Accrington Web
   

Home Gallery Arcade Blogs Members List Today's Posts
Go Back   Accrington Web > Old Accrington > Nostalgia aint what it used to be...
Donate! Join Today

Nostalgia aint what it used to be... The "I remember when......." section is finally with us - lets reminisce!


Welcome to Accrington Web!

We are a discussion forum dedicated to the towns of Accrington, Oswaldtwistle and the surrounding areas, sometimes referred to as Hyndburn! We are a friendly bunch please feel free to browse or read on for more info.
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, photos, play in the community arcade and use our blog section. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free, so please, join our community today!



Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-04-2004, 04:12   #1
Full Member
 
jamesicus's Avatar
 

World War II

NOTE: There is now an enormous reference bank available relating to this era in the form of books, VHS/DVD tapes, Internet Web Pages, etc., and so in many instances it would be redundant of me to offer general information. My intention is to summarize the impact of the momentous events of WWII on my family, friends and the East Lancashire region as I remember it.

I will revise/update information in postings via editing.

Last edited by jamesicus; 30-01-2006 at 15:52. Reason: Agg lead-off Note
jamesicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Accrington Web
Old 08-04-2004, 17:38   #2
Full Member
 
jamesicus's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

I believe it was also in 1938 that we were all issued gas masks by the Government. Although they came in a plain cardboard carry box with a string shoulder "strap", it wasn't long before people -- especially girls and ladies -- were buying and using fancy colored plastic covers with wide carrying straps. Everybody was required to carry their gas mask with them wherever they went at first (they were a pain in the cinemas) and you would be stopped by Policemen and Air Raid Wardens if they spotted you without your gas mask.

We were trained in their use by our teachers during Air Raid drills in the school shelters.

Last edited by jamesicus; 28-06-2005 at 16:14. Reason: Missing word
jamesicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2004, 17:41   #3
Senior Member+
 
AccyStanFan's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

ive always been intrested in the second world war more than any others, keep it coming mate.
AccyStanFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2004, 20:16   #4
Full Member
 
jamesicus's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

In early 1940 the Nazi radio propaganda began -- "Lord Haw Haw" (real name: William Joyce) spewed his taunting venom in the evenings ("Germany Calling") -- my Grandfather used to shout and shake his fist at the radio when he came on (but he chose to listen to him anyway). There is a great book out .....

Nazi Wireless Propaganda, M. R. Doherty, Edinburgh University Press, 2000

..... which comes with a wonderful CD containing 24 original Nazi radio Broadcasts to Great Britain (1940-1945) -- mostly "Lord Haw Haw" -- that really brought memories welling back when I played it. We all thought he was an Englishman because of his cultured Public School English and precise diction. It was discovered that he had grown up in America when he was tried before a War Crimes Tribunal in 1945 -- he was found guilty and hanged.

Last edited by jamesicus; 17-05-2004 at 13:32. Reason: Change word
jamesicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2004, 14:39   #5
Accrington Web Mascot

 
ShortStuff's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

It's amazing to think that the world was at war not so many years ago. I don't think anyone that wasn't there (myself included) can appreciate what everyone went through. The wars that happen nowadays are never actually in Britain (thankfully) but this means that we don't realise the horror of it all - I'm sure when they broadcast on TV the whole atmosphere is lost - it's like it isn't real on TV.
ShortStuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2004, 15:29   #6
Full Member
 
jamesicus's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

The only time I was really scared during the war was the end of May and the beginning of June 1940 -- collapse of Belgium, evacuation of the BEF at Dunkirk, surrender of France, Nazi occupation of Holland/Denmark/Norway -- Britain was alone -- what was next? -- talk of invasion was everywhere.

Away from the beaches the Government took protective measures against possible airborne landing sites (paratroops and gliders) -- series of inclined girders were sunk in the ground at large, flat, even areas such as playing fields and parks (we couldn't play organized football or cricket for some time) and the Home Guard posted patrols at those and remote areas.

The Home Guard kept their weapons at home (no ammunition) -- my father was a corporal and had a Sten sub-machine gun -- I used to hold it and pretend I was defending against invading Nazis.

Last edited by jamesicus; 09-04-2004 at 15:32. Reason: Misspelled word
jamesicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2004, 17:47   #7
Senior Member
 

Re: World War II

Hi jamesicus, finding it very interesting. Keep it going.
Sara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2004, 03:01   #8
Full Member
 
jamesicus's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

Thank you AccyStanFan, ShortStuff & Sara for your responses -- I will keep this going as long as there is interest shown -- James

Food rationing, and food shortages, were a shock at first. After 1939 I didn't see a banana for six years. Sweets were rationed and you could usually only get your favorites (mine were Rowntrees fruit gums & pastilles) at the shops that you had frequented before the war.

Still, we ate healthy -- more whole wheat bread, lots of fresh vegetables, less sugar. Imported tinned and fancy goods were almost impossible to come by (battle of the Atlantic made cargo ship space a premium -- essential goods only).

