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"War time in a Norfolk Village"

by nottinghamcsv

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
nottinghamcsv
People in story: 
Mrs. Vera Atkinson, Mrs. L.W.Edwards and Mrs. O.C. Beard
Location of story: 
Brundall, Norfolk
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A5756448
Contributed on: 
15 September 2005

"This story was submitted to the People's War site by CSV/BBC Radio Nottingham on behalf of Vera Atkinson with her permission.
The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions."

At the beginning of the Second World War, I was living with my parents in the Norfolk village of Brundall, until I was old enough to join the Women's Land Army.Royal engineers were stationed here to mine the East Coast beaches, it was a dangerous job and they usually had some casualties.
One day in the summer of 1941 we were informed that a large lump of gelignite used in their work, had become unsafe and would have to be blown up. The village had to be evacuated on a certain day, leaving all the doors and windows open. A date was fixed. My sister, who also lived in the village, had recently given birth to a baby boy and was due to return home. We arranged for her to remain a little longer in the maternity home. Her husband was away in the Army so we were caring for her little dog, a golden cocker spaniel who was not any trouble. My dog was a different matter. Paddy was a large fierce mongrel. It was not feasible to take him on the train to Norwichand walk him around the city for several hours.
My mother decided to pack up some food and we walked far out into the countryside away from the danger zone. Fortunately the weather was favourable, I am sure the animalsthought it a great idea. To out disappointment on our return we learned that they had not managed the job. We had a repeat performance a few days later when fortunately all was rendered safe so life returned to normalin the village or as normalas possible during wartime.

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