BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

22 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

My Life Before, During and After the War.

by Civic Centre, Bedford

You are browsing in:

Archive List > United Kingdom > Bedfordshire

Contributed by 
Civic Centre, Bedford
People in story: 
Peter Usher
Location of story: 
Bedford
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A2701838
Contributed on: 
04 June 2004

I married just before the war. I worked at a factory on Millers Road that made hardboards. But when the war broke out I was 26 and the factory I was working at switched to making bombs and me personally trench mortar bombs. But I expected to join the army and I said to my wife "well I expect I'll have to join the army." I passed all the A1 medicals but since I had done a 7 year apprenticeship I was put on reserved occupation and I continued to stay in the factory. The machinery was switched around a bit to make it easier for the women who started to join the factory. Girls came flooding in from places like Mark and Spencers, Tescos, Woolworths etc.
I had two sisters who lost a son each who were both in the RAF. One of them flew in a 'heavie' which flew on a 'sortie' to Germany and on the way back was stalked by 3 German fighters who eventually shot the 'heavie' down over the south-east coast and the whole crew of 7 got killed. The other son got killed by German fighters during the Battle of Britain.
After the war my factory switched back to hardboards but shut down a couple of years after the war. I then went to a factory further down the same road which made boilers and traction engines-a job i've always wanted. I helped make a traction engine which appeared in the film "The Iron Maiden". I helped make and run locos for numerous railways like Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway. Most of the locos I helped build and run still survive which you can see. I also used my knowledge to build models some of which are in museums e.g. York railway museum.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Bedfordshire Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy