- Contributed by
- BBC Southern Counties Radio
- People in story:
- Ann Brady
- Location of story:
- North London, Sherston, Bath, Angel Islington, Lynham Airport, East India Docks
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 11 July 2005
This story was added to the website by a CSV volunteer on behalf of Ann Brady, who has given her permission for her story to appear on the site, and understands the terms and conditions of the website.
Being evacuated from North London to the West Country a small village called Sherston about 20 miles from Bath with my mother, brothers and sisters. Father was away some of the time helping the War effort by building runways at Lynham Airport and ambulance driving at the East India docks in London.
I remember the American Soldiers, billeted near our village, how they helped us with sweets, tins of Spam and coal! I remember the day they left. I was standing by the side of the road, all the tanks rolling past on their way to the coast I presume, as I stood there a soldier called “hey kid” from the top of a tank and said “catch” and he three me a packet of chewing gum. The village was very quiet after they had gone.
Also I remember the Italian prisoners of way who were kept in the street where we lived, in a hall. My friend and I would go up and talk to them through the wire fence. After a while they were let out at week ends and they used to visit our house as my mother was Italian. They also made things like rings from the cockpits of airplanes they had found while working in the fields, they also made woven baskets.
One day a coach with German soldiers went through the village, everyone stood at the side of the road and jeered. After that they changed the route.
We returned to London in the back of an open lorry, as soon as the war was over. I was about seven and I remember VJ day at a street party, going on stage and singing for an orange even though I was very shy, because it was the first time I had seen an orange.
I also remember roller-skating from where we lived at the Angel Islington, into the city and seeing St Paul’s Cathedral standing all alone and all around the flattened bomb sites.
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