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WW2 - People's War

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A Child's War Years - Sheffield

by Researcher 250603

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Researcher 250603
People in story: 
Gladys Tillbrook
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Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
04 November 2003

By Gladys Tillbrook

I lived in Savile Street in what was known as back to back houses. It was an industrial area particularly steelworks and was a target for German bombers. When war broke out, being 10 year old children, we were more excited than afraid. On the night of the Sheffield blitz I remember the sirens sounding at about six thirty in the evening. We had to take shelter in our cellar along with my cousin and his wife. My cousin Jim had only recently been rescued from Dunkirk and he didn't know which was worse, waiting for the rescue or listening to the bombs falling. Seven people across the road were killed as a result of a direct hit from a land mine. Gas mains were on fire as well as the railway sidings. Our house ended up with no roof, no door and no windows, but we were safe.The fist night after the damage we stayed at a friend of my fathers and after that we stayed with a cousin. After six weeks the house was repaired and we moved back in.
The schools had been closed so we had to go to someone's front room for lessons twice a week. We thought this was wonderful-no school. When we eventually returned to school we were taught safety precautions, like getting under the desk when the caretaker came along wearing his tin hat.
Food was rationed, we were allowed 1/2lb sugar. 2oz butter, 2oz margarine, 4oz meat.If other stuff was available you had to queue up for it. Like tomatoes, you were allowed 1/4lb tomatoes and the grocer would even cut one in half to make up the weight. There was no entertainment for us other than playing in the street. I remember Sunday afternoon in the park there was a dance as kids we thought this was great.
Story by Gladys Tillbrook.

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