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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII


Joan Ross

from:High Street, Bewdley, Worcestershire

September 1939 when war broke out, I was gathering Pat in front of the fire, at 11.00am it came over the radio. We always kept the accumulators charge up, so we should not miss any news,we were issued with gas masks,we soon had air raids, the sirens would go one steady sound and we would all go to 25 High Street, Bewdley in Worcestershire where they had a very big cellar that ran under the road with seats all round the walls, very dimly lit, someone would have a torch and you hear the air raid warden shout put that light out, bill my husband and I would rap pat my daughter in a blanket and sit in the shelter night after night, also everyone from out of the street would be there,we were all frighted you could hear the planes over head and you would hear the boom as they dropped their bombs and you could see the sky lit up as they dropped bombs over Coventy, at the end of the air raid the sirens would go, in short blast, you knew the raid was over and up we come to our houses people cursing the Germans.

In 1941 the free French were billed at Ribbesford House, they were cadets training to be officers, nice looking chaps, we all went and worked for them. 25 High Street was a hospital, Fearsnord was cook (messy cook) I saw her chop up hares and never washed them, full of blood, put them in a pot with onions and a bottle of red wine and cook them, and when they had rice on the edge of the plate would be black bits that were mice droppings. But we were never short of food or wine, we were supplied everyone of us, with a bottle of wine a day and 3 times General de Gaulle came when the cadets passed out as officers, we waited at table and everyone had a small chicken to their selves of course, who were stationed it was lovely. Bason de Gagull was over the soldiers, he was captain, his wife madame was lovely and kind, very slim, blonde always wore dresses split up her thigh, and her shoes were high platform soles, I took Pat to work with me and she always made a fuss of her, she had her own maid, Marcel to look after her clothes, madame was a lady.

We were rationed 2oz marg, per week 1 egg, 2oz cheese, 4oz meat, we had to be careful of every thing, no oranges, but all children under 5 years had orange juice, vitamin c, We had dried bananas sometimes we had clothes coupons, people with large familys did not use theirs,so they would give you you some if you were stuck, people were very kind much more helpful than today. It was a terrible time, men getting killed, but we had happy time.

In 1942 Bill, Pat and I went to Rhyl for weeks holiday on the train from Bewdley. The train was packed we had to stand in the corridor all the way we stayed at Mrs Morris' in Water Street Rhyl, recommended to us by Mrs Bell who owned the sweet shop at 16 High Street. The house we stayed at we had a bed room between the three of us, Pat was 3 years old. There was no bathroom, you had a jug & bowl in the bedroom for washing your selves, the toilet was down the passage way you shared with several others. In the dining room you had your little table and by the side you had a cupboard which you kept your jam, cereal, sauce and anything else you were lucky to have, we paid 3 shillings a week that was for all of us. Mrs Morris supplied all the potatoes and milk at night, you would leave on your table, what you wanted for breakfast and when you came down at 9am it was already for you for you to eat, the same for lunch you left your veg and meat and came in at 1pm it was already for you and you always had milk pudding to follow tea time it was bread marj, jam or fish paste, all very clean. You couldn't go on the beach, it was barbed wired off, but to us it was wonderful, three pounds 3 shillings may not sound much, but dad was earning £10per week that was the usual wage in those days

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