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WW2 - People's War

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I was 15 when war broke out

by shropshirelibraries

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Nellie Steel
Location of story: 
Darlington, Cumbria
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
10 May 2005

I was 15 when war broke out. I was born in London, and evacuated to Darlington, Cumbria, where I worked in the NAAFI.
My mother remained in London, but I travelled back and forth to visit her.
My brother was also stationed near to Darlington. We did have bombing, but no where near the amount in London.
My job in the NAAFI was to pack food for the soldiers, they wanted to send me to Germany to work in a NAAFI based there, but I didn't want to go, it was too dangerous.
I stayed up in Cumbria for most of the war, but caught Diptheria. The weather in the north was not as mild as in the south, which was what I was used to.
I was looked after in the attic, and I remember sleeping in a deck chair. Only the doctor was allowed to come up and visit me, and I remember having to take tablets the size of old pennies.
It took me a while to get over my illness.
I do remember walking home [Darlington] one day. There was not a soul about, I could hear the sirens and saw the ARP warden. Then realised that a plane was directly above me, and started firing. I remember running as fast as I could. I'm amazed that I wasn't hit.

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