Returning from a recent family occasion in Scotland we stopped at a pub on the outskirts of Glasgow for lunch. As we stood at the bar to order my grandniece pointed out a notice stating that, being Armed Services Day, Read more »
Life in the immediate post war years was hardly one of reward for the victorious British. The country was exhausted and broke and everything seemed colourless and not particularly exciting. There seemed little to spice up life into a memorable Read more »
Mrs Pat Brunsdon and her family moved to Axminster in the early sixties where she worked in a radio and record shop and later in the town’s TIC.
Grand Admiral Doenitz, the mind behind the submarine war against the Allies and who had been made Commander of the German Navy in 1943, was made leader of the German nation after the death of Adolf Hitler. On the instructions of the new fuhrer General Jodl, Chief-of-Staff of the German High Command, attended the HQ of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Eisenhower, on the morning of May 7, 1945 and signed the documents of an unconditional surrender. This marked the end of the war in Europe. It was fascinating, therefore, to read press reports of the time about two men from Lyme Regis who figured prominently in the historic career of the last of the Nazi leaders.
One of the memorable events of the early part of the victory year of 1945 for the children of Uplyme primary school was the start of a daily delivery of hot lunches. Cooked in the canteen of Axminster secondary school Read more »
On December 3, 1944, stand down parades for the Home Guard were held throughout the country. Each member was given a certificate of service and was allowed to keep their uniform and boots. Operational since 1940 over one and a half million volunteers had served in the force, all either too old or too young to serve in the regular services. Answering a radio appeal given by Anthony Eden 400,000 men volunteered in the first two weeks. All they were issued with to confront the enemy was an armband. Noel Coward observed this fact by writing and singing a song entitled ‘Can you please oblige us with a bren gun?’ Ancient rifles of American and Canadian origin were later issued until supplies of modern equipment were eventually organised.
With the introduction of America’s Lend Lease Program in 1941 colourful new tractors began to appear on British farmland. At the time work on the small farms of the West Country was mainly horse-drawn, any tractors in use being, most probably, a Standard Fordson being driven by a Land Army girl, a dull green machine with a folded potato sack on the seat to provide a bit of comfort. Now names from the great plains of the American West were shipped over the Atlantic, Allis Chalmers, Farmall, Oliver, Massey Harris, Case, John Deere and Indianapolis Moline. All can be found in vintage tractors parades of today. Odd to remind oneself that the final payments for all that machinery was made just a few years ago in 2006.
With the end of the U-Boat threat exotic fruits, like bananas and oranges, began to reappear in the shops. Bananas were distributed on an area by area rotation system announced in the local press. A shipment of Seville oranges arrived Read more »
In The Autumn of 1944 the numbers of prisoners of war being brought to the UK was increasing rapidly. Marked with the letter P sewn onto their trouser legs, white, grey and black patches were also added to signify the Read more »
During the war our small village of Rousdon had a searchlight battery to the west, anti aircraft guns and mine fields on the cliffs to the south and a Royal Air Force signals establishment to the east where a caravan site exists today. Tall radio masts and interconnecting wires warned that it was a place not to be talked about. We befriended a Welsh airman from here who would turn up to do the garden and repair broken parts of the chicken runs which had fallen into disrepair since granddad had died.