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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Exeter Poem

by csvdevon

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Mrs June Davey
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11 August 2005

Poem sold around Exeter after the Blitz in May 1942. The poem was bought by June Davey for 3d

Poem sold around Exeter after the Blitz in May 1942. The poem was bought by June Davey for 3d

One of my lasting memories of WW2 is our home in Exeter being very badly damaged during an air-raid. It was a corner shop and house. Part of the roof fell in (luckily we were at friends that weekend) and every window and door blown in and rubble everywhere.

My parents did a massive clean-up job so as to keep the shop going but we couldn't actually live on the premises. We ended up in the stable loft behind a house belonging to Mrs Martin in Middlewood near Starcross.

We had no conveniences there at all but we could use their outside toilet and have an occasional bath indoors which was very kind of them.

Water for drinks - cooking - washing etc was carried up in buckets from an outside tap. To reach the loft we climbed a set of large steps.

Some of our furniture was brought there - beds - a table and chairs - oil stove and lamps and it was our home for several months.

I was 13 at the time and attending Ladysmith Girls School. My parents and I used to get an early bus every morning from Cockwood Bridge to Exeter so as they could open up the shop — general groceries and fresh fish on Mondays — and I could get to school on time. We also brought with us every day ‘the cat’!!!

My sister was in the Women’s Land Army based in North Devon and so missed out on all this.

One thing I must stress, our mother — God bless her — was a brick all through the war. Never grumbling about anything — just taking it as it came, although I’m sure she would have been worried sick, she never showed it to us girls. And when you think she’d already been through the 14-18 War and had a brother come home from abroad with ‘sleeping sickness’ from being gassed and nursed him until he died. My father too had a brother killed in France in 1917.

I am just so thankful I was able to bring up my children in relative peace.

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