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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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My War Memories: David in Co Antrim

by resoluteElforresto

Contributed by 
resoluteElforresto
Location of story: 
Northern Ireland
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A3461528
Contributed on: 
31 December 2004

My name is David Fleming from Ballymena, Co Antrim. I was born in the city of Belfast on the 19th of December 1931. I was one of a family of eight children born into a little 2 up 2 down house in East Belfast.

My father, who was born in 1880, had served in the Royal Garrison Artillery from 1903-1908 in India. He returned to Belfast to work in Harland and Wolffs shipyard on various ships including the Titanic. He met and married my mother who was 13 years his junior. They brought up the family through difficult times including the hungry thirties.

My first recollection of the war was of hearing newspaper boys crying out "War declared", whilst delivering Sunday newspapers. The following year I and an older sister were evacuated to a little village called the Moy in Co Tyrone. At first we were placed in seperate homes but were eventually reunited in a home containing three other evacuees who were sisters, one of whom we were reunited with after 63 years, even though she now lives in Canada.

As this was my first experience of country life I was amazed at the sight of apples and plums actually growing on trees and being available, as prior to this we had only seen them in shop windows.

We were fortunate to be billeted with people who were good to us and they were guests at our wedding in 1959. We kept in touch with them until they passed away.

The little village of Moy was used as a base by both British and American trops preparing for the D Day landings. I am grateful to have had the experience of being evacuated, for in many ways it enriched my life

David Fleming

31st December 2004.

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