World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                     Jessie Baston 

Peace Pledge Union

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Jessie Baston
Location of story: North East England
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Alan Shippam of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Jessie Baston.

When war broke out I was teaching at a Grammar School in a village in County Durham. As a member of the Peace Pledge Union (“I renounce war and will never support or sanction another one”), I joined the local group.

When the night of bombing of Germany began, I wrote to the local paper on behalf of the group to protest. A reply appeared, my Landlady’s husband said, “If you intend to reply to this letter it will be from another address!” I replied c/o a member of the group. He was furious, “Get out!”

It was 8 o’clock in the morning, I packed my things, spent a night in the school’s medical room, then was offered a flat in Durham, returning soon to the village where I was given accommodation by an elderly woman who shared my ideas. However, I had by then been appointed to a school in the West Riding and came down to Sheffield where I found more people who shared my views, and a more tolerant atmosphere generally.