We made the journey over to Ham each week all through the war – my father was in the Home Guard and often came along in uniform after being on duty somewhere in the area. I was evacuated to Cornwall near the end of the war and when we (my brother and I) returned, things had changed and we did not come to Ham much.
So that’s when I went into radar which was a very new thing at that stage and in many ways I wished I’d done that from the beginning because it was very interesting and I enjoyed that, moved round the country quite a bit.
My father was in the fire brigade and during the war they came to Ham and were at Ormeley Lodge which is on the other side of Ham Common, were the Goldsmiths live, and it was the garage and their fire engines in there and it was the garage, what would have been the chauffeur’s accommodation was for the firemen, but my father living so close, always came home. But at night, they used to do two days on and two days off. That’s another thing, my father on his days off he reverted to being a window cleaner and […]
It was very, very safe and peaceful childhood up to the war of course. We had an Anderson shelter, I can remember my father fitted it out beautifully and we slept there. Normally we went to bed there, we didn’t get up in the night. I can remember him getting us all up to see the fires of London, it’s an abiding memory is that. And watching the German planes coming over. So in your war years you weren’t evacuated? No I had the summer of ’44 away because my sister and her little friend along the road were sent […]
Well, food was short then, rationed and three children to feed. And my Dad at that time was in the Army, he was abroad, so I often think how hard it was for her. She had to take her turn in firewatching down the road at night, for the incendiary bombs. I can remember sort of going over there, but mostly I remember playing at the end of the road, because one of the houses was knocked down completely, a bomb fell on it, we would play up on the bombed buildings. We used to look for little bits of […]
I can remember we had a street party – I’m not sure whether that was VE or VJ Day but we had a street party, every street had a party that day with the Mayor visiting. How they done it food wise I don’t know but they give us kids a lovely time anyway.
Mainly I suppose, those caused by the war because I didn’t know that it was war time and I thought that that was normal life. Just across the road where the grass is wider we had a public air raid shelter and some nights we would have to go and sleep there. We had a British restaurant in South Lodge on Ham Common and we would go and have lunch there, sometimes. I thought that was normal life. I didn’t realise that was not the normal state of affairs. It was a very busy, of course, and probably a very […]
Yes, and I think our favourite place was the pits. There were invasion barges moored there and I can always remember.. I ‘ve got a brother that’s a few years younger than me and I used to take him everywhere with us and we were trying to climb onto one of these barges – I got up there, my kid brother who was four years younger than me and he fell off the tree into the water and it was only by a local lad going in after him otherwise I wouldn’t have a brother. Yeh ..proper kid’s paradise, we […]