Sunday 11 October 2020

Pondering on how life has changed this year for all of us it led me to considering how life might have been during the war years and how our parents and grandparents coped with all the horrors that they had to face.

My Father died 12 years ago and being of that generation he never actually spoke much about the war apart from sharing some photographs about the life in Alexandria where he was stationed during WW2.  The odd occasion when questions were asked he just replied that he had seen things that he would never wish to see again.

Now my Mother (her Father had died which resulted in her being sent to boarding school) had never mentioned it at all.

I decided, therefore, that at her age of 93 it was about time I found out a little about her life during that monumental period.  So today I took the opportunity to ask what she remembered and this is what she said.

"At the age of 13 I was living in Rickmansworth at the boarding school I was sent to after my father died and my mother and elder sister had to work.  

We were totally sheltered from all that was going on.  Life centred about lessons and learning and the only difference was that we used to go into the tunnels which became our classrooms during that time. 

We tended to have groups of about four friends and in the dormitories we would have midnight feasts and everything was done for us.  We knew nothing of the outside world as there were no televisions and we were not allowed to listen to radios.  We were cocooned in our own little bubble of safety oblivious to what was going on around us.  I don’t really remember war planes or anything like that because once inside the tunnels we just concentrated on our work.  Life was just normal.

 But we had no friends outside of that environment.  While my sister and my mum had friends at home I didn't have any as my friends were at school.

When I eventually left school at the age of 18 it was 1945 and the war was over.  

I went for an interview in a bank and was totally honest when they asked me questions about the war – I just said I didn’t know anything about it as I was at boarding school.  They gave me the job so they must have liked my honesty.

I knew nothing about boys or men and I met your father while out for a bike ride.  We got married at Christmas of 1946.  I was 19 years of age and I had given up working in a bank to help him run his paper shop.”

The reason I am documenting this on my blog is because, to me, this explains such a lot and I don’t want to forget it.