World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Freda Olive Wilson 

Childhood Memories Of Life In Wartime

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Freda Olive Wilson, James Horace Merrick (My Dad)
Location of story: Woodhouse Sheffield
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Olive Wilson.

I was born in 1934 and went to Woodhouse West School. We had to have our gas masks with us all the time and every morning we tested it by breathing through it and picking paper up off the desk. My dad, like everyone else, made blackout blinds for the windows. If a chink of light was showing the wardens would bang on the door and shout “Put that light out”.

I can remember having our feet being measured every year at school, to see if we needed extra clothing coupons to buy shoes. I prayed every time that I would not get any, but I always did. I always imagined my feet would be size 10 when I left school, but they were a normal size 6.