Interview with Joan Rosemary Macklin


Interview with Joan Rosemary Macklin


Joan’s maiden name was Fellows. She speaks of her school days up to leaving at 16 and a half when she took up an apprenticeship with a dressmaking shop in Hastings. When war was declared the dressmaking business suffered, so she went to Islington to stay with relatives and got a job at Debenham & Freebody helping to make army uniforms. In her leisure time she went dancing, ice skating and playing tennis. She remembered staying with a friend in Bromley and diving into a hedge when a German bomber went over.
Joan got engaged on her 21st birthday in October 1939. Her finance got his call up papers to join the Royal Sussex some days later.
Joan and her mother went to Hastings for Christmas 1944 to stay with her grandparents. They returned home on boxing day to find that their house had been destroyed. The shelter which they would have used was burnt out and the occupants were all killed. She stayed in Hastings to look after her grandmother until she married. Her husband was a stretcher bearer and was taken prisoner in May 1940. The prisoners had to march from France to Poland where he was in Stalag 7B. During that time, he had appendicitis and was operated on by a German doctor. While a prisoner he worked with horses and in the salt mines. The prisoners were marched from Poland to Germany towards the end of the war before being released. When he returned home, they got married and he worked as a prison officer at Wormwood Scrubs. He retired at 55 and died at 57.
Joan had a variety of jobs since the end of the war and retired at the age of 63.



IBCC Digital Archive





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01:35:55 audio recording





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Chris Brockbank, “Interview with Joan Rosemary Macklin,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 3, 2021,

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