Interview with Grace Bradley

Title

Interview with Grace Bradley

Description

Grace Bradley lived on Boothferry Road in Hull and remembers the bombing of Hull during the war. She was a shorthand typist and worked for a local timber importer. She joined the WAAF and as a typist she typed the reports given by the returning aircrews to the intelligence officers. She proudly recalls the camaraderie on the station and remembers everyone helping to clear the runways of snow and ice in the winter at RAF Driffield where she was stationed. She also recalls the horror of seeing the condition of the young man who lived across the road from her and had returned in a terrible condition after being a prisoner of the Japanese.

Creator

Date

2018-07-24

Temporal Coverage

Language

Type

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00:58:07 audio recording

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This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Contributor

Identifier

ABradleyG180724

Transcription

PL: My name’s Pam Locker and I’m here on behalf of the Bomber Command Memorial Trust to interview Mrs Grace Bradley and the date is the 24th of July 2018 and we’re joined by Grace’s friend, Malcolm Green who’s come, agreed to come and sit with us. Can I just start Grace by saying on behalf of the Bomber Command Digital Archive an enormous thank you for agreeing to share your memories with us.
GB: Yes.
PL: So, what I’d like to ask you first of all is if you could just tell me a little bit about your childhood perhaps and growing up?
GB: Yes. Right. Well, well I lived in Boothferry Road, in Hull. 193. My father, he was an engineer for, and he repaired ships and he was still, he had a long way to cycle to work on Hedon Road and he was near the Hull prison and worked long shifts, especially during the war and, and he and in those days there was lines on the road for the, for trams and that and often we, as bicyclists used to get stuck in and it was a terrible mess really. And he liked his garden. He was very interested in his garden. My mum, my mum didn’t go out to work but she had plenty to do at home and she, and she was one of fourteen children and she used to help with her sisters and that and the children so it was always a busy time. And the nearest aunt of mine lived down Sandringham Street on Anlaby Road and it used to be grand going there as there was always plenty of baking and it was, it was really lovely and we used to go there regularly really. I would say once a week at least. So, it was very nice. And of course, those days we hadn’t got washing machines and me dad wore dungarees because they were all greasy with being in the ships and my mother had to scrub them on the back yard and it was a dirty job but that was those days. Things were different and it wasn’t always the modern conveniences there are now. But for all that we were quite happy. I think we knew where we stood and that was it. And we lived not, Belgrave Drive was opposite side of the road and then there was North Road at the same side and this side was, well there was three shops and there was a most wonderful, I’ve forgotten what they call it, a baker’s shop and the bread was, oh it was marvellous. But you don’t get it like that now and it was really nice. And we had a ten foot. The back of the garden, we had a long garden and then there was a ten foot and then we had more ground at the back where people could have garages and so forth. And Rediffusion were a few doors away and they had an office there so it was quite nice really. And of course, when war broke out everything altered. But I think it’s a marvellous idea and I think children should be educated about the war because quite honestly even some of the young ones don’t believe it. They don’t.
PL: Grace, did you have siblings? [pause] Did you have siblings? Brothers and sisters?
GB: Did I have —?
PL: Brothers or sisters?
GB: I can’t hear properly.
PL: Did you have any brothers or sisters?
GB: Did I have?
PL: Brothers or sisters.
GB: Oh no. I’m the only one and, no, so but there were quite a few children around about and we used to cycle up and down on the ten foot and things like that and at the back when we first went there it was all fields and there was a golf course. But of course, the Corporation state built on it and they were, it was quite select really. It was very nice and I had some good friends there. And in those days when we first started there was no school of course and I had to go to Wheeler Street School for a short while and then went to Eastfield Road when they built a school so, and I believe that’s come down and they’ve built another one since. So, it’s amazing really. And funnily enough there’s a girl here who works in the kitchen, a lovely girl. You wouldn’t believe it but her and her parents only live five doors away from 193 Boothferry Road. Talk about, it’s amazing how things happen.
