The Newham Story

Support => About the Forums => Topic started by: KenM on 05 June, 2019, 02:37:53 PM

Title: D Day memories
Post by: KenM on 05 June, 2019, 02:37:53 PM
Hi All,  tomorrow is the day that many thousand troops stormed the Normandy beaches with huge losses & many who came back were scarred for life.
Will you be commemorating the event or trying to forget?
Have you memories to tell?
Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: harry on 06 June, 2019, 10:23:56 AM
Hi Ken I put my recollections re D Day on an earlier posting(4 th june) do people really forget if you were old enough at that time( come on you old posters from way back who must read these posts ??? )  lets be avenue!!!  Regards Harry I
Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: KenM on 06 June, 2019, 03:15:34 PM
Hi Harry, sorry I missed your war time post on the 4th June.
D day memories seems to have taken a back seat in many peoples minds.
Much of my memory bank is bankrupt, but I can recall seeing the horsa gliders filling the skies & the troops crowding the main roads, oh & so many items connected to days leading up to D day.
Christchurch would not permit a march down the high st because it would inconvenience too many people, what a pitiful bunch of wallies, putting it mildly.

Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: alffox on 07 June, 2019, 10:48:08 AM
DDay - Troops marching down Prince Regents Lane to the Royal Docks - presumably joining the vessels waiting to take them across o France and my abiding memories are of the soldiers emptying their pockets of all ther final cash and coins - tossing them in the road for us kids to scramble after them.    And later the Italian Prisoners of War held in some safety inside the rear gates of West Ham Stadium just by the entrance in Baxter Road.  Sitting there with not a care in the world and apparently not in fear of their lives.  So easy for them to escape but not sure many of them bothered.   Memories of a 10/11 year old and despite being evacuated firstly to Bath (phoney war) then via a Metropolitan Police exchange up to Cambois Near Blyth Northumberland and lastly Leicester - I can still remember living through the worst of the bombing - dashing across the road nightly to the shelter having been dragged out of bed when the siren went off - diving in and out of the Anderson shelter just across the road in Alnwick Road - watching doodlebugs in the sky and the devastation in the houses with windows blown out and curtains hanging by a thread.  Would not wish it on anybody.  Have been across to many of the war memorials - Omaha Beach - Arromanche - and stood in many of the German pillboxes.  And whaat about the nightly trips to Stratford Station to sleep in the tunnels with other families.  Could go on and on.

Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: harry on 07 June, 2019, 01:39:23 PM
thanks for your memories Ken and Alf. I have often thought that there must be a different answer to the problems of wars and the total waste of life incurred and the suffering of families losing loved ones. When you consider the amount of time and money involved in making weapons whos only intention was to kill would it not have been easier to have shot Hitler and all his cronies in the first place!! but I suppose they would have done the same thing to our leaders??. this would have meant the same as the war we are discussing only on a smaller scale!!.Regards Harry.i.
Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: KenM on 07 June, 2019, 03:55:44 PM
Hi Alf, living in King George Ave with an Anderson shelter at the bottom of the garden I didn't have far to run when the siren sounded. Then when the all clear sounded it was a scramble to get out to look for shrapnel.
For a nipper of 5 years it was a wonderland, not appreciating the death & destruction.
Each bomb site was a playground & many were turned into allotments to provide much needed vegetables.
With a barrage balloon at the bottom of the garden we often got an early warning of an air raid.
You do surprise me that Italian POWs were held at West Ham Stadium, because British troops were also  stationed there prior to their move to the docks.
Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: alffox on 07 June, 2019, 07:51:48 PM
Ken, I would imagine the Italian POW's were interned there towards the end of the war - probably shipped in from the battle in the Middle East but strong memories of them sitting outside their tents just inside the wire fence on the track leading to the allotments.  My old grandfather Frank Edmead grew vegetables on his plot and used to take us kids with him past the back gate. Also remember the Barrage Balloon site behind your house - Vernons.
Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: linda co on 08 June, 2019, 07:14:56 AM
My nan lived in Lonsdale Avenue, East Ham and her garden backed onto the sewer bank. I remember her telling me that the Italian POWs used to be allowed to walk up and down there as part of their exercise. But I'm not sure where they would have been interned.
Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: ed styles on 08 June, 2019, 05:31:29 PM
With the exception of Linda and myself ,this was just before my time ( early 1944 ) so no older relatives around now to listen to recall these events , but am a avid reader of ww11  events  .   Bless ' em all 'they are certain not forgotton in my family , maybe this period in time was not the ' good ol days ' that we sing about     

All the best Ed
Title: Re: D Day memories
Post by: linda co on 09 June, 2019, 08:45:29 AM
Hi Ed

You are right that most of the elderly relatives have sadly passed away. We still have my mum who is nearly 94 but she didn't live in Lonsdale Avenue until she married dad in 1949 so would have no memories of the Italian POWs. She has plenty of other stories about the war to tell though!