The Auntie Doris Years: 1943


I would hate anyone to think that the war was all romance and laughter after reading the last couple of little homilies I have written. Of course, there was romance and laughter, but there had to be some things to take our minds off the threat of the ruddy Luftwaffe flying over every night and blowing our houses to smithereens. Yes, it had quietened down a bit after the first couple of years, but it still happened, and we were still ruddy scared, and there were still regular stories of people getting killed at home, and even more regular stories of what was happening to our soldiers out in the battles.
Raymond did write regularly, and I wrote back to him. To be honest I was worried about him. It brings it home to you even more when you personally know people out there. He never really said how bad things were, he wrote more about day to day life; what meals he had had or him and his mates having a game of football or a sing song together. There wasn’t much point in him mentioning the weather, because it was always hot and sunny where he was. Any talk about the weather was restricted to my letters to him.
I did spend some time with him when he got a bit of home leave that summer, but if you must know, there wasn’t any serious hanky-panky. After a few days I even stopped taking the soup spoon along on our outings together. I suppose that I felt comfortable with him, and I got quite upset when he had to go back.
The big scandal of the summer was my sister Pearl though. She went gadding off on a daytrip to Blackpool with a private out of the U.S Army. Herb Franklin he said his name was. He took her on the train and paid for her tickets an’all. Well it was supposed to be a daytrip, but somehow they missed the last train back and had to stay over. They had separate rooms in the guest house, but that didn’t prevent some goings on under the pier that night after dark, and nine months later I had my first nephew, when little Walter came onto the scene. By that time Herb Franklin was no longer around though and wasn’t replying to any of Pearl’s letters either.
There was no way my Mother could pretend it was hers, she was nearly 50 by then, but to be honest, what with there being a war on, no-one paid quite as much notice as they would have done before hand. Hitler had made sure that there were plenty of fatherless kiddies around the place. Pearl just steadfastly refused to be drawn into conversation about where the lad had come from, and as far as I know no-one outside of the family asked too many questions for fear of upsetting her. So there I was, 28 years old and genuinely called Auntie Doris for the first time in my life.
Auntie Doris’s Pop Pick of 1943: “People Will Say We’re in Love” by Frank Sinatra and the Bobby Tucker Singers. It was his version of one of the songs from Oaklahoma! Which was apparently one of the first musicals in America to have black and white people on stage together.

2 thoughts on “The Auntie Doris Years: 1943

  1. I have been wrapt with war history since I was at Greenham, many of the women there had been Land Girls, many had seen their neighborhoods blown to shice. I watched “Wartime Farm” several times over and reckon ought to be required viewing. Hooked by your blog Auntie.

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