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Our Story by Mrs Davies and her daughter Christine

by Bournemouth Libraries

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Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
Bournemouth Libraries
People in story: 
Mrs Davies and Christine Davies
Location of story: 
Putney, London
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4122541
Contributed on: 
27 May 2005

I'm Mrs Davies and I was born in Twickenham and had two sisters. At the beginning of the war I lived with my mother in Southfields, Wimbledon Park, London, I'm not sure where my father was at that time. My mother was a housewife and did a lot of sewing. I was about 20 at the time war broke out and I worked for the ARP Department at Wandsworth Town Hall, I did shorthand and typing.

I was always alright for clothes as my mother was a seamstress. She dealt with the ration books, we were always well fed and clothed.

We heard a lot of the bombing, but luckily we didn't have a lot of bombing round where I lived except for one night when a plane came down too low and jettisoned its bombs and one of the bombs hit the back of our house. Luckily no one was hurt. If my daughter Christine, who was only about 2 at the time, had been in her cot she wouldn't be here now. It was a 1200lb bomb. At the time the bomb hit, my mother, myself, my sister, and my daughter Christine were under the stairs. We had a garden shelter -an Anderson shelter, we didn't go down there as we didn't like it, we also had a shelter under the dining room table - a Morrison shelter. After we were bombed out the ARP people took us to a friend's house, she had a little boy the same age as Christine, we use to sleep in her Morrison shelter. They pulled our house down and built flats.

We were evacuated to Hillperton, nr Trowbridge, to our mother's cousin as she had a farm and we stayed there it was a lovely country area. You hardly new the war was on. Mother's cousin ran a Post Office and telephone exchange. I knew quite a few people in the village as we use to go there before the war quite a bit for holidays.

My husband was in the Welsh Guards and he was stationed near Putney Heath, London. He went overseas to Belgium. They liberated Brussels.

There wasn't much entertainment at the time the occasional dance in the local Church and just listening to the radio mainly.

My older sister was about 21 when war broke out and she was a secretary to Sir Isador Salmon from Jo Lyons Corner House. They were very good Corner Houses. My sister was Mr Norman Beale's secretary when we first came to Bournemouth.

Christine remembers being Christened during the war at around the age of 2, and here grandmother had made her a red coat with a fur collar and a bonnet. The Vicar got water on the new coat and Christine told him off. Christine doesn't remember much about air raid sirens as she was too young.
We came to Bournemouth when I was about 5.

Christine mentions that her brother Norman was born 7 years after her.

My mother was greatly affected by the bomb hitting our house for quite some time afterwards, as you didn't have counselling in those days.

We still had rationing well after the war. I still have my ID card.

Christine said that when her father came back from the war she really resented him as he seemed like a complete stranger and upset everything. She had been with aunts and uncles during the war and this man was a complete stranger to her.

We all went to Bournemouth with my father as he was still in the Welsh Guards until after the war and then he joined Hampshire Police Force and was involved in the arrest of the Great Train Robbers who were caught in Bournemouth. My father played rugby for the Welsh Guards and the Police Force. My father never talked about his war experiences to any of us.

We were given cod liver oil and virol during the war to keep us healthy. We even gave cod liver oil to the cat - who appreciated it more than we did.

Grandmother wouldn't let Mrs Davies and her sister go 'fire watching' she thought it was too dangerous even though they were in their 20's.

Mrs Davies remembers firstly being evacuated to a big house made up of two flats in St John's Avenue, Putney and Christine use to spend time walking her doll's pram round the garden and talking to an imaginary friend. It was a lovely garden with terraces around with a vegetable patch at the back and an orchard.
We didn't have green fingers so never grew anything ourselves. Friends of ours had a very big allotment and use to grow a lot of vegetables in Motspur Park.

Mrs Davies has a small suitcase that she paid 6d for during the war which holds all her old photos.

On VE day - everyone was excited and there were street parties everywhere.

When we first came to Bournemouth we lived in prefabs in Russell Road, Kinson.

Mr Davies came home in 1945 when the war ended he had been in belgium.

My father's brother Jack was a fighter pilot during the war.

My father was billeted with Jeanette Renaat (High Commissioner for Belgium in Congo after the war) in Belgium. Then after the war when Jeanette was married they named their daughter Christine after Mr Davies' daughter.

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