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The War Continues

by actiondesksheffield

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
actiondesksheffield
People in story: 
Dorothy Wright
Location of story: 
Rotherham - Sheffield
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A6192579
Contributed on: 
18 October 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk — Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Dorothy Wright, and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs. Wright fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
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The war years were years of bad news and good news, and one could never really be sure that we were getting the truth all the time. I recall that we did not continue to carry the gas masks we had been given for very long, although there was always the danger that we may be subjected to a gas attack.

We had arrived to live in Rotherham and the persons who had lived in the house previously had made but a half hearted attempt to dig the hole required to cover an Anderson Shelter, so we did not bother to go in to it when we had an air raid warning. Certain cities and towns suffered very bad attacks, with much damage and loss of life.

Sheffield suffered one such blitz in the first December after our marriage, and the enemy returned for a second attack two nights later. The damage in Sheffield was terrible and now the people of Sheffield learned what it had been like for some time in London.

It took Sheffield many years to get back to normal so when I went every few weeks to visit my relatives, I had the chance to see the devastation.

Jacquie was born in August 1941, so now we had other things to deal with. A baby was given a gas mask with which she could be protected, and John had to go and collect this and learn how to use it in case of a gas attack. Fortunately it was never needed. We had some difficulty obtaining the clothes and equipment needed for a baby and we had quite a lot of make do and mend, but Jacquie continued to grow and had her daily dose of cod liver oil and orange juice.

Early in the war, there had been a scheme to evacuate children living in susceptible areas for future bombing, to country places where they hoped they would be spared this trauma. We are still hearing the stories of the experiences of the children, some good and some bad. At one time some of our neighbours took in two of these children and when the hosts had no space to offer to them for two weeks, owing to a family visit, I took these two young lads for two weeks. They returned to the neighbours after two weeks and I was rather relieved, as I had not enjoyed catering for them, being an inexperienced housewife.

Pr-BR

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