Bombs dropped in the ward of: Bryanston and Dorset Square
Total number of bombs dropped from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941 in Bryanston and Dorset Square:
- High Explosive Bomb
- Parachute Mine
Number of bombs dropped during the week of 7th October 1940 to 14th of October:
Number of bombs dropped during the first 24h of the Blitz:
Memories in Bryanston and Dorset Square
Read people's stories relating to this area:
Contributed originally by Bob Staten (BBC WW2 People's War)
When my son asked me if I should like to take part in this exercise, I said flippantly that my war could be summed up in two words, drink and promiscuity! However, it seemed to be a worthwhile project as so much of war does happen off-stage. I shall do my best to stick to the facts. Unfortunately, I have no records except a few old photographs.
During the 20’s and 30’s my friends and I mostly played at ‘War’ and it was always against the Germans. This is understandable because the First World War was fresh in people’s minds. Every house had its photographs, mementoes and stories of lost husbands, sons and relatives. The impressive one-minute’s silence on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is still with me. Walking with my father at Marble Arch and seeing the traffic halt and everyone standing by their vehicles with heads bowed was awe-inspiring to a young boy, and the silence so complete, on Remembrance Day.
I lived at 10, Capland House, Frampton Street, St. Marylebone, and my two friends ‘Pussy’ Hanlon and ‘Bimbo’ Jenner lived at flats 9 and 6. We often sat on the staircase and discussed which of the services we would join when war came. We assumed, quite naturally, that it would be against the Germans. In 1937, I joined the Royal Fusilier Cadets at Pond Street Drill Hall, Hampstead and learned how to drill and to use a rifle. We had .303 Lea Enfields and our own rifle range. There were trips to Shorncliffe Barracks, parades at the Fusilier memorial in Holborn and once, we took part in the inter-cadet shooting competition at Bisley. Because I liked the look of the red bandsmen’s uniform, I transferred to the band and became a bugle boy. In the summer of ’37, we went to Belgium as guests of the army. Every evening we ‘beat the retreat’ on the promenade in Ostend, which was appreciated by the holidaymakers. In the barracks, we also discovered that ‘Verboten Ingang’ means ‘Forbidden Entry’! When we visited the Menin gate, I played the ‘last Post’. This was a moving experience, especially after visiting the battlefields and extensive war-grave cemeteries with their endless crosses. The older men related their experiences to us, which made it all very real. We little thought that Belgium was soon to be overrun by the Germans once again.
I was sixteen when the war broke out, working as a motorcycle messenger boy, hoping to become a GPO telephone engineer. When it was formed, I left the cadets and joined the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), which eventually became the Home Guard. We wore our own civilian clothes with LDV armbands. One of our tasks was to guard the Telephone Exchange in Maida Vale. We had a variety of weapons and two or three rifles with little ammunition. I remember being on duty from midnight to 0200 hours when I was supposed to wake up the next man. He looked so old and frail that I was too shy to wake him up. The sergeant was not pleased to find me standing there in the early hours of the morning. We fully expected German parachutists to descend upon us in a variety of cunning disguises. They would not fool us because we would be able to see their jackboots! I think we were quite disappointed when nothing happened!
At home, we were busy filing sandbags to protect the fronts of our flats, sticking tape on the windows and making blackout curtains. We were issued with gas masks, which we practised putting on very quickly and sometimes walked around in them to get used to it. My two older brothers, Arthur and Bill joined the LDV and RAF respectively, Arthur to become a sergeant in the Home Guard and Bill a wireless operator/ air gunner. As I had to wait until I was 17 ½ before I could volunteer for the RAF Volunteer Reserve, I transferred to the Air Training Corps.Our Commanding Officer was an old Royal Artillery gunner who gave us lectures on spotting artillery positions from a tethered balloon that he remembered from the First World War. We had instruction in air-navigation, signalling and meteorology and spent a great deal of time over smartness and drill. One day we were visited by Claude Graham-White, the famous air pioneer, who lived locally. I was asked to welcome him by playing the ‘General salute’ on my bugle. He gave a most interesting talk about his air bombing experiments at Hendon before the First World War. He told us that he had marked out the shape of a full sized battleship in chalk on the ground, flown over it and dropped bags of flour. This was to show how aeroplanes would change the shape of war in the future. He was rather bitter because he said that the ‘brass-hats’ did not fully understand the significance of what he was so graphically demonstrating to them. Whilst in the ATC, I visited RAF Manston during the ‘phoney war’, when everyone seemed to be waiting for something to happen. They had a squadron of Hurricanes, a squadron of Blenheim Mk 1s, being used as fighters with four Browning machine guns fixed under the fuselage, and a squadron of Wellingtons, which were being used as magnetic-mine detectors. These looked extremely odd with large circular white electro-magnets completely encircling the underside of the aircraft. My ATC squadron was also engaged in helping a balloon barrage unit whose headquarters were in Winfield House, Regent’s Park. This was a grand palatial mansion which had belonged to Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress. The two sections with which I was involved were at Primrose Hill and Lord’s Cricket Ground. We mostly did guard duty but in rough weather and high winds, we sometimes manned the mooring ropes.
