline Dawson Nee Hope
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- 07 June 2004
Me in Brighton 1942
I was born one month after 2nd World War started in Brighton. We lived in Worthing and my earliest memory of the war was the air-raid shelter, which took up most of the front room. We all seemed to sleep in it — Mum, Nana and me every night. I remember the sirens and how it terrified me and I remember a lot of fear all round. Also friendliness — people spoke to each other a lot. We had evacuees from London, a mother and a daughter of my age, (they returned after the war for holidays with us). Mum and I were evacuated to Royston; there I was sometimes taken to visit prisoners of war from Poland. I waved at them through their wire fencing because my mother thought “they might have little girls too”. I was told to eat my food or Lord Woolton would come after me.
My father worked on Hayling Island, to do with the Mulberry Harbour project. I visited him there and remember Churchill’s name being mentioned several times.( I was around four and a half years old then) . I would love to know what my father did in the war and this Mulberry Harbour work. I believe he laid airstrips somewhere too.
One day I was with a cousin at my Nana’s house in Brighton, we were playing in a greenhouse and a German plane flew over us and some of the glass from the greenhouse fell onto us. Nana went mad screeming”My babies, my babies!!”
I remember so clearly the barbed wire all along the seafront at Worthing; blackout curtains that later became shoe bags; rationing and queuing and taking sugar to a shop where it was made into boiled sweets. Everyone smoked Woodbines.
My father was in Coventry the night it was bombed; my mother feared the worst. The next day a telegram arrived with the message “I’m safe, Jack”
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