- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Terri Gleeson
- Location of story:
- London and Diss, Norfolk
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 15 June 2004
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Annie Keane of the BBC on behalf of Terri Gleeson and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
I was only 1, in 1943 but my mother has told me about being evacuated to Diss in Norfolk.
The local people wouldn’t allow my mother to do the washing-up, they said that ‘You lot from London don’t know how to wash up properly, you do it in cold water and don’t get the plates clean.’ My mum was probably quite pleased because she didn’t have to do the washing up.
When in Diss, my mother saw an airman walk past and noticed his boots weren’t British flying boots and was suspicious. She phoned the police and they sent a car round, it turned out he was a German paratrooper and he was captured.
My mother joined the Fire Service, when she got pregnant and left she was told that she shouldn’t have got pregnant in wartime because it wasn’t very patriotic! My mother had 5 children between 1940 and 1949, so she wasn’t that bothered.
My father (James Gleeson) was a Reporter and then went in as a Police War Reserve. He was a Reporter first so eventually they wouldn’t led him into the Information Room because he choose the most interesting stories to go after. He later wrote a book called ‘They Feared no Evil’ about the women Wireless Operators dropped into France. He also wrote a book with Tommy Waldron about the Frogmen (midget submarines).
In 1949, we were all in the garden my mother said ‘What are they doing?’, my father said ‘They’re playing cricket’ my mother said ‘They haven’t got a cricket ball’. My father came out and found out that we’d been playing with a hand grenade! He called the police and they came round with a bucket of water in the back of the car, and put the hand grenade in it and drove off!
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