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Life in Somerset

by agecon4dor

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

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People in story: 
Mrs Marjorie Hardyman
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Contributed on: 
27 June 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by a volunteer from Age Concern, Dorchester on behalf of Mrs Marjorie Hardyman, and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Hardyman fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I lived in Bridgwater with my husband. This was a safe place to live during the war, and we were very lucky. We always heard the bombers going overhead towards Cardiff, but we were never targeted.

When the war broke we were on holiday in Newquay. My husband left at once to prepare the house for our children and myself - making it safe, putting up the blackout curtains etc. When I returned I found half of my family from London had turned up looking for a safe place to stay. My sister’s husband went to war and so my sister came to live with us and she worked in the food office, responsible for giving out the ration books.

I was lucky I had my husband with me. Because of an enlarged heart the Army and Navy turned him down,and he worked in the local bank and the Home Guard. We did look after an evacuee from London, she was only young with a small baby, but she missed her home too much and didn’t stay long before returning to London.

We kept busy and I led a group of women making the stockings for the seamen, we worked in groups and I ran the depot, sorting out the parcels to be sent to the Navy.

When the sirens went we used to hide under the kitchen table, we had a mattress under it and all used to gather under the table until it was safe. I remember one bomb that did get dropped nearby, it exploded in a field near the high street. The force of the blast blew the window out of a drapers shop, and the funniest sight was the undergarments from the display flew out into the street. We did all laugh at such a funny sight.

My daughters decided they wanted a garden party to raise money for Dr. Barnado’s, so all my friends gave me a little bit of their rations and I made cakes and everyone was very generous and the children made quite a lot of money. Everyone pulled together and shared what they could.

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