PL: So, Grace moving forward in time.
GB: Yes.
PL: Towards the war so —
GB: Yes.
PL: When the war started how old were you and what did you do?
GB: Well, I was a shorthand typist and I worked in a timber importer’s office down Hedon Road, opposite Alexandra Dock and I would be, I went to Patterson’s Shorthand Typing School at the corner of Linnaeus Street on Anlaby Road. That’s opposite the Infirmary. And it would be about 1937 or something like that. Something in that age group I would think. Yeah. And I went there. I first started at Danish Bacon Company. I couldn’t stand the smell of the place. I left there. Went to [unclear] That was a big shop in the town. And then I left there and I went, and I went to where I’d always been. At the timber importers, Montague Meyers. And I was there ‘til I went in the forces and I went back there when I came out.
PL: So, did you experience the bombing in Hull?
GB: Yes.
PL: Would you like to tell us?
GB: Oh, it was shocking. It really was. Everybody went on the move. It was just like one sheet of paper heads. People went in the country and we had a relative who lived, lived in Scothern in err Swanland and we used to go there for, for nights. Went for so long. Things calmed down a bit and then of course they came up again. And we had an Anderson shelter in the space where people had garages and that. So, we had an Anderson shelter and our neighbours and me and me mum and dad went in there and there was, we had a pack of cards and blankets and things but oh it was a shocking time. But I remember after the terrible bombings I had to go to work next day. There was no transport. You had to walk and I went along Anlaby Road. There was nothing but fires and police about and the workers who had been helping police and that. And opposite the infirmary there was a Catholic Church. A nunnery I believe. I’ve forgotten what they call it. I can’t remember. And I know it was absolutely ablaze and all the roads was rubble and everything. It, it was terrible. And they always, they never used the name Hull on the, on the television and everybody around the area was up against it. That it was wrong. They always mentioned London but never never Hull. It was always a town on the east coast or something. But it wasn’t right. We eventually got to work. I eventually got to work and of course the office was shattered and the bosses took the books what they could get. Took them home. And we eventually, they eventually found some rooms at Coniston and we went there for a while but it wasn’t suitable really. And then it was really better for me. We moved to Cottingham so that was a lot easier for me to get to. So, I was able to ride from Boothferry Road, Hull on my bike down Calvert Lane and it was on the corner house down South Street we went. It was Madame Clapham’s house. She was a couturier for gowns and everything. And so we was there for quite some time. It was very nice there so [pause] so that’s the way it was really. But it annoys me when Germany and all those people forget about the war. They shouldn’t. They shouldn’t. No.
PL: So, what made you change your work? Did you have to change or —
GB: No. I hadn’t to change. I was fed up with, with all my friends gone. Relations gone. There was nobody to be with and so I thought, right. I’ll join up. And it’s the best day’s work I ever did. It was. And I think everybody who had been man, woman or whoever they were they came out better people than when they went in. No. I would never have missed it for anything. You grumbled. You grumbled. I mean you always found something to grumble at but it was really wonderful. I mean there was the Salvation Army around the NAAFI. And there was always a bun or something to eat and often there would be a bar of chocolate or something. It was wonderful. We enjoyed it. We had some fun. And the houses and people around Driffield and all over they were remarkable. They brought in apples and fruit from the orchards and we were invited to the homes. It was wonderful. Saturday nights often we’d go on our bone shaker bikes or any [unclear] or even on the lorries what we did. We went to Bridlington dancing. No, we had our fun. And it was bad one, one year. There was a lot of snow and ice and the runways at Driffield were absolutely frozen over and everyone had to get out, WAAFs and all and scrape the runways. It was shocking but it was done.
