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Author Topic: Home Life in WW2  (Read 120964 times)

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Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #195 on: November 02, 2015, 22:10:44 »
millership. A friend who went to Barnsole Road school was re-evacuated from Herne Bay to Bargoed- also " up the valley's" in 1940. Was the scholl split up when you went to S.Wales? The County school, where my (next door neighbour)particular friend went with his elder brother, went to Rhymney ; he was billited with the local clergyman. We visited Rhymney when I was at St. Athan W. & he, doing his Nalt. Service, E. by cycle in 1950 & met the son of the clergyman. He'd done his Natl. Service, seen a bit of " how the other half lived" & no way was going down the pits! We might have known each other at B. Road, either in Gillingham or Herne Bay. In 1940 I went to live with an aunt in Shepperton, Middx.for 2 years as my parents weren't keen on me being as far away as Wales- for they never would have seen me. Came back in '42 to the County S., so we may have met there? I was in the Scouts ( 43rd Medway) , were you F or G or L Class?- I was the latter. Although we had brick built air raid shelters at ground level, I don't remember using them very much, not like "every day". See some of my earlier posts re Doodle Bugs, etc. I've read peterchall's latest list of the reduction on food when the war ended- how did we survive? I think bread was not rationed- National Wholemeal ; 10d (4p) - for I remember eating a lot of that with just jam on ( fortunately we grew raspberries/ gooseberries/ blackcurrents in the garden to make the jam).Also in 1945, I became an apprentice at Shorts seaplane works where we had a good canteen, so presumably I stoked up there ; 1/6 (71/2p) for a main & pudding for apprentices!

Offline conan

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #194 on: October 31, 2015, 19:09:29 »
Carry on,you'll always have an audience here :)
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Online Bilgerat

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #193 on: October 31, 2015, 12:53:24 »
I'm sure three's plenty of us who'd like to hear more

Same here......
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline peterchall

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #192 on: October 31, 2015, 12:42:33 »
I'm sure three's plenty of us who'd like to hear more
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline millership

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #191 on: October 31, 2015, 11:28:39 »
I was at Barnsole Road too. I was evacuated to Herne Bay but came back home after a month. re-evacuated to Maesycwmmer in May 1940 and came back in time to start my scholarship at Gillingham County School in Sept. 1940.and stayed in Gillingham for the rest of the war. Anyone who wants to hear more, let me know.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #190 on: May 23, 2015, 15:09:49 »
An indication that everyday home life didn’t improve with the end of the European war were these government statements in the Daily Telegraph of 23rd May 1945.

1.   There is no immediate prospect of an increase in the clothing ration.

2.   Countries better supplied with food than Britain will make sacrifices to help liberated allied countries. USA and Canada have adopted a ‘share-and-share-alike’ policy.

3.   Britain will reduce food stocks by 300,000 tons and will consume less than in 1944.

4.   Rations for Prisoners of War not in working parties will be reduced to less than civilian rations.

5.   On the brighter side, supplies of fish are expected to improve, more fresh fruit will be imported and more eggs-in-shell obtained from Canada.

The effect on specific rations included:

Bacon: Reduced from 4oz to 3oz per week.

Cooking Fat and Oil: Reduced from 2oz to 1oz. Trade supplies of cooking oil to be cut by 10%. Suet to be rationed later. Fat content of biscuits to be cut.

Sugar: It will not be possible to issue the Christmas bonus of 1/2lb per head.

Cheese: 2oz ration to stay the same.

Meat: A cut in the ration of 1s 2d worth will be avoided by having  butchers take 1/7th of their supplies as corned beef for 5 months of the year. Meat for manufacturing will be cut by 1/3 for the rest of the year.

Skimmed Milk Powder: Stocks will be heavily drawn upon and trade supplies almost stopped.

Evaporated Milk: There will be cuts for the services and caterers.

Rice: No prospect of resuming civilian supplies.

Soap: Reduced by 1/8th except for babies and children.

Compare to today’s definition of ‘austerity’.

On top of all that the war continued in the Far East, with every prospect of fighting for years against a skilful and determined enemy.
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Offline ann

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #189 on: March 01, 2015, 12:00:47 »
 
Even more of a tragedy when you read this.
 
