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The Wartime Memories Project - The Second War

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII


Lee Bradshaw


I was aged five when WWII finished. I lived throughout the war in Coventry, Warwickshire. Our house was an end house. We had an underground air-raid shelter with a tube running up through the ground for air. It smelt of old damp concrete - I can still remember that smell! The air-raid sirens would go off, which frightened me, and I would run screaming into the house. I remember seeing and playing in the streets on the bomb sites with other children.

My father worked for the BTH [British Houston Company] which was turned into a munitions factory during the war and then back to light electronics after the war. Rag and bone men collected old saucepans to help the war effort. I remember seeing black and white films and also war bond adverts. My mother's eldest brother was on fire watch and was killed by shrapnel. Another uncle served in the Merchant Navy. I remember playing with a sailor doll made of rags which he kept in a drawer. I can remember that sugar was sold in blue bags and milk was delivered by horse and cart. The milk was measured in gills into a jug with a saucer. Bread was also delivered by horse and cart. I also remember ration books and the shortage of toys and sweets, and the day when sweets didn't need ration coupons! The co-op shop had a damaged front and temporary doors were fitted. I bought broken biscuits for a penny, yellow sherbert in small bags and liquorice sticks.

Later we moved to Yorkshire and the Lindholme Aerodrome which had Lincoln bombers and, later on, jets.

The Americans who came later in the war, were good to us children and we had our first chewing gum in cartoon wrappers. They played baseball games and there were open days at the aerodrome in the 1950s.

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