- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Louise Bottrill
- Location of story:
- Guildford, London, Wales, Cambridgeshire
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 08 November 2004
I was born in London and was an only child. Because of the severe bombing I was evacuated to Guildford, Surrey where there was no bombing and as I was so homesick I was taken back to London. As the bombing was still severe my mother had a Welsh lady friend who took me and her own child to Wales where it was safer.
We stayed in a miner’s cottage which was dark and damp, when the men who were miners came home they were covered in coal dust and they took a bath in the front room as there was no bathroom in the house.
As I was so bewildered, I cried for three days whereupon the lady of the house sent a telegram to my dad telling him that I was very upset, my dad sent a reply back to her for me to be brought back home.
All was quiet for a little while, then the bombing started in earnest, I wore a “siren suit” and when the siren went and I rushed down to the air raid shelter and stayed there until the all clear sounded.
Many mornings after a raid, as there was no gas or water, we had to go to school without any breakfast.
My Uncle George suggested .that we evacuate to a village. named Rampton in Cambridgeshire where his family were living, we shared a lorry which was piled high with all our furniture and moved, leaving many treasured pieces behind.
We stayed at a public house “The Black Horse".The owner wanted to retire he suggested that my dad buy the public house, this we did, life became more peaceful.
My father joined the Home Guard. I had school dinners and one day I had a nice dinner until the pudding arrived covered in black dots; we would not eat it, then the cook came out of the kitchen and said “don’t you know that there‘s a war on (and a few mice droppings won’t hurt you”! all the children were hungry but, they could not face custard with mice pooh in it.
Dad had brought a piano from London and set it up in the bar my uncle played the piano and it attracted lots of R. A. F. boys who flew the Lancaster bombers who were stationed at Oakington Airfield, after visiting the pub we never met many of them again —shot down in Germany.
We had many happy evenings together but unfortunately some of the men we never saw again!
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