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Archive for October, 2013

Back to Wales

English: London Air Raid Shelter Sign

It was some hours before we finally arrived in Llanharan. This time our reception was quite hostile, which was understandable after the way Mum had whisked us off without telling anybody.

At first, no one wanted to help us find billets, and Mum started to get worried as she dare not take us back to London. Apart from the danger, she would have to face the anger of our Dad. After speaking to the billeting officer again, and explaining how bad the raids were in London, he said he would try and sort something out for us. He told us to wait in the village hall until he came back.

On his return, he said to Mum that Mrs Davies was willing to have Lil and me back, providing there were no more complaints. My sisters, Mary and Kath, were found new lodgings. Mum had to accept these arrangements as there was no alternative. Lil said: “Mrs Davies is only taking us back for the money.” Mum was very cross with Lil and said: “Just be quiet, will you, I have enough to put up with without you making matters worse.”

So it was all settled, and Mum returned to London, leaving us in Wales.

Once again, Lil and I had to make the best of living with Mrs Davies. The house was just as dirty and the food was still very poor, but to her credit she never mentioned how we had previously walked out.

Everything in the village was so peaceful and normal after being in London, and we soon fell into the old routine at school. My friends found it hard to believe when I told them about the air-raids and how we had to spend nights in the air-raid shelter. As the weeks passed by, the raids in London faded from my memory and the war seemed a long way away.

A surprise visit

We had been back in Llanharan for some months when one day our Dad met us from school. It was lovely to see him. We were all very surprised when he told us that he had come to Llanharan to find somewhere for the whole family to live together.

Dad explained that the raids were getting worse in London. Hackney, being near the docks, was particularly vulnerable. Because of his bad health, Dad could not be drafted into the forces. He had volunteered to be an air-raid warden but was not accepted, so there was no point in staying in London. He was worried about the safety of Mum and our two brothers, who were still in London, and had decided that we might as well all be together, if possible.

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