- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Stuart R Firth & Winefred Firth
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 10 November 2004
My father went into the army as a volentier in 1939. I was three the day he left. We only saw him about twice before he went over to France and later when he was brought back from Dunkirk.
I can not say that we had a realy bad time during the war thats from a childs point of view. I remmber never haveing sweats and some things that kid take for granted to day.
we lived in a terraced house in the Tudor Road area of leicester. Just out side our house was a very large air raid shelter but my mother would never go into when ti syrens sounded. She always said that if she was going to die it would be in her own home. We alway went under the stairs. She had a idea that when you see bombed houses the stairs were always left standing. So we spent most nights there.
I remmber that people got to know the sound for the aircraft and could say if it was one of ours as they put it or one of theirs.
My mother had two work in an enginiering works makeing parts for planes, so I had to go to my granparents who ran a pub called the Tudor Hotel. Dureing opening times I was not allowed to got into the public part but I would stand by the door and listen to all the people singing all the songs of the day. It would start in one room and slowly go through the rest of the pub till every onewas sing the the same song. To this day i still now the words to those songs.
My father later served in north Africa and was at EL ALAMIAN where he was mensioned in disbaches to the King. He went through the ranks riseing to the rank of captian. My mother used to have to write to him on special letter form that were later put onto what looked like photo paper. I was aloud to skribble my little bit, I use to ask him to send me some camel hair so that I could make a paint brush. I still have some of those letters and many other things form those day which I will alway treasure.
At the end of the war my mother told me that my dad was comeing home and the day that arrived back home I was out in the street with my friends when his taxi pulled up at our door. When I went inside this man it uniform who was a stranger to me stood there. Mother said this is your father. Ijust did not know what to do. In the films they always show all this hugging and kissing for me it was not like that, it was a man comeing to take my place as man of the house. He was very strickt. It took until I was 21 and doing my national service that we started to get to know each other as men.
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