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WW2 - People's War

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Our Leicester

by St Barnabas Library

Contributed by 
St Barnabas Library
People in story: 
Arthur Sidney Bates
Location of story: 
Belgrave Road, Leicester
Article ID: 
A3290023
Contributed on: 
17 November 2004

I was born in 1922 at 3 Woodboy yard in a one up one down house. The whole family lived in one room. I am the oldest in a family of 4, one brother born in 1924 and 2 sisters born in 1920s and 1930s. My brother is dead now. He lost half of his leg in Tunisia. When he left the army after his injury he worked in engineering travelling the world. Mostly oil fields, silver mines and other mines aswell. He worked on all the oceans of the world and 60 countries including Russia. I joined the army in 1938 as a private to start. Discharged in 1942 from the army because I was unfit, because I lost my right foot. All my relations and their friends were in military including my grand dad. My uncle Bill served in India and Pakistan in Khyber Pass for 14 years. Then I started travelling around living in caravans around England and Scotland pea picking, hop picking and potatoe picking. The farmer paid us in food and let us park the caravan in his field. All my clothes came from the rag barrow and often went to school in girls clothes when I was very young. I attended St. Marks School and Christ Church in Bow Street, Belgrave. We were taught to knit dusters for wiping the blackboard with thick pins.

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