My Dad's War

By ALLAN HUISH, SENGHENYDD

I am 70 years old, my name is Allan Huish.

My Grandfather was killed in a railway accident when my father was about 14 years old. My Grandmother Mary Huish invested the compensation in two buses, which later my father managed for her. She had 5 sons and three daughters, and no husband before the last child was born.

My father was 35 when the war started. He was excused military service because he was required to transport workers to work and home. His typical day was; Get up at 5.00a.m. Pick up morning colliers at 5.30a.m for the day shift at Bedwas Colliery. Drop off the day shift at 6.00a.m, pick up the night shift to take them home. At 7.00a.m.pick up the workers for the Royal Ordinance Factory (ROF) at LLanishen. Back home for breakfast.

All the morning he spent working on the buses to keep them road worthy. The buses were a Leyland and an AEC. My father had worked in General Motors in U.S.A. several years previously, and could strip an engine down, and do most running repairs.

At 1.30p.m. off to pick up the afternoon shift for Bedwas colliery, drop them off and pick up the day shift for home. At three thirty pick up the afternoon shift for the ROF, drop them off and pick up the day shift. Back home for tea, and to catch up on some sleep.

At 9.30p.m. off to pick up the night shift for Bedwas colliery and to to pick up the afternoon shift. 10.30p.m. down to Llanishen to pick up the afternoon shift from the ROF. Back home by about 11.30 p.m. for bed only to have to repeat this at 5.00a.m the next day.

He did this every day during the war. I can never remember him having any time off. The second bus was driven by a number of other drivers during the war. As I got older towards the end of the war, I travelled with him many times during school holidays. Life was very hard, but so much fun as a boy in Senghenydd.

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