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15 October 2014
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A Starlit Romance

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Dorothy May Parker
Location of story: 
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Contributed on: 
24 May 2005

On 31st August 1939 the office I worked in for a car dealer, which was next door to Wellington Barracks in Petty France, was taken over by the Army and we all became unemployed. We had previously been warned and were given thirteen weeks’ pay (£25!), and I had already found a new job in the Royal Exchange, as a clerk for an insurance firm. I started on 1st September 1939 — and met Denis. I think it was love at first sight for both of us — we courted in the blackout!

We wanted to get engaged on my 21st birthday (3rd May 1940), but Dad said we hadn’t known each other long enough, we’d only been together eight months. Denis lived at Morden Park, about four miles away, so we did a lot of walking between our respective homes in the blackout, with incendiaries lighting up the night sky and shrapnel falling around us.

Denis was very romantic one moonlight night, during the usual air raid. We were looking at the stars when Denis lifted my left hand. He lined up the third finger with the Pleiades and said that these were the diamonds of my engagement ring…

We got engaged on Christmas Day 1940. He was called up as a glider pilot…and was lost during the invasion of Italy, 10th July 1943.

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Steve Gothard on behalf of Dorothy May Parker and has been added to the site with her permission. Dorothy fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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