During the ‘phoney war’, air-raid shelters were being completed and were in place before the first air raids. These, once they started, became part of our lives and were so regular we knew when to expect them. We made our own fun, took out thermos flasks, sandwiches and blankets ready for a long stay down in the shelter. We had an old wind-up gramophone and a few records. The most popular were ‘In the Mood’ and ‘Begin the Beguine’. Quite often, we had a singsong with ‘Roll Out The barrel’, ‘Run Rabbit Run’, and many of the First World War favourites like ‘Pack up Your Troubles’. The older men seemed to relive the comradeship that they had known when they were in the trenches. My dad was always ready for the sirens with his shopping bag of food and drink and a pocketful of half-pennies to play his favourite game of ‘Ha’penny Brag’. In fact, he got quite impatient for the air raid to begin so that he could get settled in the shelter with his mates. ‘They’re late tonight son!’ was his regular critical comment of the enemy’s laxity.
We had two bombs on Frampton Street, one on a communal shelter next to the ‘Duke of Clarence’ and another on a block of flats next to ‘The Phoenix’. Many neighbours were killed. I particularly remember the ‘Clarence’ bomb. We heard it coming like an express train louder and louder seemingly meant for us, then a great flash and explosion, shaking and reverberations, then silence as if everyone was catching their breath. Then loud cries and screams. We were very shaken and shocked but blinded by choking smoke and dust and could taste dirt in our mouths. We had two stirrup pumps and put out some subsidiary fires in the street nearby. There were so many people helping or staggering about that the older men told us to keep out of the way. Another bomb fell, in daylight, at the junction of Luton Street and Penfold Street leaving a large crater. A local woman was injured and had to have her leg amputated below the knee. On another night, Mr Overhead, a friend of the family, was killed in his house in Orchardson Street near the fish and chip shop. During a very bad raid, we heard that Mann Egerton’s garage was ablaze so some of us went and pushed or drove out as many cars as we could and parked them in and around Church Street.
I volunteered for the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve just before my 18th birthday (January 1941) at a recruiting centre off Euston Rd. Later, I had to go for various physical and aptitude tests. These took place at Euston House. Eventually, I received a letter confirming my acceptance for aircrew training enclosing a small silver RAF badge, which I wore proudly in my lapel. I continued with my ATC training and was made up to sergeant. It seemed ages but one day a letter arrived telling me to report to No 1 Air Crew Receiving Centre (ACRC) at Lord’s Cricket Ground on 3rd September 1941. This was just around the corner from my home and was nicked named ‘Arsey-Tarsey’! My dad’s advice as I left the house was ‘take care of your boots!’ This was because on his first day in the Royal West Kent regiment (The Buffs), someone had stolen his boots and he had never forgotten it.
