Christmas in Wartime

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Duration: 35 minutes

Aled Jones celebrates the second Sunday in Advent at Holy Cross in Greenford, Middlesex, a church built as World War II raged, and local people share their memories of wartime Christmases to a backdrop of festive hymns and carols and a performance of The Prayer by Jonathan and Charlotte.

Last on

Sun 9 Dec 2012 16:30 BBC One Channel Islands, HD, London, North East & Cumbria, Northern Ireland HD, Oxfordshire only

See all previous episodes from Songs of Praise

Music Played

7 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Hark A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding

    Hark A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding Congregation of Holy Cross Church

    Tune: Merton. Composer: W. H Monk. Words: Latin 6th Century, trans Edward Caswell . Arranger: Paul Leddington Wright. Conductor: Paul Leddington Wright. Organist: Daniel Moult. Performed by Holy Cross Church audience. Musicians: Charlie Brown, Meridith Godwin-Greer, Shelley Britton, Vicky Matthews, Andy Marshall

  • Image for Living In The Light

    Living In The Light Congregation of Holy Cross Church

    Tune: Godmanchester. Composer: Peter Moger Words: Bridget Pailthorpe. Arranger: Peter Moger. Adapted by Paul Leddington Wright. Conductor: Paul Leddington Wright. Organist: Daniel Moult. Performed by Holy Cross Church audience. Musicians: Charlie Brown, Meridith Godwin-Greer, Shelley Britton, Vicky Matthews, Andy Marshall

  • Image for Jesus, Good Above All Other

    Jesus, Good Above All Other Congregation of Holy Cross Church

    Tune: Quem Pastores. Music adaption: R R Terry. Words: Percy Dearmer. Arranger: Robert Ramskill Conductor: Paul Leddington Wright. Organist: Daniel Moult. Performed by Holy Cross Church audience. Musicians: Charlie Brown, Meridith Godwin-Greer, Shelley Britton, Vicky Matthews, Andy Marshall

  • Image for It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

    It Came Upon A Midnight Clear Congregation of Holy Cross Church

    Tune: Noel Composer: English Melody adapted by Arthur Sullivan. Last verse David Willcocks. Words: E H Sears Arranger: Paul Leddington Wright. Conductor: Paul Leddington Wright. Organist: Daniel Moult. Performed by Holy Cross Church audience. Musicians: Charlie Brown, Meridith Godwin-Greer, Shelley Britton, Vicky Matthews, Andy Marshall

  • Image for All Things Are Thine

    All Things Are Thine Congregation of Holy Cross Church

    Tune: Angel’s Song. Composer: Orlando Gibbons. Words: John Whittier Conductor: Paul Leddington Wright. Organist: Daniel Moult. Performed by Holy Cross Church audience.

  • Image for Carol Of The Advent

    Carol Of The Advent Salvation Army Band

    Composer: Eleanor Farejon. Arranger: Paul Sharman.Musicians: Charlie Brown, Meridith Godwin-Greer, Shelley Britton, Vicky Matthews, Andy Marshall

  • Image for The Prayer

    The Prayer Jonathan and Charlotte

    Composer: Carole Bayor and David Foster Lyrics: Alberto and Tony Renis Musicians: Charlie Brown, Meridith Godwin-Greer, Shelley Britton, Vicky Matthews, Andy Marshall

  • Factsheet for Sunday 9th December

    Christmas In Wartime: Aled Jones celebrates the second Sunday in Advent at Holy Cross in Greenford, Middlesex, a church built as World War II raged, and local people share their memories of wartime Christmases to a backdrop of festive hymns and carols and a performance of The Prayer by Jonathan and Charlotte.

  • Interviewees

    This episode features interviews from:

    PETER HOUNSELL
    Peter is a historian based in Ealing. He worked for the council's Library and Information Service for more than thirty years, has written 'The Ealing Book' which is the first local history directory for the W5 and W13 postcode areas.
    The book is published by Historical Publications Ltd and distributed by Phillimore & Co. Ltd.
    Peter has an excellent knowledge of the Greenford area and in particular the consecration of the new Holy Cross Church, Greenford.

    DOROTHY CRESSEY
    Dorothy has been a member of the Salvation Army most of her life. Her husband died 4 years ago, he was a serviceman in the war and came under enemy fire when he was driving an officer to the front line to deliver a document. Aubrey Cressey survived because the shrapnel struck his bible. Dorothy married Aubrey on boxing day 1941 at Salvation Army in Greenford.

    VALERIE HASLAM
    Valerie was born in 1932. She grew up in Perivale during the war. Her dad was in the army and she remembers the difficult times when he was away. She has kept the Christmas cards he sent and reflects on how difficult times were for her and her brother, also how trying it must have been for her beloved parents.

    ROY BARTLETT
    Roy is the author of ‘A little Boy’s War,’ and autobiographical account of life as a 9 to 14 year old lad living in Ealing throughout those dark days. After brief evacuation he returned home prior to the London ‘Blitz’ and was injured by the blast of 1 ton parachute mine in ealing. His parents had a hardware shop and the cellar beneath was a public air-raid shelter. Roy reflects on the memories of christmas during the war and how he remembers the ‘unofficial’ postponement of attack by both sides from Christmas eve to 27th December.

  • Vox-Pops

    We also hear vox-pops from:

    FREDA MARTIN
    Freda recalls having her first Christmas tree and how delighted she was. She vividly remembers how Christmas felt as a child during the war and how small gestures made it feel like a special time despite being unusual circumstances.

    LORNA CHURN
    Lorna reflects on her memories of Christmas during the war. Lorna is a church warden at Holy Cross and has been a member of the church community for many years.

    DOREEN CASTLE
    Doreen is the longest surviving member who attended the dedication service at the new Holy Cross Church. Doreen appreciated the building of the new church but still has a strong connection with the old church, where she enjoys to sit and reflect. She recalls ‘Holy Cross has always been a nice place to go and sit in peace.’

    MAY JEFFRIES
    May was brought up in Perivale and married on Christmas eve in 1941, she was 21. Her husband was called up for service and they got married before he left at Hammersmith Town Hall.

  • Location

    Holy Cross Church, Greenford, London. The address is Ferrymead Gardens, Greenford, Middlesex UB6 9JS.

    The filming location for the vintage motorcycle in Auxiliary Fire Service livery, ARP warden's helmet and WW2 gas mask was provided by the London Motorcycle Museum. The Museum houses more than one hundred motorcycles, and displays one of the finest collections of British motorbikes, including rare and experimental models. The address is: Ravenor Farm 29 Oldfield Lane, Greenford, London UB6 9LB

    Sharing a site with the Motorcycle Museum is The Greenford Heritage Centre, which provided the filming location for artefacts which could have been found in a household at the start of the second World War. The Centre's collection comprises only British- and British-Empire-made household and domestic items from the twentieth century. The address is: Ravenor Farm 29, Oldfield Lane South, UB6 9LB

Credits

Presenter
Aled Jones
Producer
Sian Salt
Series Editor
David Taviner
Executive Producer
Tommy Nagra

Broadcasts

  • Sun 9 Dec 2012 16:30 BBC One Channel Islands, HD, London, North East & Cumbria, Northern Ireland HD, Oxfordshire only

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