- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Roy Anthony Haworth
- Location of story:
- Mill Hill, Blackburn, parents Maurice and Margaret Haworth, Uncles Jim and Jack Logan and John O'Hallovan
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 August 2005
This story has been added to the People’ War website by Anne Wareing of the Lancashire Home Guard on behalf o Roy Anthony Haworth, the story is in his own words…
I was brought up in Mill Hill Blackburn, over the canal bridge on Brothers Street. I remember clearly in 1942 aged four carrying my gas mask to school, I was in the nursery class and had an hours sleep each day on a blue camp bed. Later as the war progressed, I remember crossing over the canal bridge and seeing the barrage balloons and the red glow lighting up the sky in the direction of Manchester. Near my school a German bomber had dumped its surplus bomb and the Blind Works and the houses nearby were destroyed.
Mum who worked as a weaver had to work at the ‘Fuse’ Royal Ordnance Factory at Lower Darwen. Dad was also a weaver, but due to the effects of rheumatic fever couldn’t enlist, so he volunteered for the Home Guard and manned the anti-aircraft guns in Manchester, where he had to work in engineering. I remember his uniform hanging in the wardrobe with the bow and arrow insignia in red on the sleeves. We also stored our gas masks in there.
Another memory was of the Anderson shelter in the back garden. To which we would have to go in when the siren sounded, clutching our gas masks from the wardrobe. Windows were blacked out with roller blinds the same as were made at the Blind Works which was bombed. Memories of ‘pig swill’ bins on the street corners, compulsory collecting of waste vegetables to help the farmers.
My Uncle Jim was trapped at Dunkirk, he was a sergeant in the R.E.M.E. a national newspaper ‘The People’ featured him in a photo at the prow of a little boat with the rest of his comrades, as he was brought back from the beaches of France.
My Uncle John stationed in Gibraltar sent me fancy postcards, which I still have.
My Uncle Jack in the navy, bringing me home a ship’s whistle, which I still have.
The yanks at Mill Hill Station, circa 1944, in an open lorry encouraging us to salvage cardboard etc. and us kids shouting, ‘have you any gum chum?’ and being showered with sticks of chewing gum in reply.
Peg rugs, darned socks, reversed shirt collars, because they had worn, and rationing, are all memories of a Lancashire lad in wartime.
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