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WW2 - People's War

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Invasion of the Village

by derbycsv

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mr John Swift Snr & Mr J Swift Jnr
Location of story: 
Eckington, North East Derbyshire
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
19 August 2005

I was eight years old when WW2 broke out but I have vivid memories of certain events.
The first invasion of our village was the arrival of a very large troop of soliders becasuse drill hall could not accomodate them all my family had to take in two soliders. One solider was very quiet and to me had a posh accident the other was very cheerful and friendly towards me. An endless supply of sweets came my way - I liked him!

They went off to war Dunkirk I believe in France, the "sweet man" was killed whilst away on service. The other service man survived and he later visited us and I rememeber him sitting at the dining table and stammering and shaking the effects of shell shock. I began to ask questions and was removed from the room by my father who later explained these were the effect of war, this really sticks in my mind to this day.

On my way to school I remember long rows of coaches and some children were leaving the buses and chattering an accent I had never heard before I thought they were forgein! but they were from the East End of London I later found out these children were evacuees as London was hit very harsly.

The local school could not cope with the invasion of more children which was great because we had schooling part time afternoons only!

Shefield was bombed heavily & I remember thinking they were fireworks!

I remember an aeoplane in the seachlight which was ablaze it just disapeared crashing I presume.

After the Sheffied airaid my fathers relatives all ten of them! arrived at out two bedroom bungalow seeking shelter after being bombed out I slept in the hallway for over six weeks, myself and my cousian were sent to Scarborough because the house was full to bursting with 14 of us there.

At Scarborough the beaches were all barbed wired off we saw three dogs underneath this and saw them blown to bits as they disturbed land mines.

We saw an aircraft flying very low overhead and it has two large black crosses on the wings we knew it was a German aircraft, we we not scared actually quite excited!

Hilter has alot to answer for as my wife was excavuted from Manchester to my village we have been very hapily married for over 53 years!

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