Posted: 12/10/2012 at 20:31
Hello Ma, I was prepared to give them the benefit of working from old documents, they are now well off what it was really like. As you said when I saw the pitchforks I nealy yelled, "not for kids" where is H&S when you need it.
Labour shortage? when the farmers wanted some help the word went round like wild fire and the village turned out, grandma's to children would be stooking or raking, the men would be stacking and thatching the ricks we knew the ropes so needed no telling and always the impromptu party after it was done.
Ask people when we won the first land battle and they say Alamein Oct 1942, wrong it was the recapture of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in late 1940 early 41, all us kids knew about it as troops pushed down from the Sudan and up from what is now Kenya but was East Africa and many of those Italians ended up within a mile of us and working for us quite happily too.
They moved to Canada and we got Germans, I think they were graded from Nazi down and our lot were the lowest risk. They too marched down the road under their own NCO's with the Soldier on his bike bringing up the rear, rifle across his shoulders, they broke off in groups into the market gardens farms and many other jobs, a couple worked in the Blacksmiths on the Green, one married the Daughter and stayed.
My friends Dad had a coal business and he had four Germans for bagging the coal and helping, they came up from the rail staithes at lunch time and ate with the family and me, with mother and dad on war work I spent a lot of time in his home.
We got to see them as normal men and would spend time writing English words for them to say and write, they would wash up after lunch then all go back to work then to camp at the end of day.
When they marched down to church on Sunday's there would be a flock of girls watching, there was a shortage of young fit men in our area. We still hated Germans who were fighting us and thought our Bombing was what they deserved, we had been bombed but those Germans just seemed different.