Eileen Allchin

A mother at war

Eileen Allchin talks about being a mother at war.

Evacuation

Eileen Allchin recalls evacuating to Derbyshire.

Rationing

Eileen Allchin talks about rationing.

Some good times and some bad

Eileen Allchin talks about her time in Derbyshire.

Recollection of a mother leaving London with her children to escape the heavy air raids.

Air raids

Born in 1911, Eileen lived through both the First World War and the Second World War. Although different in nature, Eileen recalls that air raids occurred already during the First World War. She remembers that the school where her parents worked was used as an air raid shelter. The air raids during the Second World War were heavier and more frequent. Being a mother at the time of the war the safety of her children was her priority:

At first you didn’t have shelters. They offered you these shelters in the garden but you got to climb down into it. So we had an indoor one, it was like a table...and I put a mattress in it and the kids used to put to sleep in there. But after a time we had...one built outside one... [W]e had shelves and we used to take the kids over and make a bed up on the shelves.’

Escaping London

'We saw the cathedral go up in flames but as all of those things, as the planes went over, you heard them go over but you didn’t see much. It was all dark.’

Eventually, Eileen was evacuated along with the children from her home in southeast London to Derbyshire. Although escaping London, the family had not escaped the air raids:

‘I can remember standing in the garden when they bombed...Coventry Cathedral and [the] kids were in bed...asleep and me and him stood in the garden and the bombs come over and bombed the cathedral. We saw the cathedral go up in flames but as all of those things, as the planes went over, you heard them go over but you didn’t see much. It was all dark.’

Some good times and some bad times

Being away from home was not always easy:

‘It was a difficult time as far as money was concerned...if you didn’t claim when you first went. See I used to rely on Fred sending me money and if he didn’t send the post didn’t come. As I dealt at the same shop each week they were very good. They let me take me rations so that I had a chance to get it and then I could pay them as soon as I could change me cheque. But mostly you were alright if you behaved yourself...But I liked it, I enjoyed it. I had some good times and I had some bad.’

Eileen and her children eventually returned to London and experienced the V1 and V2 rockets in the latter part of the war.

Downloads

Interview with Eileen Allchin
Interview with Eileen Allchin (184k)
To read the full transcript of Eileen's interview please press the above link.

A mother at war
A mother at war (31k)
Transcript of audio clip with Eileen Allchin.

Evacuation
Evacuation (32k)
Transcript of audio clip with Eileen Allchin.

Rationing
Rationing (32k)
Transcript of audio clip with Eileen Allchin.

Some good times and some bad
Some good times and some bad (28k)
Transcript of audio clip with Eileen Allchin.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 22/02/2012.

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