PL: What did you scrape the runways with?
GB: Well, there were shovels and pickaxes and goodness knows what. And there were quite a few Australians there and they were very nice. And so, and the food was, we had better food than the civilians. No, it was, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything and I think we all came out better than when we went in.
PL: So, Grace can you describe to us what work you did?
GB: What I did?
PL: Yes.
GB: Well, when aircraft came back and where they’d been and what they’d seen and that and I used to have, it was all written out and I had to type it out and it went in some secret archives or something. And so that was my main thing. I also did the ordinary things for anything. Usual administrative jobs. So yeah, I was lucky really. Very lucky. And I was very lucky being so near home. I mean Driffield and Hull’s not far really. And then I went to Leconfield before I was demobbed. No, it was, I wouldn’t have missed it. I think people who weren’t in the Forces or Land Army or anything like that, I think they were boring. No. I think it was good. And I think it would do a lot of them good if they were in something like that now.
PL: And did you, I’m just going to stop the recording for a moment.
[recording paused]
PL: Recommencing the interview with Grace Bradley.
GB: Yeah. What’s on the—
[pause – pages turning]
PL: So [pause] so Grace can you remember what a typical day would be like?
GB: In the Air Force?
PL: Yes.
GB: Yeah. Well, yes, I can. Well, the tannoy went about 7 o’clock. So we all rushed up and we’d, we’d go for a wash. We’d come back, get dressed. The bottom of the, and then we had to, there was a bed and at the bottom of the bed at the foot there would be a box. A bomb, where they kept bombs in. That had been used and those we would have our, to have our personal things in. Underwear and stuff. Over the top there was a shelf running right across. This was in the Nissen hut. A shelf running right across and on this shelf you’d put your, you’d put your mug and your knife and fork, toothbrush and small things of that kind. You’d come back, you’d get dressed and you’d make your bed. Well, the mattress was in three sections and they called them biscuits. Of course, when you went in you were green as grass and you thought you were getting biscuits. Anyway, they were, they were, the mattress was in like three and they were stacked up at the head and you had two blankets. Really rough grey things. Those had to be folded in a certain way and they were put on top and, yeah. And your buttons all had to be cleaned. You had a button thing that went across and and you cleaned it with Brasso. Whatever it was. I’ve forgotten now. You did that and then you, you went to the cookhouse and got your breakfast. Well, the breakfast was all, you could choose what you wanted. There was cereals or scrambled egg which of course was dried egg and things of that sort and you’d queue up with your plate and hand it over and that’s what you’d get. Sometimes there’d be a right crash and a load of them would, that was it and of course there would be a lot of laughing and shouting. And so eventually that was it. And then when we get, and there would always be one person left behind that had to to clean and tidy your room which was a Nissen hut and, and then an officer and a corporal, there was at the bottom of each hut there was a part cut off and that’s where the corporal slept. And she, the corporal and an officer would come and inspect, poke around and see everything. And then there was the square bashing outside which was saluting and doing all sorts of what we thought was rubbish but in all weathers. You just had to do it and that was it. And our poor feet when you first went in with these heavy shoes. Oh, it was murder. But we got over it. But what a difference it would make now. It would do a lot. A lot of good.
PL: How many were you in the Nissen hut?
GB: Now, yes. That’s right. There was ten beds at either side. Depending on the size of the hut of course but they were mainly the same size and there was, each side there was ten and, and then the corporal at the bottom and when anybody had been out, if anybody had been on leave or anything and they had to report at the, where the corporal was and everything so that was that. And often when somebody came crawling in late at night they’d get in, and they’d knock the water off the stove. Well, there would be some screams. So, yeah. Yeah. That happened quite often. And, and then of course you got MFIs or whatever you called them, I’ve forgotten now and you had to get jabs in your arm. That wasn’t very pleasant. But, oh yeah.
