- Contributed by
- Location of story:
- Londonderry, Northern Ireland
- Background to story:
- Civilian Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 29 May 2004
There are many little things about war that I remember. Londonderry wasn't that badly attacked and bombed in World War 2. "We were lucky!"
I was born on the 9th January 1921, so I was between the ages, 18 - 24, whilst the war was on.
I remember: we weren't allowed to let any light in through windows (blackout); the street lights were very dimmed, and I had to carry a torch around with me; I also had to carry a gas mask, ID, and if I went for groceries, I had to use a ration card; there were dried eggs, dried milk, bacon, bananas, sweets, petrol, clothes - all rationed; to get silk stockings in the war, would be a great treat for me; there were coupons for everything - clothes, shirts (etc.); many horses were coming across from abroad, by boat
I was in the Air Raid Patrol (ARP). I remember the sirens going off, the shelters, and wearing a warden hat. When I heard the sirens, I was scared and frightened. I could hear buzzing sounds, when planes flew past. My sister's husband was in the ARP as well.
I worked in the office, not really in the streets. In the office, I answered phones (etc).
I also remember: dances were held in the dance halls, to make people feel safe and at home - take their minds off war; we all met in the canteen on Sundays, to have dinner; we took turns in making tea; wrote letters; listened to radio.
At Christmas, we all went to church, and families met up and had dinner. My father invited some military round for dinner.
My brother, Alan, was in the army, and he got very ill. He got sent back to the UK, and arrived in a hospital in Bristol. He had caught a horrible infection, and died in the Bristol hospital.
Alan was then sent back to Londonderry, where he received a military funeral.
David (my future husband) was in the Home Guard.
Near the end of the war, I got married to David. When the war was over, we went on our honeymoon. We frequently played tennis and badminton together.
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