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15 October 2014
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Ann's War in Kirkcaldy

by cambsaction

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Archive List > Family Life

Contributed by 
cambsaction
People in story: 
Ann Wilson
Location of story: 
Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4625381
Contributed on: 
30 July 2005

I was 9 when war started and lived in Kirkcaldy in Scotland with my mum, dad and three sisters. Another baby was born during the War. Dad didn't go away during the War. He was a night watchman at a linoleum factory and was in the Home Guard. In 1939 we moved to a house with a bathroom which was fantastic. The iron railings had been taken for the War effort. We also raffled things and gave the money to the Headmaster at school for the War effort.

Because of the blackout we didn't see the house lit up until the end of the War. Dad made frames and fitted them to the windows. My sisters and I wore litmus badges which shone in the dark. To get to the shops we had to go along a path between the graveyard on one side and smallholdings on the other. We waited for the search light to come round and then ran as fast as we could. The church bells stopped and were only to be rung to warn of invasion.

When War started we went to the Town Hall for gas masks and never went out without them. We had an Andersen shelter at home and at school each class had a shelter. When the sirens went it was like a fire drill. We all went into the shelter where we sang songs.

I wonder how we got through with rationing. Mum was allowed 6d worth of beef and 2d worth of corned beef for the children. Word got round quickly when things came into the shops and I loved it when oranges and fruit came in. Dad smoked Woodbine cigarettes which were rationed. In a packet he got 9 Woodbines and 1 'Pasha' cigarette which was horrible. Clothes were rationed as well. Siren suits for the children were made from Mum's suit.

Glasgow was bombed in the Blitz and people moved out to stay with relatives. There was not much bombing round Kirkcaldy but the Germans tried to hit the Forth bridge. I watched the naval boats going up the Forth for repair. My stepbrother was on the patrol boats and was chased once or twice by U-boats. I didn't lose any family members in War but know several people who did.

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Margaret Tabbitt of the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Story Gatherer Team on behalf of Ann Wilson and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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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 - Kirkcaldy in WWII

Posted on: 30 July 2005 by greenhill2

Hello Margaret Tabbit
As someone who was nearer the actions in the Firth of Forth on 16 October 1939--The first air attack of the War on UK soil(!) I commend to you my article Ref A1975872 which I'm sure will interest your Contributor.
Rgds

Ed Thomson age 76
Glamis Angus

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