WW2 memories of Joan Edwards

I remember having my third birthday ‘party’ in the totally reinforced dining-room/lounge of our home, then in Woodside Park (we moved to the Suburb when I was 10).  My war-time birthday cake had pink icing – made from beetroot juice!

The reinforcements were big wooden joists and the whole family slept in that room.  There was a brick wall built about 18 inches just outside the garden doors/windows which was supposed to act as some sort of defence if there were a direct hit.  I always imagined it collapsing onto the windows.

In the garden was an Anderson shelter – I remember seeing its interior,  but no memory of it ever being used to sleep in.   I was supposed to act frightened of the bombs – but Joan Lipkin-Edwards with grandmothersreally I wasn’t.

My father was in the Hendon Fire Service – I do remember him going out with sandbags to smother incendiary bombs which landed in our street – they exploded if you put water on them.

We went to stay on a farm in Minehead in Somerset towards the end of the War – not an Evacuation as such, as I wasn’t yet at school.  I remember a stone hot-water-bottle to warm my bed – and being given a spoonful of Radio Malt every day, to make sure I had strong bones.  I loved dried egg.  On VE Day, I wore red, white and blue hair ribbons in my hair.

When I reached the age of 5 I had to go to school.  The only school in Minehead where I could go was a French Convent, boarding school.  So I boarded.  I had to reach up above my head to reach the washbasins.  I learnt French, the alphabet, how to count and tell the time, and the ‘Our Father’. And got broncho-pneumonia.  This was before the days of penicillin/antibiotics being generally available;  all they could do was to treat it with ‘M & B’ tablets.  Took 2 weeks in hospital to cure me.

My wartime bedtime prayers included: 'God bless my soldier uncles, God bless my sailor uncles, God bless my airman uncles - and bring them all safely home'

Document, WW2-6-6
WW2 memories of Joan Edwards
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