World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Terence Carroll 

Young Terry's War

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Terence Carroll
Location of story: Sheffield, Yorkshire
Background to story: Civilian

When the war broke out, I was on my way back from a holiday in Blackpool with my Mother and Father. When we got home there was panic because we had to put up Blackout curtains and we didn't have any, and you could get prosecuted if you didn't blackout. From then on all children were issued with a Gas mask which had to be carried at all times. At one period during the war, we had school at different people's houses instead of at the school.

As the war progressed I can remember various things that happened, such as when I was about 12 years old, I was playing in our back garden when I heard a plane droning overhead. It flew right over the top of our house and as I looked up, I saw about 3 crew members bail out and their parachutes opened. From then on the plane, which I am sure was a Wellington, was directed by the pilot to Concorde Park, so that the plane did not crash into any houses. I am not sure if the pilot survived but if he hadn't taken this evasive action, a lot of people could have died. When it crashed you could see a massive pall of smoke and flames, I lived over a mile from the park but I saw it way into the sky. I ran down to the main road which led to the park, and what seemed to be hundreds of people and kids were running towards the park. At the park gates the Police were already there stopping people from entering the park.

I can remember the Sheffield Blitz and spending two nights in the air raid shelter, Tuesday night and Sunday night. It sounded horrific, all the bangs and ack-ack guns which were stationed on all the hills around Sheffield. After the raid was over the next day I went into the street and there were pieces of shrapnel all over, which people picked up for souvenirs.
As the war progressed, in the summertime, we heard a number of planes flying overhead and it was unbelievable, the sky was full of Lancaster Bombers.

I can remember hearing a strange noise in the sky and when I went outside and looked up to the sky, I saw a Flying Bomb or Doodlebug flying towards Rotherham, but I am not sure where it eventually came down.
I can remember someone coming round shouting that the local shop had got cigarettes and people would rush round to buy them. Woodbines were the premium cigarettes at the time, but there were others like Passing Cloud which weren't too bad, Turf, Bar One and Pasha which smelt horrible.

Due to rationing there were long queues at the chippy. If you didn't get in the queue early enough, you didn't get chips, fish or even fishcakes because what few they had were soon gone.

I can remember that as well as food being rationed, clothing was too, and sweets were rationed but were very hard to get hold of and were a luxury. Sweets stayed a luxury till about 1950.
People used to bake their own bread using flour which had a lot of other strange bits in, so to get rid of these bits, the women would lay a silk scarf across a big baking bowl and they would sieve the flour to get rid of all the impurities.
My cousin who had joined the army in about 1938, to get away from the mines, was captured in Belgium at the begining of the war and remained a prisoner until the end of the war. My mother used to bake a food parcel for him, mince pies, cakes and things, which she would put into a box and send to him via the Red Cross.

As the war progressed, I joined the Boy Scouts. One way of earning a badge was to deliver messages for the ARP.