Donisthorpe at War by J.A. Wright

Regular price £14.99

Donisthorpe at War

by J.A. Wright


Book published privately by the author, 130 pages. A4 size softback 

This privately published book collects together memories and personal accounts from people who lived, worked and grew up in Donisthorpe during the Second World War, and it provides a fascinating insight into what life was like in the East Midlands village during the conflict....

This book is in A4 format, has 129 pages, and 97 black and white photographs and images. It has been published by the author. A rare book that does not have an official ISBN number and therefore cannot be traced or discovered on the usual book selling websites. VITAL for any re-enactors doing Land Army. 

The photo on the cover of this well researched book by Jenny Wright is a good reflection of the tone of thirty-three first-hand accounts of life in Donisthorpe during the Second World War.

The young men went away to war, some never to return, while the women and able-bodied of the older generation were kept very busy with food production, other essential industries, and the war effort.

Grandparents in the village were often called into service looking after the children. There are several accounts of the day in 1942 when Seals Road was bombed. The author started the project as a small personal exercise, but it developed into a much larger project as more and more of the elderly residents showed a keenness to share their memories. 


Introduction & Dedication

I first started this book as a personal project, but as I gathered more information and met more very interesting people, the people themselves said they would like other people to share their memories during the Second World War. They felt so proud of their contribution to the war effort so this is why I decided to get them all together and published this book. I really do hope that you find their memories interesting like I have done.



Contents

We Both Fell in Between the Rows of Potatoes :: by Derek Tunks
I came to live in Donisthorpe in 1940. We moved from Measham after hearing that Mrs Goodhead had a house on The Green that she wanted to rent out. It had stood empty for over twenty years and the government wanted to commandeer the house for evacuees to live in ...

I Was Petrified to Go Back to School :: by Audrey Gibbons
My memory of the first part of the war is very limited. At the time the war started, our family lived in Seals Road, about the third house on the left-hand side. In our family and still living at home were, of course, mum and dad, our Connie, the eldest, who was about 17/18 and was working at Pirelli in Burton ...

My Dad Ran a Soldiers' Comfort Fund :: by Alice Shuttleworth
I can remember how we used to be able to get bags of broken biscuits from Mr Kirby's shop down the hill that was in Hill Street, just past the turning into Greenside Close, but I do not remember if they had to be bought with or without ration coupons ...


Ronald Shuttleworth (1920-1941) :: by Clive Shuttleworth (Ron's brother)
Ron attended Ashby Grammar School and then Leicester University in the 1930s. He actually volunteered to join the RAF whilst still at the University. He did his bomber training in South Africa, a country he like very much. He wrote in a letter home that if he ever got out of the war alive ...

It Was Like One Long Holiday :: by Connie Springett
Aged about eleven when the war started in 1939, I was evacuated to a little village called Tirley in Gloucestershire. Two of my brothers, four other children, two teachers and I were placed on a farm. A man and his mother ran the farm and I think they found it very hard to cope with us ...

I Often Thought, 'However Did My Mother Manage to Always Have a Hot Meal for Us?' :: by Doreen Wilton
My dad worked at the poultry farm at Oakthorpe and he would sometimes manage to bring home chickens and eggs. Off course, this was a real treat for us all. My mother was not in the best of health and we used to help her with the household chores. I was at a church service when the Prime Minister broadcast to the nation ...

It Was Quite an Experience Working in the Land Army :: by Rita Cheshire
As our country was at war, I knew I had to do something. My father suggested that I should go into the Land Army. He said to me that he could get a job on a farm if that was what I wanted. Therefore, it was settled that I was to start working for Archie Green at Snarestone ...

I Thought They Were Bailing Out of the Plane :: by Stan Shaw
I lived in Colliery Row during the war years, with the entire family - mum, dad, my brother and my mum's brothers, William, Tom and Frank. I can remember we shared a room with my Grandad until he died in 1946 ... I was nine at the outbreak of war and of course still going to the village school ...