When I arrived at the ground, I sat in the Mound Stand, which was marked alphabetically, and listened, with the other recruits to my first roll call. From Lord’s we marched to large blocks of luxury flats in Prince Albert Rd overlooking Regent’s park Canal. One of our first tasks was to take our oaths of loyalty to the King and to be given our official numbers, which we were told to memorise. On the second day, we marched to a large garage in Park Rd where we were kitted out. When we got back to our billets, we had great fun trying on our uniforms especially the long woollen underwear in which we sparred with each other like old time boxers. We were very proud when we walked out for the first time in our ‘best blue’ wearing the white flashes on our caps, which denoted that we were aircrew trainees. Whilst at Regent’s Park we used the Zoo restaurant for meals. As we queued up the monkeys greeted us with loud screeches and whoops, which we of course imitated to get them even more excited. Our time was mostly spent in drilling and learning about RAF regulations and expectations. We did some signalling with an Aldis Lamp and were introduced to Morse Code, which I fortunately had learned in the ATC. Aircraft recognition was given in Rudolph Steiner House in Park St. Some of us who needed it were given a crash course in mathematics, with particular attention to trigonometry. After 4 - 5 weeks, we were posted to Initial Training Wing (ITW) Torquay.When we arrived, my particular group were billeted in ‘Rosetor’ Hotel. Thus began a very vigorous and demanding programme of activities. Up very early jogging along the front, lots of physical training, marching, rifle drill until we were extremely fit and smart. We were given lessons in air navigation at Tor Abbey, signalling by buzzer and lamp, airmanship, aircraft recognition, gas drill, King’s regulations, administration and more mathematics. One day, we had to march in full kit with rifles about 10 miles inland to a small hamlet. We were told that this would be our line of defence if there were an invasion. When we had finished the course we ceased to be ACII’s (AC Plonks) and became Leading Aircraftsmen (LAC’s ) which entitled us to wear the propeller insignia on our sleeves.
From Torquay, we were posted to RAF Booker, near High Wycombe to be assessed as to our suitability for pilot training. The aircraft were Tiger Moths with open cockpits. We were taken up for air experience initially, but it wasn’t long before we were being thrown about the sky in a whole series of aerobatics to see if we could cope. After two or three weeks, we were posted to Heaton Park, Manchester prior to going overseas.
At Heaton Park we were billeted in private houses and had to report to the park for roll call every morning. We had one or two ‘pep-talks’ in the local cinema. One of these, I remember was by Godfrey Winn, the writer and broadcaster. After a couple of weeks, we were divided into groups destined to be trained in the USA, Canada or South Africa, which were all part of the Empire Training Scheme. We were not told of our destinations except for having to mark a code word on our kit bags. After embarkation leave, my group entrained for Greenock, Scotland where we boarded an American ship — ‘The George F. Elliott’. We were shown to our sleeping quarters, which were well below the water line, where we were packed suffocatingly into an area filled with five-tier bunks. I had a top bunk and could quite easily touch the men on either side and at my head and feet. I also had a hot pipe just above me on which I frequently burnt myself. Soon after embarking, we left the River Clyde and joined a straggle of ships. The Royal Navy gently shepherded us into some semblance of order and although they seemed to fuss and hoot around, gave us a great deal of confidence. This was greatly needed because the night before we had a religious service when we sung the hymn ‘For Those in Peril on the Sea' and we knew that this referred to us and our journey.
End of Part One
Contributed originally by Bournemouth Libraries (BBC WW2 People's War)
I come from a police family and lived in a police property in Marble Arch. Father chief superintendent in the metropolitan police stationed at Bow Street. We were living in Marylebone Road behind Marble Arch when war started. We were all sitting at home on the Sunday morning with my mother and as soon as Churchill finished speaking my mother started to cry, she could remember the First World War. As he finished speaking a German plane went racing across the sky followed by a couple of British plane
I had a brother who has just died he became a pilot in the air force. We lived in a very large blocks of flats and of course when the war started they changed on e of the bottom flats into an air raid shelter. The bombings started about a year later. We went down into the shelter but I was so acutely miserable and did not know how I would stand it. My father came home and said he did not want us to go down there because he had dug so many people out from under the rubble. He said to lie down in the hall and if the building came down we would go down and stand a better chance.
I was in publishing and we had this huge building a Scottish firm that did mostly educational material. We were told this build was perfectly safe it was made of Aberdeen stone and nothing could knock it down. Paternoster Road was very narrow and the 1st January 1941 I got off the train and walked up the hill. I could not move because the water pipes were all over the road I turned the corner and our huge building was raised to the ground. I was more frightened then that any time during the war. St Paul’s Cathedral was standing and everything else was flat. They moved us to Covent Garden which then as now was a great centre of publishing, we moved to another house that looked out on St Paul’s Church. It was in the centre of the fruit and vegetable market. I used to fire watch on a literary agents Curtis? The order from the government was you could not store paper but being a literary agent it was stacked from floor to ceiling. When the doodlebugs came I was fire watching that night. We heard this noise and I rang my mother and we did not know what it was. The V2’s were much worse though as they made no noise.
