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Childhood Memories

by East Ayrshire Libraries

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
East Ayrshire Libraries
People in story: 
Eileen Paszczuk
Location of story: 
Portsmouth, Romsey and Wales
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4037663
Contributed on: 
09 May 2005

The following was told by Eileen Paszczuk to East Ayrshire Library staff at a workshop in Drongan Library on Monday 9th May 2005.

The first thing I knew about war was asking what war meant ; people were saying war, war, war.

Then we heard that the school was being evacuated in 1939 ; we were Portsmouth ; I was 6, my brother & sister were 11 & 12 and a half ; so at that time my mother could come with us. Two other children were with us ; my mother was in charge of five of us. We were evacuated to Romsey in Sussex.

When we were at school in Romsey, my sister was kept behind for a few minutes; so we missed the bus. A German bomber came over and dropped bombs at Mount Pleasant and machined-gunned the bus ; luckily nobody was hurt but the vicar was killed in his car.

We were there until after Christmas and then my father got transferred to Liverpool ; he was in the Navy ; he had come off HMS Hood ; it was quiet at first and we settled into school, then the bombing got very bad by late 1940/41 and the docks got badly bombed.

We had shelters at the end of the street - 50 or more people could fit in.

Then my sister, my brother and me went with the school to Llanfarefechan in North Wales and we stayed there until the end of the war. It was so quiet we didn't know there was a war on. Although there was rationing there was plenty of fruit and vegetables from the allotments

On VE Day we could see the bonfires and fireworks going off in Anglesey but we only had a bonfire.

We had to stay nearly another year until my father came back from America. We went to school and all the teachers were Welsh. I took the scholarship test, but the exam paper was in Welsh!

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