Wendy Remembers

My Memories of the Second World War

By Wendy Glentworth (nee Cox)

Wendy Age 7

Wendy 2007

When I was a child I lived in Broughton, on Brooklands Avenue with my Mum and Dad, Kath and Jack Cox and my Sister Norma. We lived in a semi-detached house, the front of which was my father’s grocery shop. There was no central heating in those days and the shop was kept warm by a paraffin stove. There was no electric till either and the money was kept in a wooden drawer which was fixed onto the counter.

My first memory of the war is the day my father went away to war. I was six years old and went to the old infant school, which sadly has now been knocked down. I remember going through the school gate into the playground and telling my friends that my father had gone away to war. My father did his army training in England and then was sent abroad. He drove a big lorry which carried ammunition to the front line. Because my father had to go to war my Aunty Mary came to help my mum in the shop.

Food was scarce so every family had a ration book. This had coupons in, which had to be given to the shop keeper in exchange for butter, sugar, tea and bread. You didn’t get very much and you had to make it last to the end of the week until you could use the next week’s coupons. After the shop closed Mum, Aunty Mary, Norma and I sat around the table counting the coupons.

I never saw any German aircraft, but I remember seeing the search lights in the sky and hearing the siren going off. We used to go into the cupboard under the stairs. Luckily no bombs dropped in Broughton. During the blackout I remember all the dark curtains at the windows and doors but I never went out at all in the blackout. In summer after school it was safe for us to go and play out in the street because there were no cars on the roads in those days. We would play skipping and whip and top. We would also take an old pram and go ‘sticking’ across to East Wood. Windsor Way, Townhill Drive, Dane Close- none of those houses had been built then so it was all lovely open fields. We used to go across there to the wood and collect sticks and small logs to bring home to burn on the lovely open fire.

There were some Italian prisoners of war working in the wood, and I can remember so clearly one of them taking a photograph out of his pocket, to show us. He pointed to some children on it and said, "My Bambinos”. When I think about it now it makes me feel a bit sad, because that man had had to leave his family, just as my father had, who had also carried a photograph of my sister and I in his pocket all through the war

Wendy & Norma 

Jack Cox