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Colour Blind

by csvdevon

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Julia, Maria Clarke/nee Walker Gracewalker, Jesus
Location of story: 
Milton Combe, Nr Yelverton, Devon
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
20 September 2005

Julia Clarke is willing to have her story entered onto the People's War website and she fully understands and agrees to abide by the House Rules

I was born in 1939. My parents, brother and I were bombed out of Tracey Street, Plymouth but I have no memories of this. We were eventually evacuated to the top of Milton Combe. Two and a half miles away at Yelverton was the aerodrome staffed by American Canadian and Polish airmen. The surrounding villages were asked if they would have some of these men to tea as they were all miles away from home right out in the countryside. My mother told me this. Then I can remember a tall dark young man being outside our home and telling me he had hidden sweets for me to find for my brothers. If I was far away I was cold then getting warmer as I got close. He was laughing and smiling with lovely white teeth. Later on I remember waking up in bed calling my mum. No answer and thinking she had gone down the village shop. I ran down the hill in my nightdress barefooted. Part way down the young man with his friends was coming up and he carried me up the hill, took me into mum who was still asleep in the chair. He was called Jesus.

The war must have ended. I was about 6 or 7 when at Sunday school. The teacher Mrs Stephens showed us a picture of Jesus floating up to heaven at Easter. I told her he did not look a bit like the picture. He had very curly black hair and dark skin. She said my imagination was working overtime or I had dreamt it. I said no he had come to my house for tea. Later on I learnt he was an American negro.

The war never affected me as a child with bad memories. In Buckland Church's cemetary there are some graves all together of some of these young men and whether it still happens I don't know but every Remembrance Sunday a wooden cross with a poppy is put on each grave.

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