David Rumsey

Photo:David Rumsey with his cousin Diana in 1939. Diana's family had settled in France after the First World War. In 1939 Diana's mother left France to stay with David's family in Sutton. Diana was born shortly after her arrival in England.

David Rumsey with his cousin Diana in 1939. Diana's family had settled in France after the First World War. In 1939 Diana's mother left France to stay with David's family in Sutton. Diana was born shortly after her arrival in England.

Davdi Rumsey

Childhood memories of wartime in Sutton.

Digging a hole

Born in 1937, David Rumsey lived in Sutton with his family at the outbreak of war. His first memory of the war is of his father and cousin digging a hole for the air raid shelter in the back garden. This particular memory is especially clear to him as David, being a toddler, fell down the hole and injured his hip.

Dangerous duties

Assisting the war effort on the Home Front, David’s father was an ARP warden and later an officer in the Home Guard. David recalls his mother’s anxiety over her husband’s, often dangerous, duties: ‘I have a memory of my mother, during an air raid, clinging to him and begging him not to go out; he carefully explained that that was precisely what he had to do’.

In the fields with POWs

When David’s younger brother was born in the summer of 1944, David and his elder brother were sent to stay with family friends in Spalding, Lincolnshire. Assisting with the harvest, David recalls how the siblings worked in the fields with German and Italian prisoners of war.

'A huge plume of pale smoke'

When David returned to Sutton, the bombing had intensified. As a young boy, the many hours spent sheltering often caused boredom. Rather spending time doing more exciting things, David and his younger brother were just about to leave the shelter when they witnessed a V1 rocket come down nearby, ‘after the explosion there was a huge plume of pale smoke, full of fluttering sheets of paper; suggesting that it must have been a house containing many books’.

Downloads

Letter written by David Rumsey
Letter written by David Rumsey (37k)
To read more about David's wartime experiences in his own words please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 21/05/2012.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.