University of Oxford
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Margaret Simpson's Childhood in Wartime Birmingham

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posted on 2024-06-05, 20:12 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Contributor was evacuated at the age of 11 in 1941 from Birmingham to Lichfield with members of King Edward Grammar School. The family in Lichfield who hosted her were well off and made her eat with the staff. She was sent to live with a local solicitor who lived in a large home far removed from the contributor's council house in Birmingham. Was plentiful food and it seemed the solicitor took part in bartering for his services to supplement their food rations. The school continued in local buildings. Communication between parents and Margaret was difficult, as her new home had a phone but her parents did not. They could only communicate via letters. Her father worked at Joseph Lucas factory, mother in the women's voluntary service. Her father was working at the Lucas factory during an air raid. The factory was bombed during his shift but it did not explode. Only spent a year in Lichfield, she lived together with another friend from school and moved back to Birmingham in 1942. Gathered meat from neighbours in Lichfield, in Birmingham there was less food. Was in the countryside near Stratford when VE day occurred, went into Stratford to celebrate. Lots of American soldiers were there and while her friend got drunk, she did not. Relief at the end of the war but did not fully appreciate its significance.


Person the story/items relate to

Margaret Simpson (neé Garvey)

Person who shared the story/items

Margaret Simpson

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Contributor's own story

Type of submission

Shared at Coventry Cathedral, Warwickshire on 9 September 2023.

Record ID

97502 | COV011