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Collecting for their Bottom Drawer

by CSV Solent

Contributed by 
CSV Solent
People in story: 
Michael and Louisa
Location of story: 
Inverness and Havant
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
13 May 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Shelagh on behalf of her parents and has been added to the site with their permission. They fully understand the site’s terms and conditions.

My father was a sergeant major PTI who had been stationed in Inverness training soldiers in preparation for fighting in Europe. He met my mother and they fell in love and became engaged. Mum worked in a bank in Inverness in the days when the farmers were still bringing in their gold sovereigns from under the bed to help the War effort.

Dad was transferred down south in preparation for D-day. When he wrote to mum he always had to say 'from somewhere in the south' but it wasn't until after the war that mum told him she had known where he was in the south as the bank she worked in was forwarding the soldiers' pay to the bank in Havant. People took their security seriously during that period!
Dad was camped in Havant Thicket and eventually like many others went to France, then through Belgium and finally to Holland. In Holland he began sending mum a Dutch dining service for their bottom drawer. To pack and protect the dining service he used stuffing from first, his pillow, then his mates' pillows. Little by little the pillows lost their fillings until they were sleeping in the barely filled pillow cover. His mates never found out who had emptied the pillows!

Although it was a grim time for all concerned it was good to be able to look forward to the end of the war when they could get married and begin a new life together.

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