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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
Warwickshire Libraries Heritage and Trading Standards
People in story: 
Mrs Ashford
Location of story: 
Coventry
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4061675
Contributed on: 
13 May 2005

The story was submitted to the People's War by Judith Harridge on behalf of Mrs Ashford. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
I married Ken Ashford on 23rd December
1939. He was a Coventry kid. We met at my Grandmother's house. I moved to Coventry where we lived with Ken's father and mother. I was 19 and Ken was 30 years old. We were married for 61 years. Ken died Boxing Day 2000 aged 91 years. We never had a family which we both regretted but we were quite happy.
Ken worked at Bagington on Whitley Bombers. He was moved from Armstrong Siddeley cars with a few of his workmates to get the aircraft set up. A lot of girls from Barwell who had been in hosiery factories had been conscripted to work at Bagington. Ken was their gand leader. Many of their husbands and boyfriends never
returned from Action which was very sad. On 14th November, Ken had the afternoon off so we went ot Warwick to see his mum. We caught the red bus in Warwick about 6.45pm. We got to the Kenilworth Road at Earlsdon Avenue about 7.30pm. The town was ablaze! We couldn't go any further so we walked along Earlsdon Avenue until we got to home a German plane dropped a stick of bombs- one hit Standard Paint shop, one hit Bunty's Garage and the third one dropped in the garden opposite and killed a lady in the shelter opposite.
We were caught in the blast but weren't hurt, except Ken had cut his finger badly. Afterwards, mu mother in law wernt to the Butchers in Sir Thomas White's Rd and he said "Have you seen your face?2- it was black from the soot that had come daown the chimney during the bombing. They had a good laugh about it.
In 1941, we moved to Whitley where I had a job on the inspection of nuts and bolts form bombers. I worked there for five years on £3 5shillings- 7.30-5pm. Ken was an ARP warden who worked on shifts depending on whether they were working nights in the facories.
There was a surface shelter opposite our house and a few of us went there with jugs of cocoa to help keep us warm as sometimes the raids went on for a long time.
The Whitley ARP wardens and other wardens had a tug of war teams for a barrel of beer.

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