- Contributed by
- CSV Action Desk Leicester
- People in story:
- ROBERT MORRIS
- Location of story:
- BARWELL, LEICESTERSHIRE
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 20 July 2005
First memory I had an abiding fear of the Mickey Mouse gasmask that children had to war. I screamed and went rigid, but it was very important and government advice due to the fear of gas attack.
There was also a children’s Siren suit that had a hood of sorts, and was equated with Sirens. The fear must have been transmitted by the adults and this is why I probably have very acute memories due to the traumatising effect. I still have reflex fear even now.
In the early days of the warnings, Mother would take us to the shelter up the street, a cold, damp smelly place. But Mum decided after a time we would all sleep together as a family downstairs and would be prepared to stand or fall as a family, instead of separate or with strangers.
Although those days we were more of a community, even though we were thrown together at times.
My Granddad used to sit in his rocking chair and when the sirens went he just put his bowler hat on and when my parents said lets go under the stairs. He just used to swear and stated. The Kaiser did not shift me so I’m dammed sure that a little corporal will shift me. He had been in the valuable food production for the Nation in the First World War as a Miller.
The night Coventry got bombed, my Mum took me outside and watch. Coventry burn and the red glow in the sky. I cannot be sure to this day, due to fear and anxiety, whether or not I saw all this through my Mums eye or my own. Almost like an Out of Body experience.
As the war progressed and victory became more apparent, constraints were gradually lifted; we could go out and play in the fields that were close to the streets in Barwell.
As kids we learned from cinema pictures etc and quite possibly through the games we played; like creeping around the country. We spent more REAL TIME outside playing and developed many valuable skills. Games like big white hunters, cowboys and Indians, catching frogs and rabbits, finding eggs etc. We used all these skills to sneak up, out manoeuvre and ambush the Home Guard who were sometimes in trenches.
Those were fun days and I still enjoy these memories and it also helped protect us from the harsh realities of War and the effects happening elsewhere.
I have been married for a happy 46 years to the same Barwell girl.. Marriage motivates us to stay together by it’s own reward and helps us to keep each other alive and motivated. Cherishing each other and valuing each other more and more.
This story was submitted to the “Peoples War Site by Rod Aldwinckle of the CSV Action Desk on behalf of Robert Morris and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.