The tragedy at Weald House, Crockham Hill, during the last war.
In 1944, Little Mariners at Froghole (Crockham Hill) was being used by the LCC as a home for evacuated children, but the house was severely damaged by incendiaries and the children and staff moved to Weald House (now Hoplands) on the edge of Crockham Hill Common.
 In the early hours of Friday 30 June 1944 a flying bomb (doodlebug) came over, apparently struck a tree on Mariners Hill and was deflected onto Weald House. Twentyone children and eight female staff were killed in the tragedy - Kent's largest single civilian loss during World War II.
(Oliver Fielding-Clark's autobiography, Unfinished Conflict contains a piece about this - he was Vicar of C Hill at the time and one of the first on the scene.)
All the victims were buried in Edenbridge churchyard, where you can find the memorial.

There was one survivor Peter Findley, then a year-old infant with measles who had been put in another house for isolation. Over the years Mr Findley has been trying to find details of his mother, who was killed in the tragedy. He lives in Yorkshire and has visited both Edenbridge and Crockham Hill several times with his wife, and has so far managed to locate a woman who worked at Weald House at the time and knew his mother well.
Thanks to Mr Kev Reynolds for the above details.'

:

 
 

Offline peterchall

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #188 on: February 28, 2015, 17:16:01 »
The policy of trying to stop V-1s reaching London had at least one tragic consequence. In the early morning of 30th June 1944 one was shot down by AA guns and crashed on Weald House, Westerham, where 30 children aged under-5 (ironically evacuated from London) and 11 female staff were sleeping. 22 children and 8 staff were killed and all except one of the other occupants injured
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Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #187 on: February 27, 2015, 21:50:51 »
Peter, well it was open country compared with 20 miles further on and, of course, 30 miles further back. In those days Gill'm, Rainham Mark, Rainham, etc. were all completely separate with orchards/agriculture (as was most of Kent) etc. between. To continue my recollections. Our neighbour was a Marine (based at Chatham Bks.) & captured in Crete. He was repatriated in '44 with T.B. & said the German guards were so sure that Britain would join with Germany to fight the Russians! Someone asked who the Home Guard were - "Dads Army"? Well, yes & no. All those I knew were dedicated to the task that might befall them; very serious. They didn't have any weapons until late '42 when they were all issued with Browning.303s, kept "under the stairs". I remember my Dad coming back from the firing range in the chalk pit, Woodlands Road & saying he could see the target but had to put on his reading glasses to see the sights & then couldn't see the target!! Just ordinary chaps, many being ex forces from WW1. e.g. mid.1912. My Dad was an indentured apprentice Fitter & Turner to Richard David, Artois Works, 366 High Street, Chatham (a 581/2 hr. week! 1/-wk.1st year, 2/-, 3/-, 5/-, 7/-, 10/-). In 1918, he joined the Navy as an ERA & was on HMS Walpole in the Med. until demobbed. Various jobs ranging from Naval Depot in Berks., etc., then back to Medway, Shorts & finally the Dockyard in 1938 where he was an electrical fitter on submarines until he retired in 1962. H.G. 2 evenings a week (1 at "Z" battery & 1 day at w/ends; also all night fire watching from the roof in the Yard once a month.  (tbc) Dave Smith.         

Offline peterchall

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #186 on: February 13, 2015, 22:30:21 »
Toward the end of the war, we had V1's ( Doodlebugs) coming over in profusion day & night but again, mostly on their way elsewhere.
They were intended by the Germans to be on their way elsewhere – London. But our own people kept trying to bring them down on us! Though I don’t think we saw it that way at the time.
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Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #185 on: February 13, 2015, 20:28:13 »
We had an Anderson air raid shelter in the garden, dug into 3ft. of chalk with 3ft. above ground covered by spill from excavation. When the siren went, we moved out from the house to spend the night there; unless the all clear sounded before we'd got back to sleep, then it was back to the relative warmth indoors. Later in the war we'd become a bit blase & only went out if there was a lot of " activity" in the area. Mostly, enemy aircraft were overhead - a constant heavy drone, whoo, whoo, whoo on their way elsewhere - but there were a few incidents of bombs being dropped locally. I only remember once hearing the sudden whooosh as a "stick" of bombs landed in Beatty Avenue, less than 1/4 mile away. Toward the end of the war, we had V1's (Doodlebugs) coming over in profusion day & night but again, mostly on their way elsewhere. We would watch them during the day going "like a bat out of hell", very occasionally the engine stopping in mid-sentence so to speak but all those I saw glided on, didn't drop vertically. The sound was unmistakable (granderog, thanks for the link, altho' that BBC sound isn't quite right - the pulsing was much more definite. I've found a better one on www.PeriscopeFilm.co "V1 The Robot Bomb" by the Crown Film Unit, which is excellent). I can hear their sound now! When I look back, I don't think at any time we were worried that we wouldn't win the war, optimism by my parents I suspect, which was conveyed to us children. tbc DaveSmith