Rumors of the Black Market and inferior food substitutes abounded -- my mother heard that some Fish & Chip shops were using dog fat for cooking (lard was rationed) -- that was heartily denied -- still she would only buy fish & chips at our local shop.

We ate a lot of home grown vegetables from our victory garden.

Last edited by jamesicus; 10-04-2004 at 04:26. Reason: Correction of misspelling
jamesicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2004, 03:48   #9
Full Member
 
jamesicus's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

The first major crisis came in May 1940. For us in counties like Lancashire the only event of real significance since the declaration of war on Sunday, 3 September 1939, was the arrival of evacuees from London and the south of England soon after that date.

We housed two boys from Kent: Colin and Martin (I can't remember their full names or exactly where they were from -- the passing of the years dims my memory on fine points) who were around my age (I was eleven) and they were assigned to my school. We got along together pretty well -- we soon organized a Lancashire vs Kent cricket match (local lads versus the evacuees) in the field back of my Auntie's house. They soon returned to their homes in Kent -- that happened quite a lot -- homesickness and family love overcame the threat of bombing.
jamesicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2004, 19:40   #10
Full Member
 
jamesicus's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

We all knew that things were really grave in the last week of May and the first week of June, 1940. The reins of government had changed hands -- Neville Chamberlain was out and Winston Churchill (WSC) was the new Prime Minister.

The waning days of May and the first week of June were indeed scary -- in the aftermath of Dunkirk there were rumblings afoot that the War Cabinet was debating whether to sue for peace with Hitler -- the unthinkable -- Surrender! Only later did we learn just how close we came to doing just that and of the colossal struggle between WSC and Lord Halifax (the Foreign Secretary and the leading Appeaser) in the desperate War Cabinet meetings.

There is now a superb book by Professor John Lukacs -- an eminent historian and prolific writer -- that covers the events and portents of this period in meticulous detail ..........

Five Days in London - May 1940, John Lukacs, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1999.

.......... it is an absorbing but chilling read. I don't think most people realize just how close we came to surrendering to Hitler in 1940 -- I didn't.

Last edited by jamesicus; 30-01-2006 at 15:54. Reason: revisions & updates
jamesicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2004, 19:13   #11
Senior Member+
 
AccyStanFan's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

great stuff, still intrested incase u were worried
AccyStanFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2004, 07:12   #12
Full Member
 
jamesicus's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

Thank you for your continued interest AccyStanFan -- your responses motivate me to keep this thread going -- yes, I was getting worried by the apparent lack of interest. James

And now to revisit what was going on in our lives in Lancashire in the early months of the war.

Day to day life was undergoing some dramatic changes.

First was the blackout which had been instituted in 1939. With the threat of Air-raids and Invasion very real in the spring of 1940, compliance and enforcement took on new urgency.

All windows and doorways in private houses and public buildings had to be sealed off using heavy curtains, blinds, cardboard, or by painting over, etc., so that not even chinks of light could escape. Violators were subject to heavy fines if caught by Police or Air Raid Wardens.

Most street lights were simply turned off -- the ones that were lighted were greatly dimmed and deflected downward.

Dim bulbs were now used in automobile, bus and commercial vehicle lamps and they were fitted with slotted covers that directed the light downward.

The cabs of railway train engines were outfitted with overhead canvas covers which blocked the glow of the fire -- carriage windows were equipped with heavy black curtains or simply painted over.

You could be fined for not covering the flame of a match when lighting smokes (the great majority of adults smoked cigarettes in those days) outdoors at night.

Because of the pervading darkness caused by the blackout, most people carried flashlights -- they were almost essential when walking on side streets, sometimes even on major thoroughfares, to avoid tripping or bumping into people. The lenses on all flashlights were required to be partially blocked off and they could only be used pointed toward the ground.

In general, people soon adapted to the blackout and accepted its inconveniences in stride. My recollection is that people became more considerate and tolerant of each other because of it. I don't remember any major incidences of robbery, mugging or violent acts (rape, sexual assault, etc.) during the blackout although the potential was great due to the severely diminished visibility and enveloping darkness -- it was a different age.

Last edited by jamesicus; 30-01-2006 at 15:55. Reason: revisions & updates
jamesicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2004, 11:39   #13
Senior Member+
 
AccyStanFan's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

its really good this, cause if i looked thing up on the net itd be a whole lot of information, this is small interesting chunks that6 u dont see in the textbooks.

good work
AccyStanFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2004, 12:24   #14
Roy
Administrator

 
Roy's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

I agree with ASF - very interesting to read about your experiences during this period of time that a lot of us here are lucky we didn't grow up in! Thanks, and keep it up!
Roy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2004, 14:19   #15
mez
God Member

 
mez's Avatar
 

Re: World War II

i was born in 1944 & my dad was at dunkirk twice, so im finding it very interesting. keep up the good work. & thanks.
__________________
Ilove accy, thats why i moved back but now im up ossy
'The views expressed here are my own and are not necessarily those of the site'
mez is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



Other sites of interest.. More town sites..




All times are GMT. The time now is 18:53.


2003-2013 AccringtonWeb.com


Page generated in 0.40726 seconds with 11 queries

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1