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A wartime childhood

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posted on 2024-06-05, 18:11 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

I was born during the blitz of Birmingham. My mother became a nurse and my father was in the forces, so I was brought up for my first four years by my grandparents in their corner grocery shop. My father was only able to get leave occasionally so I saw him seldom. He bought me a christening robe made of Brussels lace which I still have - an antique by now. Toys were hard to get hold of, so we improvised and I played many games with my grandma's box of buttons. My teddy was a brown utility bear called Marzedotes after the popular song. My father brought me a celluloid doll from France and had to hold his kitbag above his head in the crowded troop train to avoid the precious doll being broken. But in spite of this, I found this stranger with his loud voice and rough battledress who wanted to cuddle me, was quite terrifying and I was never able to relate to him at all. My grandparents were in effect my parents and it was my grandfather who, many years later, gave me away at my wedding. I watched with envy as my three sons played happily with their own children and I realised what both my father and I had lost.


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Shared online via the Their Finest Hour project website.

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