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WW2 - People's War

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Jillian Tovey's War Time Memories

by ActionBristol

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People in story: 
Jillian Tovey (now Smith)
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Contributed on: 
07 May 2005

This story is submitted by Daniel Howarth, a volunteer on behalf of Radio Bristol Action Desk at City of Bristol College.

I was three when the war started, and seven when it ended. My father was a fireman in the war. My mother used to have a green leather coat that she had on the bottom of the bed. When the sirens sounded, she used to wrap me up in it and whisk me down to the Anderson shelter. I can still remember the smell of the coat.
The neighbours used to come into the shelter. I quite enjoyed it, i was too young to be scared. We used to tell riddles to each other, which i thought was great.
We lived in Kingswood, near to Cossham hospital. It was never bombed as it was believed it was a landmark to help the German's bomb Bristol.
My mother and i went to Wick every evening to stay in a house because my mother didn't want me evacuated.
My father was a fireman and he fought the fires in Castle street.
I carried a gas mask with me to school. On the way to school we used to look for shrapnel as souvenirs and to swap with friends. Whenever we saw American soldiers, we used to chase them and ask 'Have you got any gum chum?' and they normally used to give us some.
We had a very good street party at the end of war.

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