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Memories - Ivy Keeble

by threecountiesaction

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Ivy Keeble
Location of story: 
London, Hornchurch, Uxbridge
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
05 December 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War Site by Three Counties Action, on behalf of Ivy Keeble, and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

In September 1939 I was working at The Foreign Office in London and this particular day — 3rd September — I was asked to type out the Declaration of War, which was later, read out by Neville Chamberlain. After I had typed it I was asked to remain at my desk and not to leave the office until this had been read to the Nation.

I enjoyed my time at The Foreign Office and I can remember one day tripping up the steps and landing right at the feet of Sir Anthony Eden. After war had been declared we all had to keep a suitcase packed in readiness at the office in case we were evacuated.

My future husband was in the St John’s Ambulance Brigade and the following year I took a day off work to go with him to Dover where he helped transfer our troops from the boats carrying them back from Dunkirk to the waiting ambulances.

We were married in 1940 and the first of my three daughters was born in 1941 and I can remember one day standing in the hallway at my in-laws house in Hornchurch, Essex and a bomb going off nearby blowing in the glass from the front door which flew past us cutting my baby’s feet as I held her in my arms.

My husband joined the RAF medical corps and was stationed in Uxbridge and we rented rooms in the house of a Mrs. Leno in the town and there was also another couple from Manchester lodging there. We often spent the evenings together to save on the fuel bills — it was cheaper to use one meter rather than the two — but it was a time of great friendship and laughter that left us with many memories.

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