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15 October 2014
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Troops in Seskinore

by FivemiletownPrimary

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
William Grugan Mr Walker Mr Lynch
Location of story: 
Seskinore / Fintona County Tyrone N Ireland
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
17 July 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by a volunteer from Fivemiletown Primary School on behalf of Mr W Grugan and has been added to the site with his permission.

The war started in September 1939, before long everything started to get scarce. Rationing was brought in for everything, butter, bread, beef, bacon and only a few sweets. We were given a ration book with a fixed allowance. Clothes were bought with utility stamps.

Everyone was issued with gas masks and we had to paint our windows black.
The only accommodation suitable for troops was at Seskinore, one mile from where I lived and also in Fintona. They used the large estate houses belonging to the McClintocks in Seskinore and Eccles Ville House in Fintona.

First the British troops came then the G.I.S. The soldiers shared out sweets and cigarettes with civilians. I do not remember the date but the day after Belfast was bombed, six evacuees arrived to stay with us. There was a granny, mother and four children all from Belfast. Apparently a lot of evacuees were sent from Belfast to the country. The principal of Denamona Primary School Mr Lynch was an ACP officer Air Raid Precautions oficer. His job and that of his senior Mr Walker from Omagh was
to find vacant houses for these evacuees.

A bakery was opened up in Seskinore so the soldiers were able to deliver fresh bread to the other camps in the area. I remember tasting my first cup of coffee which was brought in to Northern Ireland by the American troops.

Suddenly all troops started moving out with only a skeleton staff left in the quarters. We later heard on the radio that they had been moved to France adn remained there until 1945.

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