World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Hilary Clarke 

Ann Mallinson's war memories

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Ann Mallinson (nee Holmes)
Location of story: Longstone, Derbyshire
Background to story: Civilian

 

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Louise Treloar of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team from Mrs Hilary Clarke on behalf of the Longstone Local History Group.

 


The memories are taken from a special edition of a newsletter kindly submitted by Longstone Local History Group. It was edited by Liz Greenfield and published in Autumn 2002. Longstone was a village which sheltered evacuees and was comparatively unaffected by air attack, although the night sky was often lit by the fires of the Sheffield Blitz.

At the outbreak of war, I was just starting at Bakewell School on Bath St. I remember the cookery centre in some cottages next to the school. We learnt all kinds of cookery there as well as housecraft and we had our school dinner there too. I left school at 14 and went to work at Granby Garments (now Aitch’s Wine Bar). I was a seamstress on piece work. We made ‘rat traps’ for the ATS girls; they were bloomers, elastic top and bottom.

We also made the bindings for parachutes; some girls put their names and addresses in the binding hoping a handsome RAF man would contact them. Auntie Myra (Saunders) was our supervisor. I sometimes cycled to work, and sometimes caught the bus, 7d (3p) return. We used to go to dances in Longstone Institute and soldiers from the Rifle Brigade lodging down in Monsal Dale would come.


Pr-BR

 

 

Child's view of the war

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: George Jackson (father), Doris Jackson (mother), Barbara, Hilary Clarke, Pam (daughters)
Location of story: Hull, East Riding, Yorkshire
Background to story: Civilian

 

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Louise Treloar of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Mrs Hilary Clarke.

My earliest memory is listening with my parents and sisters to the announcement on the radio of the outbreak of war. I had only been to school about 2 days and the school was closed for a long time, until the air raid shelters were built. When we went back we had gas masks and a little tin with a homemade scone in it as emergency rations. We were taught what to do in the event of an air raid – lying flat on the floor with our hands over the back of our head. At home we had an Anderson shelter. We girls slept in it all night during the summer.

My father lined it with cork granules to cope with the condensation and we slept on bunk beds. The air raids were more like firework night to us – I remember seeing the night sky alight when the docks were hit, but we didn’t take in the significance of it. We all had collections of shrapnel. My mother managed the rations very well, although we had to stop having sugar in our tea. She made bread in the side oven. The big treat was tinned fruit for sunday tea and later in the war, tins of spam. When Thornton Varley’s department store was bombed they moved into the museum – I was fascinated by the stuffed bear and other curious objects.

I was in an isolation hospital with scarlet fever during the war – the food was awful – lumpy porridge , bullet sago, and although only 6 years old, I had to look after myself.

In 1943 I moved to Morley, near Leeds, where the war did not impact on our lives in quite the same way – apart from rationing – especially sweets!


Pr-BR

 

 

Delivery boy

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Bill Oliver
Location of story: Longstone, Derbyshire
Background to story: Civilian

 

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Louise Treloar of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team from Mrs Hilary Clarke on behalf of the Longstone Local History Group.

The memories are taken from a special edition of a newsletter kindly submitted by Longstone Local History Group. It was edited by Liz Greenfield and published in Autumn 2002. Longstone was a village which sheltered evacuees and was comparatively unaffected by air attack, although the night sky was often lit by the fires of the Sheffield Blitz.

I was at Bath Street School during the war. It was mixed then and we all went down to the Derbyshire Café, Matlock Street for our school dinners. I remember evacuees coming into the village. We never went hungry but food was basic, toast and dripping for breakfast and bread and butter pudding made out of stale teacakes. Everybody had a bit of a garden where they grew vegetables and kept a few hens. I wasn’t greatly affected by the war. We could see in the night sky when bombs were dropped on Sheffield and I think I heard talk of a bomb being dropped on Bakewell, possibly aimed at the DP Bakewell Company, which made batteries for submarines.

After school and on a Saturday I was a delivery boy for Mansfields, the grocers (now Bay Tree House). I delivered in Great and Little Longstone and one day, I fell off my bike in front of a lot of people by the bus stop; I was so embarrassed. I liked to deliver to Mrs Hambleton up Sunny Bank, because she gave me a homemade teacake. I didn’t get much money but plenty of broken biscuits. I also did a bit of gardening for Lady Stephenson when she lived at the Lodge, Station Road, and she used to give me duck eggs. Then, when I left school, my first job was as a gardener at Hassop Hall, where I was when the war ended.


Pr-BR

 

 

Edna Beresford's war memories

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Edna Beresford(nee Unsworth)
Location of story: Longstone, Derbyshire
Background to story: Civilian

 

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Louise Treloar of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team from Mrs Hilary Clarke on behalf of the Longstone Local History Group.

 


The memories are taken from a special edition of a newsletter kindly submitted by Longstone Local History Group. It was edited by Liz Greenfield and published in Autumn 2002. Longstone was a village which sheltered evacuees and was comparatively unaffected by air attack, although the night sky was often lit by the fires of the Sheffield Blitz.

