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My Recollections of the Early days of WW2

by ateamwar

Contributed by 
ateamwar
People in story: 
Arthur Kincaid
Location of story: 
Liverpool
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4498437
Contributed on: 
20 July 2005

Sunday 3rd September 1939 dawned bright, but the country was under the shadow of a huge cloud. At 11am , I was in the dining room of my home in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, with my mother, father and two older sisters. My father switched on the wireless (as radios were then called) and heard the Prime Minister of the day — Neville Chamberlain — announce that, as he had not received and communication from Germany that they had withdrawn from Poland, we were now at war with Germany.
The country had been preparing for this, hoping that it would never happen. In anticipation of there being a war, various groups had been organised to cover all eventualities — ARP (Air Raid Precautions), AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service), Demolition Squads, Ambulance drivers etc. The members of the Territorial Army had been put on immediate standby. Sirens were erected on buildings all around the country. These sirens would give the warning of an impending air raid. The first was a continuous wail, and upon hearing this, people would then prepare themselves for the air raid, having previously been instructed what to do. When all was safe, the All Clear would sound.
All windows had to have covering over then so that no light could escape, thus giving the German pilots indication of cities, towns, factories etc. All street lighting was cut off and road and directional signs removed so that should there be an invasion the troops would not know where they were. All vehicles had their headlights covered with just a tiny slit to allow the minimum of light to show for safety purposes. Of course there was not the amount of traffic on the roads in those days as there is today as very few families had cars.

By Judith Kincaid

'This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his / her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'

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