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WW2 - People's War

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A Braintree Family at War

by Braintree Library

Contributed by 
Braintree Library
Article ID: 
A3228969
Contributed on: 
05 November 2004

I was 15 when the War began in 1939 but I was exempt from the Forces as I worked at Courtaulds factory making parachute silk.

My husband Leslie volunteered for the Air Force in 1940. He became an aircraft mechanic and was posted to Llanelli in Wales. He was then posted to Naples in Italy for the rest of the War where he worked on Lancaster Bombers. He sent a letter home saying he would see Naples and "Die". I cried thinking he was not coming back until it was explained to me that "Die" was an island off Naples!

My brother Eric was in the TA and went into the Essex Regiment. He was sent to France and drove troops to the beaches. He survived that but then went to Tobruk in North Africa where he was captured by the Italians and transferred to Germany. He was a POW for 3 years and when he came home, he was so thin we did not recognise him.

My other brother Bernard was in the Navy and trained on HMS Ganges and was sent to Tasmania for the duration of the War.

My sister Freda was in the WAAF and sent Morse code messages. Her last posting was at Rivenhall Aerodrome.

I remember mines coming down by parachute and landing in East Street, Braintree which destroyed most of the street. Doodlebugs came over making a noise, when this noise stopped they came down.

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