May and Ernie Hannagan

Photo:Ernie and May Hannagan pictured on their Wedding Day on 22 September 1940.

Ernie and May Hannagan pictured on their Wedding Day on 22 September 1940.

May Hannagan

Photo:Ernie and May pictured with their three children and spouses celebrating 65 years of marriage.

Ernie and May pictured with their three children and spouses celebrating 65 years of marriage.

May Hannagan

Recollections of service in the Royal Pioneer Corps and life on the Home Front in Brixton.

May and Ernie

May and Ernie Hannagan met as teenagers in the office of a Brixton catering firm in 1931.  They had both just left school, May was 14 and Ernie was 16.

Royal Pioneer Corps

When war was declared Ernie joined the Army and served in the Royal Pioneer Corps as a Sergeant. He spent part of his time during those war years in Brussels as well as France, and also was posted to various places in Scotland, England and Wales. He was also involved in the D-Day landings.

Marriage

Ernie was given 3 days leave from the Army when Father Larkin married them at the Convent of the Faithful Virgin on Central Hill, Upper Norwood, near to where May lived with her parents and sisters.

Life in Brixton

During the war May was seconded to the Inland Revenue at Somerset House, and soon after that her family were bombed out of their home and her parents moved to Dorset. May then rented a flat in Brixton and spent most of the war years dodging bombs and often having to walk to work because buses were unable to get through. It was rare that anyone slept in their beds because of the air raids and instead spent the nights in Anderson shelters or, as in May’s case, in a cupboard under the stairs!

Downloads

Letter written by May Hannagan
Letter written by May Hannagan (33k)
To read more about May's wartime experiences please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 23/04/2012.

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