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WW2 - People's War

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war experiences

by thetwins

Contributed by 
People in story: 
anne tinkler
Location of story: 
Carshalton Beeches
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
02 November 2003

War was declared when my twin and I were almost seven years old We were living in Winchmore Hill at the time, but moved to Carshalton Beeches in 1940.This is a brief account as a lot happened!We were between Croydon airport and Biggin Hill airport commonly known as "Bomb alley"Soon we became accustomed to air raid sirens in the day time we disappeared into the school shelters. At night we made a bed behind the piano or went up to the school shelters A tramp joined us and kept us awake on the slatted benches by snoring so we abandoned that and stayed at home We soon became expert at recognising the engines of the aeroplanes and knew when to take cover a stick of bombs could be assessed.The windows were taped and the blackout curtains firmly closed We had food rationing and we used to queue at each shop hoping that a particular item had not run out before we got there.Mr Woolton on the radio gave us recepies and one of these was banana spread made from parsnips Not too bad As we were children we were allowed blackcurrant puree and orange juice.The radio doctor was also an item and our father used to listen to Haw Haw with his ear pressed against the wireless.Not forgetting Mr Churchills stiring speeches We were dragged home by elder sister when a dog fight was going on We were buzzed by German planes in the playground They thought the schools were harbouring soldiers We collected shrapnel and black anti radar tape.We watched the London Docks burning from the bedroom window We were blown over in the garden from the blast of a ?V2 We watched a parachutist coming down and were terrified Our teacher had told us that if the Germans came they would put our eyes out with hot needles and take all our money.We ran into a ladies toilet one day and startled a chap with a map held against the wall he was startled and we were convinced he was a spy We watched planes held in searchlights and thes illuminated the barrage balloons and listened to the local ack-ack gun.We came across the wreckage of a spitfire in Oaks Wood We put our food peelings in the pig bins and collectedwaste paper.We visited the British Restaurants.Then came the Doodle bugs At this time we had a Morrison selter in the lounge A metal table with iron sides We couldnt all get in ther I can remember lying there and hearing a doodle bug's engine stop as it approached us.As they then glided down I was terrified but decided not to wake our mother who was fast asleep A bit of bravery on my part Eventually we were a near miss A doodle bug was sot down and landed a few yards away.The piolot came down and apologised as he was trying to stop it reaching London One or two were killed The ceilings came down and the windows in And the canary got out We ended up under the table and emerged with bleeding knees Well thats a brief account I havent mentioned the food much but we were preetty good at substituting the sweet ration with lemonade powder and licquorice wood!

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