PL: So, what sort of time would you go to work? You’d have breakfast and then —
GB: You had to be there at 8 o’clock. You started work at 8 o’clock. Yeah. And heaven help you if you were late. No. No, you wouldn’t be I don’t think, I don’t know anybody who was really late and, no [pause] And there was different ones outside. Men and that sweeping the paths and runways. Everything was kept clean. Everything was perfectly clean. The Salvation Army, they were marvellous to us really. No. It was very very good.
PL: So, were you in an office? In a —
GB: Pardon?
PL: Were you in an office with a typewriter or —
GB: Yeah. No. There was a few of us together in a room. Yeah. But I wouldn’t have missed it. But I was really glad I’d gone in the forces and we had fun when we went to dances and that. And we went on lorries. I mean we’d never even think about it. It was, yeah it was a different world.
PL: And did you mix with the men? Did you mix with the aircrew or was everybody separate?
GB: Yeah. We all mixed up. No. It was all, it didn’t make any difference. No. We all mixed up. No, it was. And it was the tears the next morning when they were coming back and some of them were missing. It was terrible. I mean some of them had been married. Going to get married. It was shocking. And I had a friend who was one of the stations nearby that attended to all the clothes and everything when they died. Oh, it was shocking. No. It was some happy times and some sad. And you have to let the sad times go. No. It was terrible.
PL: So, did you, did you feel safe on the base at Driffield?
GB: Yes. Never even thought about it. I mean there was all of us and we were all the best of friends. There was one girl, her father had a butcher’s shop at, in Scarborough, I think. No. It was amazing. And before I went home when I was demobbed I went to a friend’s and she lived in Birmingham and I went to Birmingham. We had a lovely time and I’ve often wondered about her. I never heard so, what happened. Well, of course people lived a different life then and I mean there was families and everything and everybody’s the same when they are in the Forces. No. It was good. You don’t think so at the time. Sometimes you could get very stressed. Oh, and you had, you had to keep your hair short and as I say, ‘You’ll be walking on your hair soon.’ You got really insulted [laughs] Oh, yes.
PL: And there was a time when your cousin came to see you.
GB: Yeah. Oh, it was a most wonderful time and he was such a nice nice officer. He was lovely. I don’t know where he came from. And he had the most beautiful eyes like lavender or something. He was really nice. I was lucky. Very lucky. And I think it gave us time to be together a bit. It was really nice. No, Freddie, and he was married twice and it was so so sad. He was such a nice boy. I mean, they were only boys when they went flying.
PL: So, was he an airman? Freddie.
GB: Pardon?
PL: Freddie was an airman.
GB: Yes. Yes, he was a pilot. Yes.
MG: And he was your cousin, was he?
GB: He was my cousin. Yes. And they lived down First Lane or Pickering Road way somewhere. Yes. It was shocking.
PL: So, what happened to him Grace?
GB: I don’t know. You forget all these things. I’ve not the foggiest idea. It’s dreadful. Fortunately, our house was never bombed so that was alright. I don’t think any of Boothferry Road was bombed. So that was good. There was plenty of air balloons and, and there was quite a few at Peter Pan Park. No, it’s an amazing life. No. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Best thing I did when I went in the Forces.
PL: So, did you have a chance to go home?
GB: Pardon?
PL: Did you have the chance to go home quite a lot?
GB: Oh, yes. I went home. We had one day off a week and I used to go home quite often. Sometimes my mother would come. And I made wonderful friends in Driffield and used to go to tea and they were farmers as well and they invited my mother and oh it was lovely. Oh, it was. They were very very very charitable. They were. Gave us fruit and all sorts. We had strawberries given from the different farms. No. They were very generous. Lovely. It was nice. No, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
PL: So, can you remember when you heard the news that the war was over?
