Remembrance of the War Years 0



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My family were all born in Wales, my father worked in the Welsh coal mines from the age of 12 years as his father was killed in the First World War.   When the Second World War was declared my father joined the Navy and the family moved to Portsmouth to be close to the navel dockyard and dad’s job.

I can remember years later my father and mother talking about the war – dad’s boat was torpedoed but luckily he survived and moved onto another boat, many of his mates did not make it.  Mum used to turn the collars and cuffs of his shirts to get more wear out of them as buying anything new was impossible at that time.  Mum used to tell me about queuing for hours at a time just to get some bread or a few potatoes, even when we eventually came to Australia Mum found it hard to be ‘generous’ with butter, jam, and sugar after scrimping for years on rations.

My family were bombed out twice during the Blitz on England by German bombers, Mum said that the underground bunkers became more of a home than the one they had, I could not understand why when we moved here that we had ‘dripping’ instead of butter on our bread, it was some years later that Mum said that they got so used to going without butter that she made do with the fat that she was able to get off whatever meat was available instead, to this day I miss the dripping.

I know that my family lost most of their possessions due to the bombing but Mum never complained – we came Australia in 1951 and my brother joined the Australian Army a few years after arriving here, he said it was his bit to our new country and in memory of what we had gone through.  ANZAC day is a time that I remember my parents, both now dead, and what they went through during the War and their remarkable spirit to ‘get through’ and  eventually build a new life here in Australia.
photo credit: roberthuffstutter via photopin cc

Theresa Hollis

Theresa Hollis was born in Portsmouth, England in 1947, she immigrated to Australia with her family in 1951. Theresa has worked in varied professions, including a stint in journalism early in her career, and in the latter years as a self-employed Remedial Massage Therapist. Theresa started writing at an early age, but career, marriage and family came first, it is only now that she has gone back to her first love, writing, 'The Sabbath' is her debut novel. Theresa is divorced with two married daughters; she lives in a small country town in New South Wales in Australia with her much loved Jack Russell dog

  1. Hello Theresa, your note to the 60s plus page brought back many memories for me too. My grandmother (nan) used to tell me stories about the war years. She lived in Chapel, an area in Southampton near the docks and I used to often go down there and play when I was a child on the bombsites – not registering to me that it was bombed during the war. Mum grew up in Chapel. Nan told me a story once about being late going to the shelters with her children, including my mum, and they got locked out of their usual one because it was full so they went down into the one just across the road. That night their usual one was bombed and no one survived. I also remember having bread and dripping just like you. Thanks for bringing back memories. Trish x

  2. Shared memories here! we were across the channel in Bristol, and we had to move to the country because of the severe bombing, so I was brought up in Cheddar. Yes the dripping, it was special, tasted better than it does from meat now! Some sad memories, and some good ones here.

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