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A Little Girl's Wartime Memory of Visiting Ships in Barry Dock by Jacqueline Brooks (nee Kathrens)

by Stockport Libraries

Contributed by 
Stockport Libraries
People in story: 
Jacqueline Kathrens, Vaughan Kathrens
Location of story: 
Barry, Wales
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A2691957
Contributed on: 
02 June 2004

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Elizabeth Perez of Stockport Libraries on behalf of Jacqueline Brooks and has been added to the site with her permission. She fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

When my Father went into the army (the Intelligence Corps), one of his first postings was to Barry Dock, his old home town. On arriving and reporting for duty he was told that he had been billeted with someone of the same name as his own. On hearing the address, he laughed "That is my parents!" They had agreed to accommodate a soldier. A great surprise for all of them!

On his first leave, my Father took me back with him to visit my Grandparents and have a holiday in Barry. This was a wonderful treat for me, and as my Father had a lot of duties connected to ships in Barry Dock he took me, just a little girl then, with him on a few occasions. We went aboard several ships, once onto a tug boat with a lovely Philippino cook. They all made a great fuss of me and sent me away with treats, chocolate and biscuits and things I never saw in those wartime years.

One day we went aboard a large American ship and when the crew saw me, they came out of their cabins and loaded me with tins of pineapple juice, Hershey chocolate bars and chewing gum, all novelties to me! I was in seventh heaven and will always remember it vividly.

Shortly after this, my Father was sent abroad and we did not see him for a long time. Thankfully he returned home safely and later wrote a novel based on his time serving in Holland and Germany.

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Family Life Category
International Friendships Category
South East Wales Category
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