- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Frank Samuel Foweraker; Emma Dorothy Foweraker (Mother); Dorothy Foweraker (Sister); Peter Foweraker (Brother); Frances Bessie Foweraker (Aunt Bess);
- Location of story:
- South Tawton, Devon
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 30 August 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Callington U3A csv story collector Judy Foweraker, on behalf of Frank Foweraker, and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
My name is Frank Foweraker and I was 13 at the start of the war.
In 1940 we lost our home in Poplar, London, to a bomb. Afterwards, Mother, my disabled Aunt Bess, my sister and I all moved to Devon, to where my younger brother Peter was already staying with relatives. The family then set up home in Devoncourt, Taw Green, near South Tawton, and later on moved to No 2 Wood Cottages so as to take a mile off the walk to school for the young ones.
I joined the ATC (Air Training Corps) and, because we had two five-mile range transmit and receive radio sets, it was suggested we — two local lads and I — should join the Home Guard. This we did, and they issued me with a Sten gun, and on moonlit nights when Jerry was having a go at Plymouth I would take my Sten gun and slowly cycle down to Taw Green, turn left over the bridge keeping left to the back lanes to Sticklepath, just in case a Jerry had bailed out. On the way I would set a snare or two.
One night I got a rabbit, tied the legs together, hung it on my handlebars, and set off home. On a downhill bit, the bike picked up speed, and I steered by the lighter sky above the hedges. Suddenly, with a twanging noise the bike stopped and I sailed through the air and hit the road. As I lay there in the pitch dark, stunned and grazed, I waited for the rush of boots as they came for me — but nothing happened, so I crawled to my bike, only to find the rabbit head had passed between the wheel and forks! I cut it off to free the wheel, which was bent, and I limped home, about two miles, carrying the bike.
When I was indoors, I stripped down to my pants and proceeded to bathe the grazes. I was in a state. The kitchen door opened and Mum stood there. She took one look and said, “I wondered what was wrong.” I said, “I’ve got a rabbit Mum,” and she laughed and replied, “Are you sure you’ve got that the right way round?”
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