- Contributed by
- Surrey History Centre
- People in story:
- Eileen Gunner (nee Brown)
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 02 September 2005
This story was submitted to the People's War site at Surrey History Centre on behalf of Mrs Eileen Gunner (nee Brown). It was has been added to the site with the author's permission, and she fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
My family moved to Mabel Street in Woking just before War was declared. My father was chauffeur to Ralph Reed (of the paper mills), and I attended Goldsworth School where Surrey History Centre is now situated.
Having reached 15 years of age I went to work for the St Ivel Company, who were based where Morrisons are now. Cycling home one day, there was a “dog fight” above me, and empty shells were pinging on the road beside me.
Eventually we were moved to Mayford and occupied a house in the grounds of Beech Hill. We were given a dark air-raid shelter in the orchard, and were grateful for it, especially when bombing was at its height.
Once, coming home from the pictures, I was greeted at the back gate by the sight of a Black Watch soldier with a gleaming bayonet. Apparently the Army had used Beech Hill’s grounds for manouvres.
In many ways it was an exciting time. I think I was too young to be frightened, even by the blackout.
To cut a long story short (I have too many memories to tell them all), Ralph Reed was knighted for his unpaid work as “Paper Controller”.
I cannot claim any special feat, only to say that I befriended many a young soldier who had been torn from his friends and family. My mother made all welcome. They were all young gentlemen, and treated me and my family with utmost respect.
They won the War!!
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