GB: Oh, it came over the tannoy and we were all given the day off and it was dancing and whatever you could get to eat or anything. You could do what, it closed down. It was amazing. Lovely. Of course, it was VJ after it. But I’ll never ever forget when I came home. Opposite to where we lived there was a young man. He had been in the Forces and he was in Japanese hands. Oh, to have seen him. He went to the same school as I did. He was about the same age as me. The poor poor fellow, he was absolutely, he was bent. It was terrible. It was cruel for him to be alive and I’ll never forget seeing him. He didn’t live long before he died and really in a way it was a blessing from what he went through. Yes. It was terrible. And I’ll never, I’ll never ever forget him. It was shocking what they must have done to him to be like what he was and when I think of people buying Japanese cars and things like that I could kill them. It never leaves me. It probably should but I feel very bitter about it and he’s only one. The cruelty that went on was unbelievable I believe. Shocking. I don’t think the Germans were as bad but I don’t know. They were bad enough. I mean they had all those Jews and everything. It was shocking.
PL: So, when you got home Grace what was Hull like? What had changed really? What struck you as being different?
GB: Oh yes. It had changed terribly but a lot of it was cleared up. It wasn’t, but it was all what they were going to do. The buildings and that. And I don’t think really, they’d done their best but things of course change so I don’t really know. But I mean there used to be the fruit market and then there was a market opposite the Holy Trinity Church. I don’t think that’s on the go now is it? Is it? I don’t know what things are and what things are. I was speaking to a gentleman in the lounge a few weeks ago. I’d never seen him before but he’d been here a long time and he had to go to the Infirmary every so often. He had something the matter with his eyes and he said his son came and took him and he lived in Reading. He said he was absolutely lost down Anlaby Road where all the shops and everything had gone. It, it’s terrible the way shops have gone. Terrible.
PL: So, Grace, how did you meet your husband?
GB: Oh yes, he was an engineer and he was a quiet man and he spent, he liked his garden and he looked after it. The garden was always lovely back and front.
PL: So, was he, was he in the Air Force or was he —
GB: No. he was in a protected job with repairing the ships. He used to go in the ship’s holds and things and he, and he used to have a nap during dinner time and he’d lay down and I think it was near Hedon Road Prison and the apprentices, the boys used to put flowers around him when he was asleep [laughs] and Mother used to pack him a sandwich up and there’d be condensed milk and so forth for his tea. Oh no. It was different. Oh, I say what you can buy now you couldn’t buy then. It’s true [laughs] Oh, he often said about he woke up with a lot of flowers around him.
PL: So, Grace did you carry on working when you came? What happened when you were demobbed?
GB: Well, I went back to my old job. Funnily enough that was another joke really. The staff at Montague Meyers. Oh, they were wonderful. We really got on lovely. It was down Jameson Street and it was, I was second floor I think and there was a snooker room there and of course the men liked that and most of us went on bikes to work and it was very nice. No. I advertised, they advertised for somebody for my place and I replied to it and I didn’t know it was my job. So, that was a bit of embarrassment. So anyway, I got back to my old job which I was pleased about and they were very nice staff. They were lovely. Now, I wouldn’t think that any are alive now. No. It was marvellous. No. It’s a different world. No. But little things seemed to, we enjoyed them whereas we don’t now. But —
MG: Can you remember which RAF stations you were stationed at?
GB: Yes. I was at Gosport when I first had to go there for kitting out and everything. I’d never, that was the furthest I’d ever been in my life. It was. The countryside was fantastic. Yeah. Went to, and I’d been to [pause] where was it now? [pause] Somewhere down south somewhere. Oh, I’ve forgotten now. There was another place I went to. I were kitted out and went to Gloucester. Went to somewhere else. Oh, I think I went to Wales. Yes. Went there for some training of some sort and yeah it was certainly, certainly different. Oh, and when we, yes we, when we went somewhere where there was, they were making cider. Well well well fellas were laid out on the floor next morning drunk as a lord. You’d never saw anything like it. It was absolutely funny. Yeah. I mean it was really, real cider and things like that. So, and there was somewhere else where we went. where we went. We had, we went to [unclear] Holt. That’s been on television even. It’s still on the go at. [unclear] Holt. I don’t know whether it’s Somerset or somewhere around there. A really tiny little holt and that was lovely. And we used to get on Mondays when they had domestic nights they’d get where you could do embroidery and things. You couldn’t buy it in the shops so I was lucky because I, it’s my, I like embroidery and things so I did quite well in that way. And no, it was good.
