Auntie Doris’s All Things Must Pass #10: World War Two


Yes it was horrible. Yes loads of people died. Yes, we thought that it would be us next, what with Hitler sending them doodlebugs over every night and only Arthur Lowe and Clive Dunn standing between us and Ruddy Hitler,. But somehow, despite all that, there were plenty of people of my generation who missed the Second World War when it was all over.
I reckon that the reason that we looked back so fondly on it was that everyone felt that they were in the same boat back in them days. Them bombs could have hit any one of our houses from Buckingham Palace down to the grottiest hovel down the darkest back street of our grubby neck of the woods. If Hitler had have come over with his storm troopers, he would have come for the lot of us, an’all. Every one of us would have all been learning how to talk German, salute his ruddy silly flag and eat ruddy sausages made out of horse meat. None of us wanted that. Even when we was hungry. You don’t go eating horses. It just isn’t the British way. Or it wasn’t until the Germans came over anyway and built them Lidl stores everywhere selling their ruddy cheap “beefburgers”
The thing was, that during the war, what with having a common enemy, we all pulled together, and there was a real sense of community. Not like today, where it feels like its everyone for themselves, and them with the money and the power getting the biggest slice of everything. We used to share things out during the war, and if anyone was down on their luck, we used to help them.
There were some laughs too. Raymond’s Mother told me about the time when the sirens went off in the middle of the night while she was in bed. The drill was get your gas mask on and get out of the house and out to the shelter, which was a shared one for all the people who lived in her little terrace of houses. The only thing was she had been to visit her sister that night and forgotten to bring her mask home with her. So she was worried that she might get gassed to death. Then she remembered that she had read somewhere that you could protect yourself by soaking a blanket in water and throwing it over your head. Well she had plenty of blankets around her, because she was in bed, but no water. But there was a pot full of piss under the bed, and she didn’t want to die, so she soaked the blanket in it and ran downstairs and out to the shelter.
Of course, it was a false alarm, but she had to wait half an hour soaked in her own pee before it was safe to go back in. She ruddy stank to high heaven, and the neighbours never let her forget it. Mollie Pittle Head they used to call her. But it was all good natured fun. There was no malice in those days, we were all in it together after all. A real sense of fun and fellowhip. Its all gone now, but so has Hitler, so it all balances out I suppose. All things must pass.

4 thoughts on “Auntie Doris’s All Things Must Pass #10: World War Two

  1. If Auntie Doris had been writing her version of WWII and my history teachers had been smart enough to assign it as supplemental reading, I would have been a more interested and better informed student.

  2. I to, never learned the real history until I went to Greenham and and heard the stories of the Land Girls, Nurses, and women who lived through it. Wartime Farm an exellent T.V. series.

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