The Canadian Provo corps had their headquarters opposite, we would hear a noise and the soldiers who had got drunk and had been arrested would be thrown into a van and we would hear their heads hitting the side of the van. We use to go down to the Strand in the evening and the old boy who was head of the fire watching would get cross because we would go back after having a drink and sometimes fall asleep. The man would say ‘I don’t know how you can take your five shillings’, that was what we were paid.
Right opposite the Opera House was Bow Street my father worked next door. Covent Garden opera house cleared out all the seats and turned it into a dance hall. Whenever I hear the music ‘In the Mood’ it brings back the excitement of dancing there. My father was a martinet and he would come looking for me and my friends would take me to the toilets and sit on me until he had gone. When you used to go to theatre in the early days you would evacuate the theatre but later on when the doodlebugs started they would flash up on the screen if you wanted to go you could, but you didn’t take notice and stayed where you were. We were able to walk around in the black out and be perfectly safe, I cannot do that now.
There were prostitutes in the blackout that wore little corsages with torches underneath so that they shone up on their faces as they stood in the doorways.
I used to go to the ballet and saw Margot Fonteyn and Robert Helpmann. In those days if you went to the theatre and were in the gallery you would have to queue up early in the evening. There used to be a little lady who had a stack of tiny stool and you paid for a ticket and she put the stool in your place in the queue and you could go off and come back later. The food wasn’t so good but if you went to a restaurant then Joe Lyon’s Corner House was the tops. Some dishes had a star by them and meant you could only have one of them. Mostly it was corn beef hash or dried egg omelette.
Towards the end of the war my husband was up in Keswick in Cumbria and it was near the end of the war. He rang up and heard a noise and said ‘for goodness sake what is that’ and I said ‘a doodlebug’ He said to get some leave and come up to Keswick. We stayed at a lovely hotel and could have what food we liked and I thought that they did not know there was a war on. I remember it was beautiful weather and in the evening we used to put the radio on and every night there was a victory. They used to think the war was going to be over and they were going to have a wonderful party but I had to go back to London.
They had Lyons Tea Shops, Corner Houses and the superior ones called Maison Lyons. Corner Shops were open longest. British Restaurants were in general pretty dire.
I can remember queuing up for hours just for a few potatoes. After the war it was still very hard, very difficult to find anywhere to live and did not want to have any children until I could find some. Eventually we found a flat and ours was up 72 steps. It was close to Rillington Place near where the man who committed all those murders lived.
My brother trained in Canada, he was four years younger than me he was 19/20 when he started. He went out to India and Burma and then were people in Burma who had been badly treated in the camps and he would pick these people up and said it was awful the men would be lying down screaming to take them and he was unable to take all of them, it gave him nightmares and he never forgot it.
My husband did not go overseas until the war was nearly over, my husband went out when others husband were coming home. London was so miserable and he would write home with lovely tales of the life over there and when he comes home in 1946 it was the coldest winter ever and he felt the contrast. He was in the police force and made Chief Inspector. He died just after he retired. He had wanted us to move to East Africa and we were on the list to go. This scheme did not take off, a few people went but after reading about what happened out there it was just as well we didn’t.
We were married in 1943 we got married in Caxton Hall. Clothes rationing was hard and I asked people at work if they had any clothing coupons they could spare. Food was difficult but harder after the war, it really was grim. We had some friends in Norfolk who were farmers and they used to send us some things.
My father was the head of the police force of that area he had a big Humber.
My husband’s family used to go to Lowestoft and we used to go there by train and it took forever. We had to go at night and we got down to Plymouth at dawn and we pulled the blinds up and they had just been bombed and the whole area had been devastated. My husband had got a couple of police officers to come in and save some seats until my friend and I had got there. We came to Bournemouth for our honeymoon and we just got out the train as the siren went off. We went to the Chatfield hotel. It has just been pulled down. There used to be some little old ladies that were staying there, one of them used to put patterns on her piece of butter so that she knew if anyone had touched. We wandered around Bournemouth in the blackout and found it hard to find our way back to our hotel.
Just after the war, in 47 we used to have the most awful fogs ‘peashooters’ used to come up, they were very cold and yellow, the curtains used to have black stripes down them. Being cold was what I remember more than anything.
During the war my husband and my friend’s husband were commissioned in Rhyll, and we went up to see them. We spent a lovely time and the landlady was lovely. We went back there after the war and it had completely changed and the landlady too. She padlocked the bathroom and the food was dire.