PL: So was that —
GB: I wouldn’t have missed it.
PL: Was that a night of activities then when everybody did some sort of an activity like sewing?
GB: Oh well there —
PL: Or knitting.
GB: Used to be all sorts of daft things going on and then —
PL: What sort of things?
GB: Oh, well people cutting their hair and stuff like that and dancing and so forth and making things and trying to get something on over the corporal in the room [laughs] So we all had bad times really. No, but it was really fantastic. No. We had a pair of twins in our room and that was nice. Joyce. I’ve forgotten the name of the other one. Her sister. It was really good, wasn’t it? That was at Driffield. Oh, and when they pulled the Nissen huts down at Driffield they built an estate of bungalows and do you know as far as I’ve heard there was two of the girls got a bungalow on the exact spot where our hut was. So, it was, we were really good pals. Yeah. So, and Driffield. We loved it. And, and then there was the river and you can see all the flies over the river at night. No it was amazing. We saw things we never would have seen. No. It was wonderful. There was bad times of course and we all had our own moans and groans but all in all I would not have missed it. I would have been a bore. I might be a bore now.
MG: No. I’m transfixed.
PL: Did you, did you like your work then? Did you find it hard work?
GB: Yeah. It was pretty hard because it had to be exact. No, it was pretty hard but most of them were very nice. There was odd ones that weren’t. There was a group captain. He was a shocker. We hated him. But you get that in all walks of life. I know when I was at Montague Meyers we had a boss. We couldn’t stand him. He was a shocker and of course we were the northerners and he was a southerner and he knew it all. Oh, we hated him. And I couldn’t stand him. I was glad to be away from him. In fact, a lot of them were. But that’s life.
PL: So, when you, when you were at Driffield were the majority of the other girls local?
GB: Yes. Yes.
PL: So, but when you did your training did you meet people from all over the country then?
GB: Well, yes really we was all varied from different parts. It, it was good because you learn about, you learned things that you would never have known. Different religions. And you accepted it and you knew it where your own parents were against it but you thought differently and it was good and I think it was well worth it. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. And yeah, and everybody seemed to help one another. No matter who they were or where they came from or anything or their background or their religion and I think it was very very good for that respect to to to be mixed up like that. And you, of course you all had the same uniform on and if you had stripes or whatever well that’s just the norm. But that would have been done a lot better to talk about kids at school and this, that and the other. They’ve got their own people for teachers and that I think in a lot of cases. Not in all but some.
PL: So, Grace looking back on those days are there any particular incidents that happened that really stand out to you?
GB: Well, seeing Freddie was one of them. One of the main ones. I mean it was certainly different. And going, getting cleaning the runways up. Yes, it was hard work. It was terrible. But you felt as though you’d done something after it. And the people round Driffield and that and all the farmers and the big houses where they invited you it it was wonderful. And going on lorries, it was a treat. [laughs] Oh no. I wouldn’t have missed it and it was the best thing I did. I was just bored to death with no young people left here and I didn’t want to go in any factories or anything. And I think these girls who went on the, been shut in aircraft you know when they move. I’ve forgotten what they call them. They were very high up. They got well paid. I think they were wonderful. And the men. I think they did a wonderful job. I mean it must. I mean lives depended on it.
MG: Were the, were the WAAFs in the Nissen huts was they all a similar age? All a similar age to each other?
GB: No. We were all similar really.
MG: Yeah.
