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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Eric's War

by MMBarton

Contributed by 
MMBarton
People in story: 
Eric Glasspool
Location of story: 
Chandlers Ford Hampshire
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A2935578
Contributed on: 
21 August 2004

I was born and grew up in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire. At the outbreak of WW2 I was eight years old. My father was 36 years old, and a lorry driver and mechanic with a small local haulage firm .Because of his age he was not conscripted into the Forces, but joined the LDVs which later became the Home Guard. As his daily work was driving a small lorry and keeping others in good repair, he and several colleagues were attached to a transport group of the Home Guard in Southampton. I have vivid memories of him and his friends going off each Sunday morning dressed in their khaki uniforms in the lorry to take part in exercises on Southampton Common. My father was meticulous about his uniform and especially his rifle, which had to be spotless. He was apparently a very good shot in shooting competitions, winning all he took part in. I well remember seeing the group returning to Chandlers Ford wearing their tin helmets festooned with greenery as camouflage from an exercise .All of them loved it. I think it was for them a way of letting off steam and behaving like overgrown school boys for an hour or two. My father, having been born and brought up in Chandlers Ford and driving for a living had an excellent local knowledge, being familiar with all the roads, rivers, and villages around Southern Hampshire. I cannot remember the year exactly, but I think it was 1942 when my father told us that he had to go to Salisbury Plain to do army type training, and would be away for six weeks. I
know my mother was not happy about this at all. We were quite poor and had no telephone or car or even electricity in our cottage. He went off and did his six weeks with the army and we had no communicati8on with him during that time .When he returned he resumed his ordinary job again, and I never knew what the real reason was for his 6 weeks away. My brother (who is now sadly dead) was convinced it was some sort of undercover training, should we be invaded. My father never talked to us about it in any detail.

In the run up to D. Day 1944 Chandlers Ford was full of Canadian and U.S. troops camped in the woods and along the residential roads under the trees .I was strictly forbidden to go anywhere near the woods at that time ! I remember clearly seeing the troops going off to France, and waving to us, and they in return throwing us chewing gum and dried fruit bars. My father was very much involved in the blitz of Portsmouth and Southampton driving a lorry loaded with a water tank in support of the fire fighters- but that is another story!

I do hope this short account of a few of my wartime memories will be of interest.

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - Chandlers Ford

Posted on: 15 October 2005 by Chris Vine

Hi Eric

I'm really interested in your story as we're doing a project on Chandler's Ford during the war.

Where in CFord did you live as a child?
What do remember about any bombs dropping?
What air raid precautions did you take?
Where were the shelters and what were they like?
What do remember of rationing?
How did the war affect your education?
What did you do in your spare time?
Did you play any war games?
Which areas were out of bounds and when?

I've so may questions I'd like to ask you.

We're hoping to produce a booklet and a Chandler's Ford history website? Would you have any objection to any information you give being included on either of those.

If you still live in CFord we have a local history workshop in the library on 8th November 10-12 (the day before the family history).

I do hope you'll get back to me.

Thank you.

Chris

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This story has been placed in the following categories.

Childhood and Evacuation Category
Home Guard Category
D-Day+ 1944 Category
Hampshire Category
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