I remember the Rosebay Willow Herb use to grow in the bombsites and this plant always reminds me of them.
We were right in the middle by Marble Arch and yet the bombs managed to miss us. My father got the MBE he rescued lots of people from the rubble, a shard of glass fell and stuck in his back.
Charing Cross Railway Station at the end of the Strand, one night a landmine fell and was suspended on the signals. My father had to clear the whole area and then they got the bomb disposal out. They had to climb up on this signal and untangle the lines to diffuse the mine. My father brought home a huge great chord in ‘eau de nil’ colour that had been wound round it. If that mine had fallen it would have devastated that area. They (landmines) were the worst things of all.
Ivor Novello was a great star during the war, the Friday before the war started he was in a play The Dancing Years. My mother and I went to see it. After the first scene Ivor said after tonight we will be closing and we do not know when we will be together again so will all the people come down into the stalls and we will have a night to remember. ~Afterwards it was the first night of the blackout and we walked home. We saw the sandbags piling up and wondering what was going to happen.
Later on in the war theatres opened again and The Dancing Years was on again. The day we were going to see it was the day Ivor Novello was taken to prison. This woman was besotted with Ivor Novello and she loaned her car to him but he had used up too much petrol and someone who did not like him reported him so he was arrested and put in prison. All the cast was crying so again it was not a happy experience.
Vera Lynn the men in the army thought the world of her, she used to talk to the men and tell them she would write to their parents and she did not forget. She was very popular.
The smell down the underground in the morning was terrible where the people had slept down their overnight. I used to wonder how they could stand it. The East End was so badly bombed that they had no choice.
My husband was down on the coast shooting them down and used to worry that if they missed it would go on to London and get me. We were right next to Seymour Hall that was a function centre, at the beginning of the war the moon would shine on the roof that was glass and light up. We used to worries that it was very visual to the bombers flying over. Eventually they painted it black.
One night I came out of the cinema and I thought “The sun did not set over there why was the sky red”. It was the docks going up.
When the Americans came, it was so exciting. They had plenty of money, people used to look at your legs and if you had nylons on they thought you were going out with an American. I did have nylons but my brother sent them from Canada.
Contributed originally by Bournemouth Libraries (BBC WW2 People's War)
I was 18 years old when war broke out I was living in Dulwich, I had one sister who is in Bexhill on Sea now. Dulwich was very posh. My father was a Manager of a Forward Agency firm for a Shipping Company. When he died three Shipping Companies brought him wreaths, I was very proud. My mother was a housewife.
I went to evening classes when I left school and learnt Pitmans shorthand and typing. I was working for a firm called Cadishes Red Lion Square an Electrical firm, typing quotations. I was commissioned to work for the Ministry of Supply.
We heard that we were at war on the wireless and the first thing I thought of were the gas masks and dashed upstairs to get them. My father had been through World War 1, but he was an optimist and thought we would be fine as he thought we had had enough. We lived in a flat in my grandmother's house. We had a lovely garden and an outside toilet. My aunt lived there too with her child. My aunt was a very lively person. My cousin was an outside messenger. I was rather excited when war broke out, I was too young to realise how terrible it would turn out to be.
During the war my father worked for the Army Pay Corps.
I got married when I was 20, I met a man while I was working for Chadishes, he came from Acton. One of his brothers was in the Army, he was a prisoner of war. He had another brother who was at home and delivered telegrams, eventually he was called up too. One brother was in the Queens Royal Rifles and was killed, the other was in the Kings Royal Rifles. When my husband was called up he was stationed in Aldershot for training, then he went to Barry Island in Wales and then to Scotland, in Lanarkshire. He was at Scarpa Flow doing exercises.
He had embarkation leave of 72 hours, he came home from Kilmarnock and we got married in Dulwich in a little church called St Augustines. I bought my wedding dress in Richards it had a bow on one side and I bought a dress for my sister who was my bridesmaid. We bought them with coupons, my father gave me his coupons he had saved them up. He wasn't very tall 5'4", but he was very smart and everyday his shoes shone and his collar starched. After we were married we went up to Kilmarnock, but were told that all the wives had to go home. After a while I got a letter to say my husband was being drafted away, I was very sad when my husband left. I had to leave Scotland and go back home with my parents. They weren't allowed to tell us where they were, but afte the war I found out he had been in South Africa, Italy and Tunisia. I wrote to him every day. We had special forms we could write on. He sent me a lot of parcels, we weren't able to get much fruit and he sent me some dried bananas, they weren't very edible. I told him I wanted a handbag and he sent me a big red one with a white bow on it. He used to say my handbag was a toolbag.
