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by CSV Action Desk Leicester

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Archive List > Family Life

Contributed by 
CSV Action Desk Leicester
People in story: 
Joan Giddings
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Contributed on: 
14 November 2005

I married my husband on 3rd August 1942, at the age of 24. Coincidentally the 3rd August was my husband's birthday. We were married in Leicester at 2.00pm but at 1.40pm an air raid siren went off and we were therefore married through the raid.

We had our wedding reception in the Sunday School room and with the air raid siren still going off, it finally stopped at 6.00pm just as we were going home for our food. We bought the food from our local shops with our coupons and our friends also helped by giving us some of their fruit rations which went towards our wedding cake. My Mum made our wedding cake and at the time she could not get any icing sugar but she could get some decorations for the cake. So, Mum improvised and put cardboard around the sides and the top of the cake. She then put white paper around it and then added the decorations. Everyone asked my Mum where she got the icing sugar from and, when they found out it was cardboard, they all had a real good laugh.

My husband was in the Royal Engineers but the regiment was to change to the 344 Regiment R.A.A. (Royal Anti Aircraft). He stayed in England for a long while and then went to Belgium and then to Germany.

When in Leicester I used to work in the Royal Pay Corp. My job was to pay most of the soldiers their money.

The best meal I used to cook was roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, when we were able to get the beef.

I used to enjoy playing games such as devil-among-the-tailors which is now called table skittles and I also enjoyed making my own clothes although it was hard to get hold of material due to the rations.

Just thinking back to those days I remember how sad they were especially when we used to get notice of soldiers that had been killed. In my job we would have to sort out their accounts so we could pass this on to the relatives of the deceased.

This story has been entered by Terry Greenwood on behalf of Joan Giddings who has given her written permission so to do.

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