Audrey Daniels

Recollections of childhood memories of life on the Home Front.

Audrey, who was 9 years in 1939, was living in Weedon, Northamptonshire with her family in the married quarters of the barracks belonging to the Weedon Equestrian School at the outbreak of war. The family remained at the establishment, where her father served as a trainer for the Royal Horse Artillery, until it closed down in 1940.

Relocating to Kent

Leaving Weedon, the family relocated to Hove in Kent. Audrey’s father had at this stage left the country and was not to return until five years later. The family remained in Hove only for a short time as the area was near the coast and not considered safe.  As the owner of the village shop in Ightham, Kent, Audrey’s aunt, managed to arrange a flat in the village for the family to settle down. Remaining in the village until 1944, Audrey recalls how she had merely started her first term at Maidstone Technical when the V1s started and she was evacuated. Although the school evacuated to Wales, Audrey went with her family to Devon. Settling down in Hill Village, the family stayed for six months and later returned to Maidstone.

Air raids

Although not having much direct experience of air raids, Audrey remembers during the first months of the war planes coming over the military base in Weedon and having to take shelter. She also recalls how planes came over on their way to Coventry and the subsequent red glow from the fires. After her move to Kent, the main experience of air raids was a doodlebug that came down in the village of Ightham.

The end of war

VE-day evokes memories of celebrations and a bonfire in a field. The celebrations were, nevertheless, put short when a group of local lads let off smoke bombs among the celebrating parties with the subsequent result of the dispersing of celebrations. VJ-day took place while Audrey and her sister spent the weekend with an aunt in Brighton. Audrey recalls attending a street party but losing her sister in the crowds. When eventually finding her sister, Audrey returned to her aunt having lost the mood to celebrate.

Considering her war experience, Audrey believes herself to have been very fortunate as her life was not dramatically altered by war. Being a child/teenager living in the countryside life went on much the same.

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

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