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WW2 - People's War

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*A Sunderland Child in WW2*

by Angela Ng

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
Angela Ng
People in story: 
Freda Duncan
Location of story: 
Sunderland, North East
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4425923
Contributed on: 
11 July 2005

This is Michaela Gooch of Southmoor School entering Freda Duncan onto the website and they fully undestand the website terms and conditions of use.

Life in WW2 was horrifying! There was not much to eat and all there really was to drink was dry milk. You couldn't really go outside, you were trapped in your house - a prisinor! When the war took place I was only young so I can't remember a great deal of what happened. What I can remember is my stepsister and her husband had to move to Germany because he faught in the war. I missed them so much, everyday I wished that the war would be over just so I could see them. I can also remember that we had to carry our gas masks everywhere we went because of the contaminated air. During the Winter we had a coal fire and I used to go down to the horrid beach with my father and search for coal. It was all worth it in the end.
Most children were evacuated. But I wasn't. I was left at home with my mother, father and my little pet dog, Lady. I lived in Sunderland over the water. I went to Ford Estate School and I loved it. My favourite lessons were P.E. and English, but there was not alot of P.E. then, you were lucky if you had a ball to play a game with. Even though I liked English I could'nt read very well so I was transferred to another school to help me. My father took me to school on the bus, which only cost a couple of pennies. Most of the time I had to stay off school to look after my mother, who was unfortunately blind. She was my best friend. I love with all my heart and I miss her so much. We did everything together. I took her everywhere with me and I loved spending time with her.
We were lucky because we never actually got bombed and we never lost anyone in our family. I can remember the sirens that went off every time a plane flew over the buildings and everyone used to run for shelter. My mother had a radio and we used to listen to it all day. We never had a television so it was all we could do really. The only other thing we did was go to the shop around the corner, but the queues were always really long. When you went out of your house you didn't have to lock your door because of the war happening no one commited any crimes.
The health and living conditions are definitely better now then they were in WW2. I used to go to the dentist in the centre of the town called "Fredrick's". It was awful and filthy! The hospitals were alright I suppose. They were cleaner than the dentists and they were also very close by to where I lived, and they were always open. Alot of new services were brought out to help with all types of problems and I thought the National Health Service (NHS) did not make a difference at all. Nothing changed for my family and myself.
Even though there were some bad times and hard times during WW2, there was also some good times that made me bond better with my family and I appreciate life more. It was all a great experience.

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