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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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User ID: U1974951

As a wartime baby, born in St Mary's hospital Croydon in 1943 and then living in Norbury, SW16, I am interested in learning more about the world I was born into.

My mother and aunt are still alive and can tell me quite a lot, but it is fascinating to read other details from contributors to this website.

Although the war was over by the time I could understand what it all meant, the surprising thing to me now was how much like ancient history it seemed. My mother said 'once it was over we just wanted to forget about it,' and they made a good job of this.

Things I do recall from my childhood are:
blackout material still in the house; a gas mask; ration books with coupons (I still have mine); bomb sites covered with flameweed; brick-built air raid shelters in parks where I played; an Anderson shelter at the bottom of the garden where I lived (and it's still there!). Then there were those mysterious references to 'demob suits,' 'call-up papers,' ARP wardens' and the like that sometimes slipped out in my parents' conversations.

I also think that as a 'war baby' my generation have ended up having the best deal in life of all. First all that orange juice and cod liver oil, then free milk and school dinners, free health and dental care, free education right up to postgrad level, our 'women's rights' secured in the 70s and our state pensions secured too. We surely must be amongst the healthiest and wealthiest generation in history! All of which makes the 'sacrifice' that our parents' generation made seem the more poignant. I do hope they all thought it was worthwhile.

1943baby added messages to the following stories

factory at Norbury?
Thornton Heath

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