- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Marjorie Denton
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 20 May 2005
This story has bee submitted to the People’s War Site by Anne Wareing on behalf of Marjorie Denton and has been added to the site with her permission…
I was living in Middlesborourgh, 13 and still at school when war was declared. I was one of 12 children, 9 boys and 3 girls. I was the one in the middle. I remember us having to carry our gas masks everywhere and getting into trouble if we didn’t have them. I finished school when I was 14 and started work as a domestic, I did this for a while then went in to shop work becoming the manageress of a fruit shop at the age of 16 some fruits such as oranges and bananas were unavailable, although children with green ration books were allowed entitled to them when there were any. Blue ration books, went from the ages of 5 to 14, then you got a buff coloured one which was for adults. You got 2oz butter,2 oz tea, 2oz lard to cook with and dried egg powder and of course there were clothing coupons.
Middlesborough was very heavily bombed one night in 1942. The steel industry and the nearby shipyards were prime targets for the German bombers. And it was on the night of this big air raid that my brother Tony was born.
Our Anderson shelter had been dug down into the garden and we had to spend nights in there. Father worked in the shipyards at Smiths Docks, at this time, a dangerous place to be in wartime.
When I was 18 I went to work to work in the steel works, but had to have my parents permission to do this type of work. Later on I worked at North Ormsby Cottage hospital, where I was a matron’s maid.
All my family survived the war, one brother went to France with the Pay Corp and narrowly missed being killed when the gun carrier he was traveling in was hit by a shell; he was the only one to survive the hit. Another was in the air force. Two other brothers were in reserved occupations, the steel works, and farming and the rest were too young at the time to take part.
On VE Day I was at a wedding and didn’t know the war had ended until I got home, I remember going into Albert Park and joining in the big celebration.
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