World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                       Stanley Horton 

My Life As A Schoolboy During The 2nd World War

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Stanley Horton, Edward Horton (Brother), Edward Horton (Father), Evelyn Horton (Mother), Robert and Albert Horton (Brothers) Joyce and Margaret Horton (Sisters).
Location of story: Rotherham, South Yorkshire
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 Stanley Horton.

I remember when Mr. Chamberlain, on September 3rd 1945, said that we were at war with Germany, my father, my sister and I were visiting my grandparents. My family consisted of my father (Edward), my mother (Evelyn), Brothers (Robert, Albert and Edward), sisters (Joyce and Margaret). Margaret was born during the war years.

On the night when the war was declared, the air raid sirens sounded and my mother, who was of a nervous disposition, panicked, but in the end, the all clear was sounded and nothing happened.

Near where we lived, was the local T.A. centre. We used to go down there to watch them disembarking to their postings. One day, a gang of workmen visited the locality and put Anderson Shelters in our gardens. With us having a large family, we had a fairly large shelter, which was equipped with six bunks. All the children in the area said that they had the best.

In Clifton Park (Rotherham) there were soldiers doing their training. I remember going there and marching behind them. Once, there was a Scottish band, bagpipes and all. We all thought that was great.

On the nights of the Sheffield Blitz, we did not use our Anderson Shelter; we all went down to St. Anne’s School’s shelter about 2 minutes’ walk away, and it was nights of fun. A man was playing an accordion and there was community singing. A lady was telling stories. When we came out, we could see the fires in the distance.

Just before D-day, my eldest bother Robert was called up to join the army and was drafted to Germany. I’ll never forget the day we were informed that he was wounded in the thigh; I was at school at the time. I was told to go to the steelworks where my father worked, to tell him. We used to have a ‘Holiday At Home’ fortnight in Clifton Park, but one bank holiday Monday, a German plane dropped two bombs there. My brother Albert and I ran up to the park and saw the craters, and found two large pieces of shrapnel. It was a dull day but if it had been fine, there could have been casualties.
With Robert in the army and Albert working, it was left to me to go with my mother shopping to fetch the rations.

Although these were scary times, we had good times too.