We used to go to the Adelphi Theatre and saw Ivor Novello musicals, our first date was the pictures, he pulled out a dirty ten shilling note and I hoped he would have enought to pay. We saw The Dancing Years and Perchance to Dream.
He did have some leave it was called LIAP and we went to St Ives, Cornwall for a fortnight. It was a belated honeymoon and we had a lovely time, it was 1943. When we got back he went back to the Army and I went into Civil Service, to an RAF Recruiting Centre at Paddington. I then worked for the Ministry of Supply. It was very boring work we use to type stencils called ITP's and the Supervisor use to clap her hands and say "ITP's Girls". Then we were asked if we would like to do Audio Typing and I said yes. One of the men I used to work for used to talk with his pipe in his mouth which made it very difficult. I then got another job working for NALGO and I stayed there until I was pregnant. I had a pension and bought a pram it was a Harris pram and was a great big one. I shouldn't have got it because the flat that I got had stairs that were difficult to manoeuvre. My son was a big baby and delighted in turning the pram over. In this flat we were right up the top and all we had was a butler's sink and I use to have to go down a flight of stairs to get and empty the water. My friend was looking for a flat and the people below moved out. So we moved into that one and she moved into our flat. We had running water then.
My husband got a job at SOAG after the war and it was within walking distance of our flat. My father who had been a Manager helped my husband with the forms and then he became Manager of the SOAG.
In London I had friends that I use to go out with, I used to meet a lady who's husband was in the Army with my husband. We used to go to the Lyons Corner House in Marble Arch and catch up on what our husbands were up to. While you were in the Corner House you used to have music playing and that was lovely. I used to go to the Fire Service dances.
I remember the Blitz but it never bothered me. I didn't think anything would happen to me. When I was walking in Holborn I used to pass by the Elephant and Castle, there were fires still burning and I used to climb over the hoses to get to work.
Every night we heard the bombers coming over, we used to have an Anderson shelter in the garden, but I didn't like it, too claustrophobic. I use to go under the table. Some people used to go down the tube station, I used to get on the tube to Chancery Lane which was close to where I worked.
I remember the black-out, we used to carry torches, but they were not very good. I was told I was making for the duck pond once.
My sister had a baby during the war and she worked from home. She use to do outwork basting skirts to keep pleats in place. She tried to persuade me to do it, but I wasn't having any of that.
I gave up work when I had my first son, but I was unable to feed him myself and the midwife was so horrible to me because they were fanatical about feeding babies yourself.
After the war we thought will we buy a house or a car. We chose a car and it wasn't really very good because the petrol was rationed you couldn't get tyres and my husband had learnt to drive in the Army and it was very different driving an Austin 7.
I used to queue for things, we used to have stalls outside our flat and queue for rabbit. One joint was made up with corned beef, and lamb was very small, sweets were rationed. Rabbit, bacon on top of chicken and we used dried eggs. There was dried fish which was whale meat, I didn't like it very much. I got ideas for recipes in magazines but I was very busy looking after my son.
We had a bomb go over the road from where we lived and that was obliterated. We used to hear the V1's go over and cut out. We were told it was more worrying if you didn't hear them. St Giles Church had its windows blown out and that was where I was christened. They were eventually restored.
I have been back to Dulwich since the war as I have a friend who still lives there.
On VE day I had german measles, so I was confined to my bed, and I was working on VJ day. I was working for this man who asked if I would like to go out for a celebratory drink, I did not think there could be any harm in it, but he got fresh and I was glad to get back to the office.
When I went to Brighton with a friend we stayed with a lady called Miss Binyon. I booked for two ladies but she had not realised how young we were. We asked about how late we could stay out and she said "Lights out at eleven". On the last day we knew she could not send us home so we stayed out later, when we got back she was at the door with curlers in her hair and a candle in her hand. We had to get undressed in the dark. We had lots of American boys to dance with they had all the things we wanted, nylons, sweets, but they didn't do anything for me. They upset people by saying "Where is this phoney war?" when they came over. I met an Australian soldier and I think he was from the outback because he came over and gave me an enormous bear hug and I didn't like it.
Whilst the war was on we just had to get on with it, we accepted things as they were.
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