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Trixie's War

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posted on 2024-06-05, 18:59 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

My mother Beatrice Annie Moles (nee Grundy) was married on her 26th birthday 9 April 1939 which was also Easter Sunday.

She and my father John William Moles lived with my maternal grandmother Margaret Grundy (who was a 65 year old widow) at 21 Oswestry Road, New Hinksey, Oxford which my father had just bought with a mortgage. He worked for the Post Office but volunteered for the army and started his service on 1/1/1940.

My mother was a skilled book binder and went back to work for Oxford University Press in 1940 having left it when she married. Life was miserable in the war for married women with responsibilities. They had to go to work but also get rationed food and take in evacuees and get food for them too.

My grandma did not want child evacuees so the took in a couple who worked for the Civil Service in Oxford. Although the woman wore a wedding ring they suspected that they were not married because the man did not know the date of her birthday. One night when they were out an Air Raid Warden called to complain of a light in the back bedroom. My mother checked and found that it was the glow from an electric wall fire which had been left on. When the couple returned the man said, "Oh I always leave it on in the evenings to warm the bedroom." My mother was furious at this extravagance. Later when food was scarce they complained about getting the same evening meal two days running. After that my mother told them to find accommodation elsewhere!

They were replaced by an elderly couple from the Midlands who they got on with far better as they were retired and were sympathetic to the food difficulties. Unfortunately the man, George Perrett died suddenly one evening. His wife was naturally very upset and my mother had to go out in the blackout to find someone to lay out his body.

My other was active had an allotment and went to church with my grandmother every Sunday. She even painted the outside of the house. She suspected that a neighbour who cam to advise her was really trying to lookup her skirt!

Although she looked back on the war with nostalgia it was a worrying time for married women whose husbands seldom got leave. Also as the war went on seemingly without end their chances of having a family were diminishing even if their marriage did not break up under the strain of separation which in her case it did not.

History

Person the story/items relate to

Beatrice (also known as Beatrix and called Trixie by family and friends) Annie Moles.

Person who shared the story/items

Patrick Harcourt Moles

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

She was my mother (1913 - 2002) and wife of John William Moles (1910 - 1992) my father.

Type of submission

Shared online via the Their Finest Hour project website.

Record ID

113311