Freda in St Leonards

D Day 1944

By Susan Adey

Photo:Freda Hancock

Freda Hancock

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Freda and St Leonards wartime

D DAY 1944

I live in St Leonards on the South Coast of England.  My house is based high on a cliff side and I have a wonderful view of the channel. During the Second World War we had many men based in the South East of England and during this time the D Day Invasion started.

On June 4th 1944 we looked through our window about 4.00am in the morning and we noticed that there was a long caterpillar shape on the channel, these were very many boats with men sailing over to France for the Invasion.

What's going on?

It was a very clear morning and this was very eerie for us.We listened to the radio throughout this period to keep up to date with any progress.

Lots of our men were hurt whilst fighting and these were brought back via boat to the West of England as this was the quickest place for them to get to.

Strange names!

One couple whom I knew had a child on D Day and therefore they named him D Day and in turn his grandchild is now also called D Day.

Everyone was very concerned about people that they knew who were fighting and one of my friends had his arm and shoulder damaged and later when he had recovered he was in London in a civilian suit and he was presented with a white feather and he was able to how his passbook to prove that he had been injured in war.

POWs

There were some Germans who lived in the town and they were taken to the Isle of Man (or somewhere in Scotland) and also some of the Italians were taken.  They took a lot of foreign people away just as war was declared.  I suppose they must have been taken to a camp.  I know that a couple of the local Italian families were taken away, they were all relatives that are still around.  They were also big employers of the town at the time.

There was a work van going around taking foreign people away before the war was declared and this was very frightening.

When the War was over there were street parties with lots of flags.


You can learn about Freda's early life in St Leonards here

This page was added by Susan Adey on 18/08/2008.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.