- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Marcia Matthews & her family
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 25 February 2005
Mrs M Matthews told this story to a People's War volunteer at the Longdon Age COncern Day Centre. She is accepts the terms and conditions of the website.
Our family had a farm in a small village in Devon. We all lived there together: my brother was 16 years older than me and deaf, so he stayed home to help my dad on the farm. We had landgirls and PoWs to help out as well.
In late 1943, when I was about 11, our farm was surrounded by Yanks. The US troops were segregated into two camps: all the white soldiers were in huts further away in Stover, whilst the black troops were camped in tents all along the roads about our farm. I used to get sweets from them. Mum would send me to visit the black soldiers in camp and invite them to our house for tea. She used to welcome them saying ‘they’re all God’s people, black or white’.
Mum would play the piano, dad would play darts and my brother and grandmother would play cards. We’d have about 20 round each visit and we’d have such a good time — stay up until 2am! All the soldiers would bring a little something as a gift and we’d entertain them. One of them once asked my mum if he could take me to the cinema, just to have someone to watch the film with. They were quite lonely.
When D-Day came, they all went away to fight in France and it was all very flat round about. We missed them, but 2 soldiers did write back to my Mum to tell her they’d survived D-Day which we were very pleased to hear.
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