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WW2 - People's War

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Wartime in South Shropshire

by shropshirelibraries

Contributed by 
People in story: 
graham berlyn, roma berlyn, michael berlyn, jane berlyn, winifred berlyn ( nee appleby)
Location of story: 
Onibury near Ludlow, South Shropshire
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
10 December 2004

Two days before War was actually declared, my father drove us from Birmingham in his father's car to the farm that was to be our home for the next two or so years.We were perhaps a little afraid and excited by the prospect of going to live somewhere we did not know and where we were not known. Only essential things were taken with us. Mother had my baby sister Jane on her lap all the way, we three others sat in the back of the car. When we reached the farm after the journey in the late afternoon, we were pretty tired and not a little hungry, but also in a hurry to get out of the car to go and explore the new surroundings. However, our parents thought otherwise and we had to be satisfied with a good farm tea after being introduced to, and shown round the farmhouse by, the lady tenant farmer Mrs. M. Bache who we soon found to be a pleasant person, easy to get on with even though we later learned her life under wartime conditions was far from easy. It was not long after tea that we were put to bed and were soon asleep. Next morning we were up and about as soon as possible, wishing to go and see things, people and places. Again we had to do things as our parents wished in an orderly manner. Introduction to the Headmaster of the village school and his wife was an early appointment ready for the new term shortly to begin. Next we were shown the village shop and met the owners Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Jones. We later met their two sons Campbell and Clive who were a few years older than us. Soon we were to meet the village vicar Reverend Reginald Griffiths and his wife Mary and their daughter Mary, not realising that soon some of us would become members of the church choir. Gradually we met other children of the village at school and with our parents at various events put on in the village hall, nearly all of which had been arranged by either the vicar or his wife. At school in the village, apart from the usual lessons taught, we were taught how to grow vegetables as well as flowers in a plot of ground nearby. We were also taught to recognise birds, insects, butterflies, flowers, fruit and nuts. The four seasons were impressed on us and the normal farm practices that would take place in them. To start with these things were all rather strange, but we soon learned the necessity of doing certain things at certain times of the year such as muck spreading, ploughing, harrowing, sowing, mowing, harvesting the cereals, lifting the root crops and so on.

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