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Rural Cheshire In Wartime

by cestrian

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Keith Lewis
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Contributed on: 
24 November 2003

I was born in 1934 and spent my childhood in cheshire where my father was a Ploughman working with Shire horses.Our house had no gas or electric supply but unlike some of our neighbours we had a water supply fed by a spring.I went to school in the small village of Little Bollington which was about a mile from where I lived with my parents and brother Ian who was 3 years younger than me.

During the Blitz we could see a red glow in the sky that was Manchester burning and if we looked in the opposite direction we could see Liverpool burning.

As we lived in the countryside you may think that we had a quiet time but we had a few bombs in the area a huge one falling about fifty yards from our house blowing the front door off it's hinges We also had an A.A. battery at nearby High Legh which showered us with shrapnel.I discovered after the war that a decoy site was situated at Tatton Park about three miles away and that this was lit during raids on Manchester to lure the bombers in our direction.

As well as housing the decoy site,Tatton Park also housed the Parachute training school where our airborne forces were trained, also the secret agents who were later dropped into occupied Europe,I used to watch them jumping from a basket suspended beneath a barrage balloon.

One event that sticks in my mind is when five men called at our house asking for mother gave them some cheese sandwiches and a cup of tea.They said that they were Polish soldiers and that they had become seperated from their convoy,they were dressed in khaki boiler suits which had no insignia and one of them asked me if we had any ammunition for the shotgun that was hanging above the fireplace,when I told him that we had none they thanked us and left.Later,when the daily paper was delivered my mother read that the Police were looking for five escaped German P.O.W.'s.My mother swore us to secrecy as she thought that if our "guests" were the Germans she would be charged with aiding the enemy!

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