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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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An Account of a Young Women at War

by LeanneaBanana

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Contributed by 
LeanneaBanana
People in story: 
Anon(The person who contributed these memoires wished to be unnamed)
Location of story: 
Scotland
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4411298
Contributed on: 
09 July 2005

At the age of 15 I never really apreciated what the war was all about. I didn't have any brothers who would have to go to the front. I was living away from home and in domestic service at the time so I didn't really feel much at the begining. Life went on for me much as usual except for blackouts and rationing.

I was drafted into an arms factory when I was 19. This was a former Puller's dye works that had been converted into an arms factory. I trained as a welder and welded drop tanks for American Thunderblots . I would never have ahd this type of job in peace time. If i hadn't agreed to do this I would have been conscripted into the forces. I stayed till the end of the war. Before that from the ages of 15-19, I worked at Keir hospital in Dunblane - a prewate house turned into a convalescent hospiatl for souldiers. Here I was a cook. The owners son was the founder of the S.A.S.-David Stirling, "The Phantom Mayor,"

All though other enjoyed a great social life due to the changing role of women I was limited due to transport restrictions.

The war time situation changed society. Women could now sought out careers not drugeory. Because of the war I had grow up very quickly and was given many repsonsibilities normally denied to people so young. I had to fight my rights in the factory, for example fair pay. Overall the situation made me more independent.

There are other aspects of the war that i remember quuite clearly. One was the evacuation. We had an evacuee from Glasgow for a couple of years. We had no choice but to take her. It was hard for her to fit in for she came from the city enviromentand couldn't adjust easily to the life in a village - she didn't even know that milk came from cows.

Rationing is another thing I remember clearly. We had the usual rations which could supplement witrh game, and wild fruit and vegatables. Dried egg was awful. You could have soeled your shoes with it but still we had to eat it and were glad of it. Of course if you had the money you could get extra on the black market from Spius in the town.Overall it was easier for the rural folk to cope than the city folk.

Finally when the war ended there was great celebration. I went to the village square singing and dancing and it was all lit up. It was a grat feeling to know that life would start to go back to normal although rationing was not stopped until 1952. I had been gradually been phased out.

The losses were great. I lost a lot of school freinds and my older sister lost every male class mate.

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