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15 October 2014
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The day Dad gave his slippers away

by cambsaction

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Daphne Bunton
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26 September 2005

[This story was submitted to the People’s War website by a volunteer from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on behalf of Daphne Bunton and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Bunton fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.]

I was living in Coleridge Road in Cambridge, a girl of 11 or 12 and I remember the troops, straight from Dunkirk, coming down the road and the officers billeting the lads along the street as they went.

We had two boys — they were only teenagers. All they wanted was a bath! Mother gave them a bath and a hot meal. Dad gave one his slippers as the boy's boots were in such a state after Dunkirk. Then the siren went. They grabbed their bayonets and guns and rushed down the road to report in, one still wearing Dad’s slippers!

Later two more soldiers were billeted with us. They were treated as family. During their stay, the bomb fell at Vicarage Terrace. We would get under the table when the sirens went. Later in the war, there were incendiary bombs down Hills Road.

Young soldiers were billeted at Salisbury Hall, so I collected many of their autographs in a book I still keep and treasure to this day.

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