I Treasured My Doll for Many Years :: by Cynthia Baker
I just hated my gas mask. It was green with a big nose on it. We had to take them out with us wherever we went. I used to go to Mount Zion Chapel and my mum used to sling it against my chest. I was around three or four then, getting towards the end of the war ...

My Mum Had a Breakdown :: by Marge Butler
I didn't hear the Prime Minister's broadcast but my parents did. They were both very sad because both my brothers were of the age that they would be called up to fight for our country. Just before they went to sign up for active service my father called up the stairs to them both, "Be careful what you do ..."

We Had a Ration Book :: by Charlie Wright
Whilst out walking with my friend, Geoff,as we were walking past the letter box in the wall at Acresford when a man came out of his house and asked if we would like to go in and hear the Prime Minister speaking on the wireless. We listened to the broadcast and then the man asked if we were of the age to get our call-up papers ...

Half a Pig at the Bottom of My Pram :: by Anne Haywood
I was born on 14th March 19939 so I was only six months old when the war broke out. Our home was 40 Church Street (no longer standing as it had to be demolished due to mining subsidence) where I lived with my parents, Thomas Shuttleworth and my mother, Ida. I have very few memories of my father ...

I Was So Upset to See Our Home So Badly Damaged :: by Lily Hart
I was living in Seals Road during the war years with my husband, Les and very young daughter, Cynthia. Les worked at Rawdon pit and then was on call to help fight the fires after air raids; most of the time he spent in Leicester. Lily recalled some of her neighbours living in Seals Road during the Second World War ...

He Was a Very Popular Man :: by Ann Joyce
My dad, like so many other men in the village, worked at the pit during the daytime and then in his free time he volunteered to join the village Home Guard. They had a hut down Hall Lane and they also did their drill practice down Donisthorpe Lane in the Drill Hall (maybe this was how the place got its name) ...

A Wartime Marriage :: by Susan Wilson (Granger)
My father, the Reverend Arthur Charles Granger, was ordained in 1925 in Truro Cathedral. He became a curate in Kenwyn, near Truro, and in 1927 left for the British West Indies where he remained until 1939. He had not planned to settle in England ... but the outbreak of war had prevented his return to the West Indies ...

I Used to Cry and Cry :: by Margaret Bircher
As I was born in 1943, I didn't know my father until he came home at the end of the war. He was overseas for a very long time as he was based in Egypt, South Africa and Italy. While he was in Durban, South Africa, he made friends with a family ... she would send us food parcels, containing chocolate, butter, tinned meat and biscuits ...

We Just Took Everything in Our Stride :: by Ena Oates
I used to walk from my home in Moira Road to Moira railway station to catch the 6.30am train to Leicester, and then I would return on the 7.00pm train. Sometimes our train was delayed because of an air raid. I'd have still been in Leicester at 9.00pm at night waiting to get home ...

Tommy Brookes Was the Village "Pig Killer" :: Ed Sharrod
I was born in 1936 ... My family lived in Seals Road. Our house, although small, was always comfortable and warm with an adequate supply of coal. Dad was a miner and therefore exempt from military service, and was allowed extra rations. My mother had been in service and had valued experience in cooking and home management ...

The Day We Were Caught Napping :: by Marge McGibbon
My first recollection of the day the bomb dropped, is that I was lying in bed resting with my mother. At this time my mother was pregnant with my sister, Mary. We were woken up by a lot of noise, screaming and by debris falling onto the bed from the ceiling all around ...

A Lorry Pulled Up Outside Our House :: by Ken Shaw
Ken was only 12 at the outbreak of the war and like most boys of his age, thought of the forthcoming was as another adventure ... I lived at home wityh my parents. My father worked at the pit during the day and the odd evenings he was on guard at Stanleigh House ...

The Day Our Lives Changed Forever :: by Rose Morton
We were quite a large family, four boys and two girls, with our parents, eight of us living in a tiny villa type house, two up/two down. My father was a very bitter man, badly injured in the 1914 war; he had a disability pension of 50%, which was £1 per week ...