GB: Yeah. It was similar. There wasn’t much difference. And we all talked about everything. No matter how personal it was. I mean it was just the done thing. It was amazing. It was. And Salvation Army and all of them and then we used to go to church sometimes on a Sunday and all of us and no, it was you know a special occasion. It was, it was good.
PL: Wonderful.
GB: I think we ought to be something like that. When I think about then and the schools now I feel sorry. I’m sorry the parents don’t do more. They don’t. A lot of the parents don’t do what they should do and —
PL: I think —
GB: It’s different altogether.
PL: Well Grace, it feels like we’re drawing to an end of your memories. Is there anything else that —
GB: I can’t, I can’t think of anything but I’ve certainly enjoyed your company.
MG: Was the, can I just ask when you was at the RAF stations did you see many armed guards guarding the stations you were at?
GB: No. No.
MG: You weren’t —
GB: No. No, it’s not, it’s not like that at all.
MG: Ok.
GB: Nothing like that. And everybody seemed to respect each other.
MG: What do you mean —
GB: Even, I mean there was a lot of girls went pregnant and they, and they were discharged under Clause 11, and it was a well-known fact and there were some peculiar things about —
PL: So, you mean they came when they were pregnant? They didn’t, did they know they were pregnant?
GB: Pardon?
PL: Did these girls know they were pregnant?
GB: Well, they must have done. I think so. And they didn’t, now then there was no privacy. And when they were the doctors would just come to the hut and examine them and there were just there —
PL: So, no privacy.
GB: And then they would just be discharged immediately and it really wasn’t right. And I know for a fact, you know people having, that were, had trouble with their eyesight and the doctor would say, ‘Well, you have the sight of one.’ And that was it. You just had to carry on. I’ve known that happen.
PL: So, were all the women single women? Were there no married women?
GB: No. Some of them got married whilst they were in the Forces and some of them they still kept on and they probably had a flat round about or went to live in one of the houses or something somewhere. No, it’s, no there was no trouble like that.
MG: Was you ever ill during the wartime? Was you ever ill?
GB: Pardon?
MG: What was your health like during the war? Was you —
GB: No, not really, I don’t think. I can’t remember. I know the dentist when he came and he said about how wonderful teeth us northerners have and it was the water they thought. And yeah, he was very good. But I never had anything done there.
MG: I don’t know if there is a fair question now.
GB: What’s that?
MG: Can you remember, you don’t have to tell me but can you remember how much wages you got every week? Can you remember that?
GB: No, I can’t. And do you know my paybook clearly should have it but I reckon it’s gone and I daren’t ask her because it would worry me to death.
MG: I can find out.
GB: We didn’t get much but we all seemed to manage.
MG: Was it paid every week in a pay packet?
GB: Once a fortnight we got paid.
MG: Right.
GB: We had to queue up and, and we had to salute for it.
MG: Yes.
GB: Yeah. It, we didn’t get much but if you got risen up from a, say a corporal to a sergeant or so forth and your money went up. Of course, your money went up and everything. And it was nice.
MG: What was, what was your full title? Your rank. What was your rank?
GB: ACW2 when I went in and I think I was ACW1 when I came out [laughs]
MG: Good.
GB: So, I was grouped in two and then one. No, I never got very far.
MG: You did. You did. You did. You did.
GB: But I think that applied to most of us. But that’s the way it was.
PL: Wonderful.
GB: Well, it’s been I’ve really enjoyed it.
PL: Well, Grace can I just say on behalf of the Bomber Command Digital Archive a huge thank you again. It’s been fascinating meeting you.
GB: Oh, don’t thank me. I want to thank you and most of all —
[pause]
PL: Malcolm.
GB: Do you know they’re the most wonderful [pause] You don’t know what it is living next door to people that are not good. And we’ve known it. Don and I.
PL: Well, that’s marvellous. Thank you so much Grace.
GB: And it’s all been up to Malcolm and Maureen. Maureen’s been wonderful. I mean she typed it out and she’s done, she’s done for her, the family. I mean there’s four of them and they’ve kept together. [The others] are up there. The bottom of the —

Collection

Citation

Pam Locker, “Interview with Grace Bradley,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 1, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10119.

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