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Family Memories

by cornwallcsv

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Betty Green
Location of story: 
Beckenham, Llanlileth
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
10 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War website by Sandra Beckett on behalf of Mrs Betty Green, the author, and has been added to the site with his/her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and condition.

Betty moved to Beckenham in Kent, from Llanlileth, in 1937. Married at 21 in 1939 and two years later, in 1941, had a daughter, Carol — her husband was thrilled to bits. 2 days after she was born he sailed away and then was taken prisoner after being captured in Singapore. He was in Changi prison camp in Burma. He had been missing for six months and she received a message from the War Office saying that he was “missing — presumed dead”.
At this time she had stayed in Wales and then went to in-laws in Beckenham. Then she received a Buff card — Japanese Imperial Army, Changi in Burma — it had printed lines on it and she cried with relief to think that at least he was alive. He was there for 3 years plus.
During this time their daughter was growing fast.
The prisoners were eventually released by the Americans and had their 1st drink - beer and cigarette.
Her Grandfather was a source of inspiration telling her he would walk through the door.
During this time Betty did housekeeping work for a doctor and wife.
Her husband received embarkation leave and said “You’re back to Wales when baby about to be born”.
He was in Barracks in Warwickshire — Cambridge regiment. He was 25 when he went — 3 years.
When he came home his daughter Carol said “I don’t like him!!” — she was probably jealous as she did not recognise him as she only a baby when he left.
3 years later Vivienne was born, 25th July, 1948; - she had Leukaemia when she was 15.
Her husband rang from London to say he was “on his way” — Carol was standing on the gate when he came down the street — kitbag on his shoulder. He looked wonderful as he had been on board ship for a month on way back — looked n o different to when he left.
They couldn’t get a house, when back to Town Hall everyday and eventually got a flat in West
Wick ham.
She now has two grandchildren, a boy and a girl aged 41 and 35.
Her husband died in 1977 with health problems because of the war. After 9 months at home he couldn’t sit up because of sores on his back as big as tennis balls!
She has written lots of poems and is now 86 years old

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