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #184 on: February 12, 2015, 13:35:57 »
As a relatively new member, I've added to various threads & now spent some time going back to the beginning of this (Jan.2010). So, having read peterchall's "book", as I was also there, I'll add a few of my own recollections. Peter's memory is, to me, phenomenal & my excuse for not being that good is, "what a difference a year makes"- but that's pretty lame! As Peter says, "if it's not written down now, no one will know in the future what it was like". Born 1930, (in the Canadian Maternity Hosp., near G'ham park), I lived in Cornwallis Avenue until Jan.'47 when I joined the RAF as an Apprentice. In 1939, the day before war was declared, I was evacuated with the school (Barnsole Rd.) to Herne Bay (8, New St.). We shared our schooling with the locals, each having 1/2 days.The rest of the time we were looked after by teachers or "helpers" -  mothers who had come with us. As somewhere that I knew from holidays, I had a great time there. I specifically remember on the Sunday am when war was declared, the siren, on the roof of the fire station just round the corner, went off & wasn't it LOUD!!  At the end of the " phoney" war, we never saw an aircraft, the Germans were just across the Channel so our School was re-evacuated to Bargoed in S. Wales. My parents didn't want me that far away, so I went to live with an Aunt in Shepperton, Middx., coming back home in July 1942.  tbc

Offline peterchall

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #183 on: January 22, 2015, 18:08:21 »
I don’t know the current status of Brompton and St Mary’s Barracks. What was the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) is now the Royal Engineers’ Museum. What was the NAAFI Club is now a hotel.

The REME Workshops you refer to were at Wainscot, in Islingham Farm Road, and are now the RSME.

For all three services the girls were usually the ones moved out into billets when the permanent barracks became full during the war, often into what were the peacetime married quarters, hence the ATS being billeted in Sally Port.
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Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #182 on: January 22, 2015, 13:04:31 »
I have a local map where Southill Barracks is shown. ATS were billeted in houses along Sally Port Road by the Lines in late 40's. I used to cut thro' that way when it was foggy - roads dangerous - on my way cycling home from Shorts Seaplane Works to Cornwallis Ave. No doubt a lot of your cooks/spud bashers would have been living there. Have Brompton B., St. Mary's B. & R.S.of M.Eng.(& the NAAFI Club) also all gone the same way? I was very much involved with the new, very large, REME barracks/workshops over the Medway, up Frinsbury Hill to ? ( no sign of it on curent maps!) in 1966/67 when I briefly came back to work in Kent - also ditto at Arbourfield in Berks.(that is still very much there). Dave Smith.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Home Life in WW2
« Reply #181 on: January 19, 2015, 21:14:36 »
Southill Berracks was on Chatham-Maidstone Road, on the left going up from Chatham Station, starting just after Westmount Avenue and ending at Southill Road Laundry – so literally on ‘South Hill’.

It is now the site of a small housing estate but was then a Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) barracks, hence the bakery. RASC were the army’s ‘domestic servants’ and transport, and a driving school was located at Southill Barracks as well as a Transport Company. It was by working there that I learned of the army’s ‘Task System’ for maintaining vehicles; all the routine maintenance was broken down into ‘Daily Tasks’ for the driver – check engine oil, tyre pressures, coolant, adjust brakes, etc, on specified days, and a notice would be displayed on the garage wall stating something like ‘Task Day 2’, Task Day 3’, and so on. I devised a Task System for my bike as a result!

Another memory comes back to me – that of stores of foodstuffs presumably for distribution to local units. The was a room with a 3 or 4(?) potato peelers – not soldiers on ‘spud bashing’ fatigue – but drums about the size of a domestic copper with a very coarse lining. When these rotated at high speed the skins of the spuds were virtually ripped off. So potatoes were issued already peeled, although not to other static barracks like Brompton Barracks (where your cousin would have trained as a Sapper), because I remember seeing spuds being peeled manually in the cook-house at such places. Or more correctly ‘womanually’ because, unsurprisingly in those days, such tasks fell to the ATS. The ready-peeled spuds were probably destined for small units with limited cooking facilities, such as AA gun and searchlight sites.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

 

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