My mother never spoke about herself except in a modest and unassuming way. But I interviewed her about her life in early 2006, when she was 86 years old. She spoke with characteristic modesty about the war-time years, during which time she continued to work during the day in the family business while at night she served as a voluntary Civil Defence Senior Fire Guard and Deputy Post Warden. I present her account in full on the following page.
In her early twenties she was carrying heavy responsibility under difficult and dangerous conditions. An indication of the extent of her responsibilities is given by the "Duties of a Senior Fire Guard" document transcribed verbatim in the section "Responsibilities and Procedures".
Some idea of what life must have been like for her is contained in a letter she wrote to a friend, at a time when she was still working all day in the family wine shop:
"I feel rather dull after several nights without sleep. We have had two or three alerts every night for the last four nights and although thank God little damage was done, it meant a rather rude awakening every hour or so and having to rush round to the post.
Our barrage last night was very heavy. I don't think you have had the pleasure of hearing our park guns, they are really sweet music."
After my mother died in late 2010, a fuller picture emerged from the papers she left. I have set up this site to document some of these findings, and as a tribute to someone whose modesty meant that she would never have spoken of these things herself.