University of Oxford
2 files

Wartime Memories of Oonagh Godfrey

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 19:56 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor shared a handwritten account of the wartime memories of Oonagh Godfrey. He explained that Oonagh had lived in London and was sent to Ireland around 1940 by her parents to avoid the bombings. The contributor stated that Oonagh had been unhappy with her family in Ireland and, upon her return, Oonah remained unhappy. He highlighted that all of her schooling had taken place in Ireland.

The contributor also shared about his own wartime experiences as a child who was born in 1937. The contributor recalled being given a gas mask as a child of about 4 years old while living in Headington. He remembered being told about a plane crash near Barton, as well as blackouts and the front of his home and the botanical gardens in Oxford being stripped of iron. The contributor recalled that all Oxford buildings had been black, and they were only cleaned after the end of the war. The contributor also noted that an American Air Force base was located at the site of what is now Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

The contributor shared that he had a green ration book and received no chocolates or very few. He added that meat could be purchased on the black market, the cheese allowance was the size of a ribbon, dried egg was disgusting, and he never remembered being hungry. The contributor noted that Headington was a shell of a village during the war, and there was one daffodil placed at the Barry the Butcher's near the chapel. He also mentioned that his mother knew British Sign Language, which she learned as a student at Abingdon Convent School because they were not allowed to speak. The contributor recalled Victory over Japan (V-J) Day, and his sister and her friend using chalk to write a large "VJ" on a wall in Headington. The contributor's father worked in the post office during the war, and the contributor recalled travelling to London with his father and seeing many damaged buildings. The contributor also remembered being upset that he did not see a doodle bug, and the high point of that trip was riding up and down the escalators on the Underground.


Item list and details

A written account of the wartime memories of Oonagh Godfrey.

Person the story/items relate to

Oonagh Godfrey and Tony Godfrey

Person who shared the story/items

Tony Godfrey

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

The contributor shared his own wartime memories, as well as those of Oonagh Godfrey, whose exact relation to him is unknown.

Type of submission

Shared at Fitzharrys School, Oxfordshire on 16 September 2023.

Record ID

118649 | FIZ006