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15 October 2014
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"Hitler Be Damned!"

by cambsaction

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Archive List > Love in Wartime

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Jeanette Atkins (aka Peggy)
Location of story: 
Churchdown, Gloucester
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
26 September 2005

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

I was married the day before war broke out. As the Saturday approached, we received several telegrams saying guests could not come. It was very disappointing. Then one arrived from our best man, Kyle Kelam, saying ‘HITLER BE DAMNED.COMING TONIGHT.’ Mother had food prepared for 40 guests, and with so few of them able to attend, the village was well fed that day.

We managed five days on honeymoon, although not in Paris, as intended — we had to cancel — but in Devon. However, I spent my time worrying about my family back in Gloucester.

My husband was in a reserved occupation as an electrical engineer. He tested planes around the Isle of Wight where they would be often be shot at by the Germans. I followed my husband around the country during the six years of the war, travelling to wherever the bombers were. We began in Bristol and ended the war in Boscombe Down, Salisbury.

I treasured the telegram sent by our best man that day, and kept it for many many years afterwards.

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