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WW2 - People's War

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A Glamorous Auntie

by Ipswich Museum

Contributed by 
Ipswich Museum
People in story: 
Margaret Bridges
Location of story: 
Woodbridge, Suffolk
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A3322946
Contributed on: 
24 November 2004

I remember starting school during the war and of sometimes being led down steps to what seemed like a dark cave to a very small child. We used to pass the time singing songs like “Ten Green Bottles” until it was time to be let out again. After all these years I still recall the smell of the shelter.

At home, I remember huddling under the stairs or our big heavy kitchen table whilst there was an air raid. (For years afterwards I was always afraid when the siren sounded for a fire call out). In bed sometimes I would hold my breath and hope the droning sound of the doodlebugs would not stop.

One day we were all taken to have our gas masks fitted and tested but I had no idea at the time what it was all about; however I was quite upset when my little sister was given a “Mickey Mouse” gas mask and I just had a plain one!

My mother’s sister, who had lived with is and worked in munitions, was my idea of a glamour queen. She would dye her legs and draw a line up the back to imitate stockings. She acquired parachute silk which my mother made into petticoats etc.

There was great rejoicing when my 19 year old uncle returned from Dunkirk to be given saved up rations.

On VE night my mother hung a huge Union Jack from our bedroom window. We went out onto the Market Hill where we lived to join the singing and dancing and to be given sweets and gum by the American servicemen.

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Childhood and Evacuation Category
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