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15 October 2014
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Doris in wartime Dover

by cambsaction

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Contributed by 
cambsaction
People in story: 
Doris Wells
Location of story: 
Dover, Kent
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A5560337
Contributed on: 
07 September 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Margaret Tabbitt of the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Story Gatherer Team on behalf of Doris Short and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

I lived in Dover and was 16 when War broke out. One day my sister and I were picking hops with mother when a German plane crashed into a field nearby. The pilots parachuted down into the hop field and some children chased one and surrounded him until he was captured.

When the doodle bugs came over the Channel the British planes tipped their wings and sent them back.
We lived on a hill in Dover and saw the parachutes landing in France on D-Day.

One day I forgot to pull down the blind and the light on the stairs shone through the window. I was taken to Court and fined 10 shillings.

One night a week I was a firewatcher at the Co-op where I worked. We got a few shillings to stay all night to watch for incendiary bombs which we had to put out. One night a lot of incendiary bombs were dropped along the High Street but they went out by themselves and didn't do any damage.

I was married in 1943. I met my husband at church in Dover. We took the soldiers home for tea. He lived in Cambridgeshire but was stationed in Dover during the war. He was in Telecommunications and looked after the telephones along the coast in that area. We married in his home village because no-one was allowed into Dover without a permit so it would have been difficult for guests to come. Clothes were rationed so a I borrowed a wedding dress from someone who was married before the War, but I managed to buy two bridesmaid's dresses. The Baker in the Co-op offered to make the cake if I supplied the fruit, which I did.

In April 1944 I was evacuated to Lingfield in Surrey with other pregnant mums just before my first daughter was born. Another evacuated lady and I became lifelong friends. We returned to Dover after our babies were born. When the shelling got more intense later in 1944 my husband thought it best for me to go to stay with his parents in Cambridgeshire until it was safe to return.

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