David Wood Collection
Speaker: Lester, L., 1906 - 1986, Interviewee, Male, Policeman;
Speaker: Wood, David, Interviewer, Male
Summary of interview item: Recalls in detail being the village policeman in Barwell and Earl Shilton just before and during the Second World War. Gives a vivid account of dealing with the first landmines to be dropped on farm land near the villages, including how the military approached the problem. Describes the difficulties he faced in billeting troops returned from Dunkirk with local residents, the use of local clubs and church halls and the gradual change of attitude by local people towards billeting, as the realisation of war became apparent. Also recalled are similar problems when faced with finding places for evacuees to stay and how unpleasant this task was. Other demands on policing due to the growth of military personnel, such as compassionate leave and going absent without leave, are recalled too. The influx of troops to the area, both British and American, and the difficulties this made for policing Barwell is described, including beer rationing and the presence of American Airborne soldiers. The Black Market is recalled, and the village cinema in Barwell.
Place of birth:
Marital Status: Married, Children:
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Barwell, Earl Shilton, Stoney Stanton,
Periods Covered: 1930s, 1940s, 1950s,
Recording Date: 27/6/1984
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: D. Wood
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