Speaker: Baker, James, 1927 - , Interviewee, Male,
Speaker: Ward, C., Interviewer, Female
Summary of interview item: Recalls family life as a child in London prior to the Second World War, including sibling's jobs and school. Mentions the impact of Oswald Moseley on the local area. Mentions father's abuse towards mother, parents marriage break up and part of family moving to Kent. Describes closing of school in 1939 and lack of education until 1941. Describes gas masks, identity cards and sleeping in air raid shelter. Describes winter of 1939 and impact of shortages, blackout and gas masks. Recalls move to Kent in May 1940 for fruit harvest and seeing Dunkirk survivors, including brother. Recalls Home Guard, fall of the Channel Islands and bombing of big cities by the Germans. Recalls cooking on open fires and how he hated this period of time. Describes in detail seeing a German for the first time. Describes evacuation in detail and arrival in Leicester. Describes reception at De Montfort Hall and dispersal to different areas by bus. Recalls being billeted with the Jarvis family and how nice they were. Recalls enrolling at school, casualties in Leicester and air raid shelters. Describes new home they moved to in 1941 and mother's decision to stay in Leicester. Comments on easiness of making friends. Recalls rest of family moving from London to join them. Mentions job with mother when he left school in late 1941, and becoming a fire watcher. Mentions the Black Market and increase in moral from 1943. Comments on negative attitude of elderly toward evacuees and his feelings of being an evacuees and how it changed his life for the better.
Place of birth: London
Marital Status: , Children:
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester, London
Periods Covered: 1940s
Recording Date: 1/1/2001
Playing time: 35 mins
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
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