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I will say this only once

duckweed

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#1
Saturday WW2 is coming to Bishops House and I am going as member of French Resistance giving out code sheets to children so they can decode the messages. There is a Vintage Car going to be outside and a mockup unexploded bomb. So wish me luck. Hopefully this event is going to be megga.

It has been interesting doing the research. The area suffered 2 days of intensive bombing. It is hard to believe it now. 3 bombs fell in the Park and several fell a few yards away in a street on the East side of the Park but yet the House still stood unharmed.

Found out a resident in Bishops House was ARP warden but not there during the Blitz. Still don't know who was there during the Blitz. I have a gap from 1929-1944 and a gap between 1759 and 1804.

Still I live in hopes. Meanwhile I have got my trenchcoat and my Snood.
 

duckweed

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#3
we're mixing two comedy references. We are calling the event Do mention the War.
I'll send you some photos if any good ones turn out.

On the serious side I am still doing research into what happened during the war. I am going back to the Archives to see if I can find about the Allen brothers one in Bishops House who were both ARP wardens. Or at least where the ARP stations were and the shelters.

Difficult research because some of it falls under the 100 years rule and the Archivist ties off certain pages. Very wierd. Some documents I have read in the past I have had to sit next to the Archivist like a naughty child. Such is the strange world of Archive research.

Not like it used to be in Edinburgh where a man in a uniform would bring the document to your table and give you a pair of gloves and check you only had a pencil.
 

leefer

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#4
Well it sounds interesting.
It is a miracle anything is left standing to be honest.....makes you wonder really how much of our history was blown to bits in those dark years.
I was having a look at the civilian roll of honour war dead list and there was a lot of fatalities with regard Fire Wardens,Fire watchers etc in Sheffield and surrounding areas.

Good luck with it Duckweed.
 

gaelwyn

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#5
That all sounds so interesting :)

We have no real comprehension about what it was like in England at that time :'( It's scary to think about :eek:

Darwin did get bombed once by the Japanese and a mini-sub did some damage in Sydney Harbour :eek:

Have fun with your codes :D:D
 

duckweed

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#6
I've just watched the story of the Blitz in London. It is amazing there are any of the old buildings left.

In Sheffield they deliberately targetted civilians. They hit the South side and the shopping and commercial area. Previously it had been thought that they made a mistake and just missed the armanents factories. Recently maps that the pilots had showed there was no mistake. They did hit factories too.

The greatest loss in Sheffield was the Marples Hotel where people went to shelter in the Hotel's cellars but the 3 storey hotel suffered a direct hit and crumpled on top of the cellar. To this day no one knows how many died there.

WW2 was the most horrible of wars in that so many civilians died on all sides. I knew pastor Niemuller who was inprisoned in a concentration camp for speaking out against the Natzis. At the same time the British bombed Dresden and he lost his wife and son.

From a practical point so many records went. My husbands father was bombed out and so there are no photos or similar memorabillia for his family.
 

duckweed

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#8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vah5ylh2XUk&feature=player_embedded#!

No photos of me I am afraid. Was much too busy selling gingerbread bombs (had plenty customers willing to join in Bomb disposal).

We had record numbers of visitors and Homefront have found it so much fun they are coming back same time next year. So we already have 2 weekends booked for next year. Its going to make planning an awful lot easier.

The research into the Blitz round the House drew a lot of interest, and we have been given some items to make a discovery box for children.

Next weekend we have a magician coming for April Fools day and I am making masks with the children. Well I say children but the adults have started joining in. Which is great I think. Why should children have all the fun?
 

ianto73

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#9
For me personally, the downside of being born at the end of WWII, was the fact that the subject was totally taboo all through my school years. Our history at school stopped just before WWI, so we didn't even go through all that information. I can only congratulate people who are prepared to bring all this information in to the public domain, well done.
 

duckweed

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#10
I was born in the 50s and frankly then I didn't want to know about the war as I was fed up of little boys mimicking machine guns and mowing down Germans.

Now as a historian I see it is a relevant part of everybodies history and needs to be looked at in a clear light.

We got criticism on our facebook site for running the event but the poster had missed the point, as we weren't glorifying the war or making light of it. We were just trying to tell it like it was.

I think when you study family history you are amazed at how resillient your ancestors were. famine disease war. They just picked themselves up and carried on.
 

joaning

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#12
Thanks for the history, Duckweed.
I was born right at the end of the war.
Two of my brothers went. They didn't mention anything about their time away. It was never discussed. Mum dildn't talk about it.
I have only looked at their service records since researching my tree.
Shame that... I never knew of their hardships until they had passed.
:)Joan
 

leefer

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#13
My dads brother Maurice was 18 and a tank driver and saw action....he talked about his regret in killing germans not long before he died nd told me he was incredibly lucky to get out of the war in one piece physicly ifnot mentally.
I didn't meet him till i was 30 but we got on really well and after the war he stayed on in Germany for two years to help the forces get the country sorted.
I felt he was at last glad to chat about it before he passed on.

I miss Maury and our chats about all sorts of things,to him he was doing what everyone else had to do(like Joan's brothers)...but to me what he did at that age is beyond comprehension......Maurice Ferris a man of Hampshire:)
 

duckweed

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#14
My mother grew up in Kewsick and Cockermouth during the war so didn't see a lot of action as such but she wrote down her memoirs of that time.

They took in an evacuee from London. His clothes were sewn onto him and beneath were layers of brown paper. He was so dirty and lousy they had to cut his clothes off and burn them. they used up a lot of their soap ration to get him clean. He wasn't happy there and as soon as he could returned to London.

Another evacuee went to a relative but he was a carrier of some disease not sure what, think TB. The relatives children died as a result. The boy stayed with them till he grew up and never went home to London.

My mother said rationing was the first time the poor got a chance of eating well as before everything just ended out of their price bracket.
 

ianto73

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#15
Some on here may remember that I have done a lot of research into the sinking of HMT Lancastria on 17 June 1940, because my father's younger brother was one of the casualties. I was in my teens before I heard the name 'Lancastria', and it took my clearing my parents house to uncover all the original War Office paperwork which had never seen the light of day for nearly 50 years. Last year, I finally completed an article on my uncle to the best of the knowledge I could obtain (it wasn't much) and a brief outline of the sinking of the ship, and the whole folder with the original documents are now in the Imperial War Museum in London - which is where there is a lot of archive material regarding The Lancastria. In it I stressed that I could never criticise my parents generation for not wanting to talk about the war, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
 

duckweed

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#17
I think it is obviously a hard thing to ask relatives. My grandfather told me a little of his WW1 experiences but I never felt I could push. My grandmother told me about the horror of Spanish Flu then. But there again other than her statement that in amongst my grandad coming home and they making wedding arrangements there was a barracks full of dead and dying from the influenza. I guess even in WW1 civilians saw some terrible sights.
 

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