Lily Jupe

Photo:Lily is pictured standing alongside her mother and two sisters.

Lily is pictured standing alongside her mother and two sisters.

Lily Jupe

Photo:Francis (Frank) Drewell, Lily's father, pictured in uniform.

Francis (Frank) Drewell, Lily's father, pictured in uniform.

Lily Jupe

Memories of life on the Home Front in Bermondsey.

Lily Jupe (nee Drewell) was the eldest child of Francis and Florence Drewell. She had two younger siblings, Flossie and Beryl. When war was declared the family were living in Bermondsey. Lily’s dad, who was aged thirty, joined the Navy and, whilst in service, he was referred to as “Pop” by the other men. Lily, her mother and sisters remained at the family home in Llewellyn Street.

Shelter in the wharf

Although there was an Anderson shelter, it was not used by the family during air raids, as they sheltered in the basement of Chambers Wharf – instead it was used by the children as a play house. Families were assigned bunk beds, and Lily and her sisters took their blankets to the wharf on the way home from school, in anticipation of raids. During raids she was able to tell from the sound of the aircraft overhead whether she could hear British or enemy planes. A warden was in place to ensure that no thefts occurred after those sheltering had fallen asleep. As the wharf was located on the docks, raids were heavy and often unexpected, occurring during the day time. Lily and the other children looked for shrapnel as they left the shelter and the pieces which they found were often warm.

Childhood memories of the home front

Photo:The crew of Lily's father's ship while docking at Westminster Bridge in 1945

The crew of Lily's father's ship while docking at Westminster Bridge in 1945

Lily Jupe

Lily’s mum undertook war work at a local factory, packing bullets. As one side of the building consisted of a wooden flap, during the summer months Lily was able to see her mum working – the drawback was that Lily’s mum could also see her! Lily’s dad often brought the girls chocolate when he was given shore leave. It caused great excitement as sweets were rationed and few varieties were available – unscrupulous shopkeepers often saved the best produce for favoured customers. On one occasion her dad’s ship was docked at Westminster Bridge and was open for the public to visit. As he had to be onboard, Lily’s mother took the girls to see him. They were allowed to go straight to the front of the long queue of visitors, much to the disgust of those still queuing!

Returning to Chambers Wharf

As Chambers Wharf was never directly hit by a bomb, Lily and Beryl decided to revisit it in 2004. Whilst they could not initially track down Llewellyn Street, they came across Chambers Wharf, and realised that they were standing where Llewellyn Street had once been.

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To read more about Lily's wartime experiences please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 16/01/2012.

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