Memories Of The Second World war

number12I can’t explain why I so enjoy watching Second World War  movies. I especially like to watch the scenes of the cities in England during the war. The TV series “Foyles War” is a great show and reminds me of of so many things about those times. I suppose its because I was there, sheltering from the bombs often in a London tube station.  I listened to people singing the popular songs of the era, laughing and cursing Hitler and the Gerry’s.  My sweet wife Linda likes to tease me when I’m watching a war movie by saying, “I can tell you who wins” I just pretend to ignore her. Nevertheless, the war was without doubt the most significant and vivid memory of my childhood, indeed of my whole life.. It directly affected my life and the circumstances surrounding my upbringing. I recall the many nights we spent in an Anderson shelter, very much like the one in the photo. Other nights laying on a platform in the tube station (underground railway). I remember clearly seeing a V1 flying bomb crossing the sky in bright sunlight. We could hear its engine, which of course was a good thing! when you stopped hearing it, it meant it was coming down. I don’t miss the rationing or shortages and remember the vile tasting cod liver oil we were give at school to supplement our diets. I never saw a banana or ice cream until after the war and candies were a rare treat that only came off ration in 1948. Those of us lucky enough to have a toy it was usually hand made from wood. Most toys related to the war, a wooden ratchet type tommy gun, wooden tanks and jeeps. The most popular boys toy was a spitfire. I had a toy air raid wardens tin hat, it had sharp edges and I cut myself more than once wearing it.  We wore clothes that were too small or well worn and patched and always second hand. New clothes were hard to come by and expensive plus we needed clothing stamps to purchase them. I was just a young boy and did not understand the why and wherefore of a world at war.  For me it was just a normal part of living, growing up I had never known anything else. I found it even more difficult to understand when it ended. I had to turn in my gas mask that I had carried everywhere for as long as I could remember. We could leave the lights on and not cover the windows. The street lamp post were brightly lit, and bus and trams roll by with lights blazing in the passenger windows  But the strangest part was people dancing and singing in the streets, lighting bonfires, waving and cheering and hugging each other. I survived the war and now in the autumn of my life like to look back to those long ago events, the awful terrible and sometimes happy times.article-2016667-0D13A2D000000578-904_964x692More on the Belfast Blitz


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About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
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