BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

23 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


Mary Wickham's Story

by Lancshomeguard

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mary Wickham (nee Heckford) and Family
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
24 July 2005

This story has been submitted to the People’s War website by Anne Wareing of the Lancashire Home guard on behalf of Mary Wickham and has been added to the site with her permission…..

I was born in 1917 so I was twenty-two when the war started.

I had a brother who flew as an observer in the RAF, he trained in S. Africa. Conditions going out were so appaling, he determined to come back an officer. My sister later became a WREN.

My father worked at Meadows Engineering, working seven days a week, only occasionally getting a weekend off. Then mother would arrange for us all to stay the weekend at a farm where we would be given good food. She also visited the nearby hospital, and would offer a bed to the visiting families of wounded men. She visited wounded men herself and often invited them home to play bridge and saving the week’s meat ration she would make all the visitors a Sunday lunch.

At twenty-four I married, the day before clothes rationing began, I remember my friends being very pleased about the fact that they had got their new outfits just in time.

I worked in Barclays Bank, Snowhill Wolverhampton at this time and did voluntary work for Toc H at Talbot House. We entertained service men and I recall some airmen coming in and enjoying a meal with us, then asking for more before going back to their base at Bridgenorth.

The bank manger had no sympathy with me whatsoever for doing voluntary work at night, he did nothing, so I very pleased, when eventually he had to go and do a lot of fire watching, it served him right.

My husband was later called into the DEMS (Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship) and when he came into port I would go and stay with him when I could. I had a child by this time and once when I was on my way to see him, a porter very kindly put the pram on the train for me, which was too full for me to get on and left before I could get on it, leaving me holding the baby, so to speak.

Two other things I remember, when my husband was on leave I would walk the two or three miles home in pitch dark in the blackout; you wouldn’t want to do that today, and the other thing was not having to queue at the butchers when I was expecting the children.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Childhood and Evacuation Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy