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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Making the best of the war’

by cambsaction

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
cambsaction
People in story: 
Githa Challis
Location of story: 
Stapleford, Cambridgeshire
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A7979917
Contributed on: 
22 December 2005

We were very lucky during the war: we lived at a place called Dingle Dell, and we had all the fruit trees and chickens and pigs. Also my mother and father were wonderful in the way they cared for us. We had milk, butter and cream as well as fresh eggs, chicken and bacon - we were very well fed. All in all, I remember having a lot of fun: as a big family, my cousins and their parents came down to the Meadows and we had picnics and so on. I also remember the war-time pantomime which my mother and her friend, Betty, put on: it was ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and the whole village was included. Because the clothes were rationed, we had to improvise with old clothes; we used everything available and you know crepe paper was a wonderful thing. It was a lot of fun.

On the other hand of course, we all did our bit towards the war effort: we had evacuees and soldiers billeted with us; we made a spare room available so people would come and stay with us; my Dad was in the Home Guard, going out at night-time and looking after all of us in our homes. And I remember the bombs, in fact one fell nearby and cracked all our windows and put a nice big crack in the wall. And at school, we had to collect stinging nettles to help make medecine — I had to put on gloves to go out and collect them. We all saved bottle tops, for the metal and cardboard, and we got badges for the number collected and also for collecting books to go to the hospitals for the wounded.

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