(Hilary Clarke talked to Mrs Beresford and wrote this extract)

Edna Beresford was 19 when war broke out. She was working for Mr Dawson, the village butcher. Previously she worked as an overlooker at Miss Frost’s dress factory near Bakewell Station. She learnt to drive and delivered meat with Mr Dawson to the surrounding villages of Eyam, Calver, Litton, Cressbrook, Rowland, Little Longstone and Monsal Head. He often kept her waiting whilst he chatted to the customers. Every Saturday he gave her a butcher’s breakfast, which her dad ate on Sunday mornings. Her father worked on the railway at Rowsley sidings and got there by bicycle. Edna and her pals also used their bikes when they went to the dances or the cinema in Bakewell. If late back from the dances, they crept in so that their parents wouldn’t hear them!

Her father was in the Home Guard and did manoeuvres on the moor.


Pr-BR

 

 

Heather Reeves' War Memories

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Heather Reeves
Location of story: Longstone, Derbyshire
Background to story: Civilian

 

These stories were submitted to the People’s War site by Louise Treloar of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team from Mrs Hilary Clarke on behalf of the Longstone Local History Group.

These memories are taken from a special edition of a newsletter kindly submitted by Longstone Local History Group. It was edited by Liz Greenfield and published in Autumn 2002. Longstone was a village which sheltered evacuees and was comparatively unaffected by air attack, although the night sky was often lit by the fires of the Sheffield Blitz.

Heather Reeves:
At the outbreak of war I was on holiday in Bangor with my parents. We came back early and my father, the Vicar of St Giles, announced the commencement of hostilities. Nothing much happened at first, and then I went to boarding school, so I was only here in the holidays. We used to go up to Miss Reece’s cottage on Spring Bank and do country dancing, using an old fashioned wind-up gramophone. My mother, who produced plays for the St Giles Players, organised an entertainment at the end of 1940 for the local spitfire fund. It consisted of recitals, piano solos and four plays, and half the proceeds went to the war weapons fund. Otherwise she helped with all the activities of the WI.


Pr-BR

 

 

Herbert Bennett's war memories

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Herbert Bennett
Location of story: Longstone, Derbyshire
Background to story: Civilian

 

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Louise Treloar of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team from Mrs Hilary Clarke on behalf of the Longstone Local History Group.

 


The memories are taken from a special edition of a newsletter kindly submitted by Longstone Local History Group. It was edited by Liz Greenfield and published in Autumn 2002. Longstone was a village which sheltered evacuees and was comparatively unaffected by air attack, although the night sky was often lit by the fires of the Sheffield Blitz.

(Hilary Clarke and Sheila Hurst recorded this extract in 1994 when Herbert Benett was 89. He died soon afterwards.)

I was in the APR in the war and took training for mustard gas and all that at Bakewell. An advert came in the paper; they were asking for volunteers up and down the country. We had thorough training, not difficult. I enjoyed it. I remember the bombs dropping on Crowhill Lane. We were out singing with Mrs Goodwin’s choir and she packed up, but I wanted to carry on. There wasn’t much else, a few incendiaries at Youlgrave and a bomb that burnt down Earl Sterndale church. I went to see that. Longstone church was all sand bagged and there were ladders ready to get up on the roof. The village was empty of young ones; a lot went out of Longstone really. I was at Thornhills on the farm, not poultry. We grew crops mainly and didn’t go short of anything in the war. I had a pig up at Thornhills. We grew a lot of our own stuff. All the farmers grew potatoes, corn, cabbage, anything you like to mention.


Pr-BR

 

 

Jane Lincoln's War Memories

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Jane Lincoln (nee Davison)
Location of story: Longstone, Derbyshire
Background to story: Civilian

 

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Louise Treloar of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team from Mrs Hilary Clarke on behalf of the Longstone Local History Group.


The memories are taken from a special edition of a newsletter kindly submitted by Longstone Local History Group. It was edited by Liz Greenfield and published in Autumn 2002. Longstone was a village which sheltered evacuees and was comparatively unaffected by air attack, although the night sky was often lit by the fires of the Sheffield Blitz.

I came to live at the Woodlands near Thornbridge Hall with my mother and father at the beginning of the war. Mr Boot was our landlord, and I remember him coming to collect the rent. He had a little goatee beard and he wore tweeds. Some land girls worked at the Hall and my mother got very friendly with them. I had a Mickey Mouse gas mask, which I carried in a brown cardboard box over my shoulder. I hated having it forced over my face when we practised using it. My greatest diversion was watching the trains come in, seeing all the people getting on and off, and the lovely colourful station garden. Our neighbours were the Gilberts and I thought Reg Gilbert looked very dashing in his RAF uniform; he took me sledging down a steep hill nearby and terrified me. I also went haymaking with his father, which I loved, even though I felt sorry for the scuttling rabbits! My father was in the army and when he was home from leave he would take me on rides down the drive on the back of his bike. One day, out of the blue, my Scottish grandmother appeared on the doorstep; she wanted to see her daughter and granddaughter. A day or so later a telegram boy came with the news that my father, who was 33, had died of typhus in North Africa.


Pr-BR