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WW2 - People's War

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Teenage View of the War

by BBC Open Centre, Lancashire

Contributed by 
BBC Open Centre, Lancashire
People in story: 
Jack Hesketh
Location of story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
30 March 2005

The first real recollection was hearing that the War had broken out in September and following on from that I left school at 14, and started work at a butchers and grocery shop.

The rationing which from memory, ended up as 2oz of butter, water and margerine, 2oz of lard, quarter pound of tea, a pound of sugar and one shillings worth of meat per week per person. I had to weigh all of these for our weekly ration. Things were very tight, food wise and not many people may know this, but eventually this country only had two weeks supplies of food for the whole nation due to U boats sinking ships.

After that, the air raids, I remember we were in the Anderson shelter in the back yard, and planes going over and one dropped a flare that lit the whole place up. We were fortunate that we didn't receive any bombs, but Liverpool and Manchester did.

My father was in the Home Guard and one night they were expecting to be invaded, but this did not materialise.

I remember being at St Peters school, Byron Street, with sandbags all around, when one german plane came over and was circling above and we had to go there in case any bombs dropped - fortunately, they didn't.

Of course, for a 13 year old, this was very exciting but you didn't realise the horrors or warfare.

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