Our Evacuation :: by Peter Pittaway
Certain events in life are indelibly impressed on one's mind ... it was in 1994 that I attended the funeral of my auntie, or second mother, as she was not my real auntie, but the lady with whom I lived as an evacuee from 1939-1945. She and all her family, friends and village people had reshaped my life ...

Another Few Yards and It Would Have Hit the Winding House :: by The late Walter Scott
I lived in Plumtree Cottages in New Street with my mother, father and my two elder brothers, Jack and George. We were all at home and we sat down to listen to the special broadcast from our Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, and it was not really surprising the he announced we had declared war on Germany ...

He Was Firing at Me :: by Dorothy Collier
I didn't hear the actual broadcast of the Prime Minister as I was out working in the fields. The first I heard that we were at were was when we came into the kitchen at Curtois farm, and Mr Curtois came in to us and said, "They have just declared war, come and listen to the wireless ..."

I Hated to Go Out in the Blackout :: by Dorothy Bonner
I was out walking down in Acresford with my friend, Louise Bowley, and the air raid siren sounded - we were so very frightened because we thought that the Germans had come over. However it was a false warning, no planes came over. When the war was declared, I was at the Ashby Girls Grammar School ...

It Was Down to the WVS :: by Bill Pittaway
Leaving Aston, the place where we had lived ... we went on what I thought was a long train journey, arriving at Ashby-de-la-Zouch and then oin a coach for a short journey to the Church Hall at Donisthorpe. The whole thing was organised by the WVS. They met the coach as we arrived in the village ...

The Day the Telegram Came :: by Mary Robinson
My mum and dad met whilst they both worked at the shoe factory at Measham. Dad came from Donisthorpe, but when they got married he moved in with my grandparents, who lived in New Street, Oakthorpe. Shortly after they got married the war broke out and eventually my dad and his brother got their callup papers ...

My Nerves Were Bad for a Long Time :: by Wyn Grewcock
I lived in Primrose Cottages at that time with my mum, and we had a lodger called Edwin Kirby who worked at the pit. At the outbreak of war my two uncles, Arthur and George, made a dug-out shelter at the back of the garden for my grandma to use. They made a really good job of this shelter; as they were both miners ...

I Did Not Realise the Full Horror of It All :: by Lizzie Willday
At the start of the war, I worked on a farm, mostly in the dairy, but there were times that I would help with the outrside work as well. Some of the jobs I did were to carry the milk churns up and cool the milk down and then put the milk into bottles ready for the milk delivery round ...

My Hands Were Covered in Blisters :: by Irene Hallam
I went to work at Measham Co-op in 1938, and the following year the Second World War broke out. Most of the men who had worked in the shop went into the services and their jobs went to the women. At that time we used to have really hard winters and I remember one we had a very heavy snowfall it was at least five feet deep ...

They Fetched Us Straight Back From Training Camp :: by Ivor Popejoy
... someone passed on a bike and shouted to us that we had just declared war on Germany. I was just a young boy and the true horrows of war did not register with me. My parents put on a brave face and tried to continue as normal. father had not long joined the newly formed ARP in case of the outbreak of war ...

Whatever Can I Give Them For Dinner Today :: by Gladys Wright
My brother, Ernie, was called up for service in the Army on 16th February 1940 (I remember because it was my 16th birthday). As I watched from the window of the "JamPot" where I worked at the time, the train steamed out of Moira Station, the tears began to flow ...

Donisthorpe is a small village in the North West Leicestershire district of Leicestershire, England. 

The historic county boundary between Leicestershire and Derbyshire is the River Mease, which runs through the village, with the village centre being on the southern (Derbyshire side), forming part of an exclave of Derbyshire. In 1086, Donisthorpe was part of the land given to Nigel of Stafford by William the Conqueror.

 

The condition of the book is generally excellent. The cover is clean and bright, spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.