World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                          Lynne James 

War Baby

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Lynn James S(Nee Whittaker) Ronald Whittaker (father deceased), Francis Marjory Louvain Whittaker (Mother deceased).
Location of story: Leeds - Yorkshire.
Background to story: Civilian Force


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Julie Turner of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Lynn James.

My name is Lynn. I was born in Leeds Maternity Hospital, Hyde Terrace, Leeds 2, 13th October, 1944. I know this because my mother was given some postcards to fill in to send to family. On the back of the card that was sent to my father, she filled in the relevant details. I think my father was in Africa.

My father had met my mother when he was in the Royal Artillery and manning an anti aircraft gun at Headingly Cricket Ground. Mother worked at Greenwoods and Batleys making uniforms. They met at the military dance and Father put his details on the back of the dance ticket.

The only memory of the war that I have puzzled me for years, I was floating through the air towards a bonfire with a big ugly face on it. I was being carried towards the bonfire of course.

The photograph of me as a baby was taken in May 1945, it was taken for a Bonnie Baby competition. The photograph of my father was taken at Heys Common in June 1939 on the day he was issued with a Battle Dress. He is second on the left holding a fire beater. Mother lived with her father, a widower, who had been injured in World War 1, three sisters and a brother. He worked on Fire Watch with a neighbour who was a keen cricketer. The neighbour took his cricket bat on Fire Watch and liked to knock the incendries “for six” into the adjacent canal, Grandad used the usual incendry scoop.

Mother and Father were married on the 23rd August, 1942 at the Church of the Venerable Bede, Wyther Park, Leeds. I was christened in the same church in October 1944.