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How I Escaped the Rationing

by threecountiesaction

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
threecountiesaction
People in story: 
Anne Coffin nee Hardy-Martin, Christabelle Rigge (mother), Arthur Hardy-Martin (father) and Mr and Mrs Pellow (farmers).
Location of story: 
Exmouth and Meldon - Devon
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A5181842
Contributed on: 
18 August 2005

This story was submitted to the Peoples War website by a volunteer from Three Counties Action at the Stevenage Renaissance Club on behalf of Mrs Coffin and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Coffin fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I was 8 when the war started and we lived in Exmouth in Devon on the seafront and when they started dropping the bombs the planes came across from France across Exmouth and they would go out to wherever they were destined for, but on the way home to off load they would drop bombs on our sea front causing a mess and big craters. My father was a commercial traveler so he was away Monday to Friday so to help protect us he built under the stairs bunk beds for my mother and me, but still my mother was nervous. One weekend we went for a drive to Meldon in Dartmore and we had tea at a farm and she was talking to the farmer saying how alone and frightened she was so the farmer said I have an annex with no electricity (so we had to use old lamps) but with water that you can have. So we moved in and stayed there for the rest of the war.

So it was no rationing for us, we had chickens, pigs and cows so plenty of eggs, meats, milk, cream and fresh vegetables. I used to help make Devonshire cream by taking the cream off the top of the milk.

It was a happier time, as my dad knew we were okay. I rode horses on the moors. We used to get the school bus from Meldon to Oakhampton and on weekends with my school friends we went walking on the moors; to us it was a peaceful time.

When the war finished we stayed there for a while and a house became vacant in Oakhampton and we moved there with my mother and father and I stayed there until I got married in 1955.

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