World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                         Shirley Rouse 

Shirley's Story

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Shirley Rouse
Location of story: London

                                                                                       Shirley and her grandmother

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

We were living in Enfield, just outside London, when the war started and the heavy bombing lit up the sky over London to a red glow. It wasn’t pleasant and my mother always suffered from her nerves so all she wanted to do was get away and when my little friend from school came and said, “My mum is going in to the country to where our relatives are, would you like to come too?” my mother just packed everything onto my little sister’s pram and away we went.

We caught a train to Liverpool Street Station, in London and changed there to get into the country and from the end of the line, we walked and walked and walked, about 15 miles. When we got to their relatives, enquires were made to see if anyone could take us in. No-one could, so they made enquiries from a village we had passed through, and the owner of the local village shop took us in.

We were there many months until my mother had a breakdown and then we had to go back to her mother’s. My maternal grandmother didn’t want me so I was packed off to my dad’s mum who turned my life round with her love. I enjoyed the school I went to and the outings with my grandmother. She helped me in so many ways and I was sorry when the war ended, and I had to go back home. Eventually I was able to repay her by having her spend her last days in my home; she died in my arms, and I lost the best friend I’d ever had.