- Contributed by
- People in story:
- E Jessie Luscombe (nee Tyler); Marlene Lainder (sister); Terry Tyler (brother)
- Location of story:
- Prince Rock, Plymouth; London.
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 10 January 2006
This story has been written to the BBC People's War site by CSV Storygatherer Coralie, on behalf of Jessie Luscombe. The story has been added to the site with his permission and Jessie fully understands the terms and conditions of the site.
I started work when I was 14 at the beginning of the war, and I worked for Starch D Blue Reckett at Cattedown. Then my Mum was taken ill and she died leaving me with 2 brothers, Terry and Bill, my little sister and a Gran aged 80, who was a midwife in her day. She was known as Nurse Curtis and I used to go with her when I was young. My sister worked with me on a milk round before going to school, starting at 7 a.m., to pay for my Mum’s milk bill.
My Mum had died and my Father, Bill Tyler, R.A., was in the Army. So I had to see to my family, taking them to the air-raid shelter, and see to my Gran. We had to run up to the shelter, with my brother catching onto my skirt and me carrying my 2 year-old sister. Then I had a letter from my Dad to say he was having the boys evacuated to Cornwall. My younger brother was at St Just, Cornwall, so I had to get their things together. My eldest brother was in very bad health, so he had to come home. The most awful thing was that my Dad sent a letter to my Gran, saying that Billie was going away to Doctor Barnardo’s in York. I only ever saw him once after that, and it is still with me. It was awful and I cried all the way home. This very big lady picked him up.
Then my Gran died, so my sister and I went to London to stay with my Auntie Vi in Shepherds Bush, and while we were there the bombs were awful. I took a job in the cinema in Acton, to pay my Auntie Vi and Uncle Ted. I enjoyed it and had my photo taken with a star who opened the Children’s Matinee on Saturday morning. I wish I could get that photo. While I was in London, I also worked in ???? making ???? for Lancaster bombers.
After a while, I had to return home to look after the house, and Gran, who had stayed with her eldest daughter. I then had a letter to say that I had to work on the buses part-time. One day Gran asked me to get her dividend from the Co-op, which I did. When I returned home, Gran had peeled the potatoes. I thought she was asleep, but she was in a coma, so I had to ask someone to look after my 2-year old sister while I ran all the way to my Auntie Win’s, but sadly Gran died.
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