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15 October 2014
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Leslie Flavell Story

by Lancshomeguard

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Leslie Flavell and Family
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06 August 2005

This story has been submitted to the People’s War website by Anne Wareing of the Lancashire Home Guard on behalf of Leslie Flavell and has been added to the site with his permission…

When the war started I was 8 years old and living in Wythenshawe with my mum, dad, brother and sister.

Dad dug a pit in the garden for an Anderson shelter then he covered it with three or four inches of soil and grass. We had a paraffin pressure stove and a Tilly lamp down there, as well as two bunk beds my dad had made and I can remember the old couple next door sharing it with us as theirs had flooded. Dad worked on directed labour, bricklaying at Portsmouth Dock on slipway repairs and at Churchill Machines Tool Grinders for munitions.

I went to school and Mr. Boyce was the name of the headmaster and I recall getting a third of a pint of milk each day to drink. Things were in short supply and I pushed a pram to a woodpile to collect firewood, in the house we had a black-lead oven and mum would bake pies, fuel was also needed for a fire for the front room We would sometimes get food parcels with cod liver oil and Brookslax chocolate squares which were laxatives.

I remember teaching my sister to ride a bike, running all the way behind her holding her up the four and a half miles to Ringway Airport, which was used for parachute practice and we used to catch the bus to Southern Cemetery and the tram which ran to Piccadilly Gardens, then we would pay a visit to Woolworth’s three penny and six penny store. In Wythenshawe Park there were two or three large barrage balloons and you could hear and see the bombers flying over to bomb Manchester.

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