- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Joan Lowndes
- Location of story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 19 April 2004
This story was submitted to the the People's War site by Stoke-on-Trent Libraries on behalf of Joan Lowndes and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
My father, a printer who worked at Spode Factory, was an air-raid warden - but as were quiet he used to stand and chat with a colleague.
We lived on Sutton Estate, we were a large family and I was the youngest of eight.
My seventeen year old brother had rhematic fever -My mother said there would not be a war but the very next day Chamberlain declared that we were at war and my brother died the next day.
Two of my brothers went to war and were involved in the Anzio landings and in Africa abd thankfully both survived.
I was eleven when war broke out - walking to school to register and then coming home again. We queued regulary at the shops especially when Heinz salad cream came to the shops - we went to the Mayfield shop at Trentvale when the air-raid siren went off. Mother and I went to Oakhill hall, we took a blanket and sat in the cellar singing Vera Lynn songs.
Mother used to knit and sew and we had cots made out blankets. She would save sugar and rice but the grubs would eat them. She would keep milk in muslin and it would turn to cheese. They were tough times -shoes had to passed through the family and the summers were hot but all I had to go to school in were wellingtons.
I remember a neighbour, Mrs Mott had a son who was badly wounded in his legs but he survived.
I remember father used to sit and listen to the radio - I rember the street parties when we had new dresses made.
My two sisters worked at Swynnerton - There faces and hands went yellow with powder - but they eventually washed clean.
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