Browse Items (253 total)

  • Tags: childhood in wartime

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Alberto Dini reminisces his wartime life in Trieste starting from the declaration of war until the end of the conflict. Describes life under the bombs, stressing disruption of utilities, devastated streets and chequered schooling history. Describes…

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Albino Ristorto (b. 1938) remembers the bombing of Dronero in 1944 when he saw a formation of aircraft approaching from the north, coming from Turin (Torino)
airport. He describes how one them made a swooping manoeuvre and mentions how the pilot…

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Albino Ristorto (b. 1938) remembers the day he challenged the president of the local partisans association, who was reluctant to admit their involvement in the bombing of Dronero. He reports the widely held belief that the partisans asked the Allies…

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Aldo Petrina lived in Capodistria with his family until March 1944. Recollects a day when a German warned his mother that they risk being thrown in a karst sinkhole. because they did not speak Slovenian. All the family the moved to Varese, where he…

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Alessandro Novellini (b. 1932) remembers the bombings of Turin and mentions different shelters in the city: the one in the basement of his house and the much bigger one at Piazza Risorgimento, built in 1943 when the tide of war was turning in favour…

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Alessandro Samorè reminisces his early life in Milan, Domodossa, Portofino, and Santa Margherita Ligure. Provides details of life in youth fascist organisations, playing with homemade fireworks, and attempts to assemble an improvised scuba gear.…

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Alfred lived near RAF Upwood when he was a young child. Alfred’s father was in the army and worked on the Burmese railway. Alfred remembered aircraft going over his grandmother’s house and landing on the runway nearby. One morning an aircraft…

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The informant describes two bombings he eye-witnessed in the Sesto San Giovanni and Niguarda area. During the first, he was in a basement adapted as underground shelter: he recollects women reciting the rosary and a queasy sensation in the stomach…

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Andreino Pagano (b. 1934) remembers his wartime experiences in the Pavia province. He explains how a parish church provided a good shelter owing to its thick walls. Recalls various stories: resorting to the black market, the bombing of the Voghera…

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Angelo Bencina recalls wartime memories in Monfalcone: a cave being modified as a shelter; the descent of bright red and white target indicators at night; a bomb which nearly missed him and didn’t explode; Window radio counter-measures being…

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Ann Mullin’s father, Sergeant George Fredrick Bedwell was killed in action. She found it difficult to come to terms with the loss. She found it impossible to visit his grave although she lived in Germany after the war.

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Anna Maria Baccolini (b. 1933) recalls the first bombing of Turin, aimed at the Lingotto industrial area. Describes the impressive sight of the city burning and highlights the effects of nearby hits. Remembers the tender gesture of her father who…

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Anna Maria Guglielmi (b. 1940) recalls one of the first memories of her childhood when the siren sounded and she found herself in crowded shelter. Describes wartime anecdotes: drinking wine from a demijohn found in the attic, an encounter with two…

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Annamaria De Manzano Vici recalls her wartime childhood in Trieste. Describes the struggle of her women-only family, coping with fear, hunger, and difficulties in finding food supplies. Remembers the run to the public shelter and the terror felt…

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Annunciata Buffadossi recollects her wartime life in Milan. Annunciata stresses poor-quality housing in a low-class neighbourhood close to potential targets; emphasises how much she feared Germans and Fascists; and speaks with affection of her old…

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Benito Colonna reminisces about the bombings of Rimini and other wartime experiences. Benito was with his mother when he witnessed the 1 November 1943 bombing: he saw aircraft approaching and bombing the town, concentrating the attack on the railway…

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Bernard Sterry and Cecilia Pearson, both born in Hull, talk about their lives as evacuees during the war. Bernard, who was 10 years old when war broke out, was evacuated from Hull to North Lincolnshire until September 1944, when he came back home at…

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Beryl Pickwell lived in Lincoln during the war. The youngest in a family with three brothers and two sisters, she remembers the day war was declared. Her father and two brothers worked in war factories, Clarke’s Crank and Ruston and Hornsby. She…

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Betty Hedges grew up in South London in the final years before the war and she recalls a happy childhood. She describes a close family and community life where the children played unworried in the streets and she talks about the games they played and…

Brenda Gardiner was at primary school in Hull when the war started. After the Blitz she was evacuated to Filey. Only after the war she fully realised the scale of damage and the suffering the bombings caused to the people living near the docks.

In…

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Brian Hutson was a child during the war. He remembers his father, who worked on building airfields and delivering air raid shelters. He remembers sleeping in a shelter and listening to aircraft.

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Brigitte Terboven (b. 1930) recalls the bombing of Essen and the dropping of an air mine by a British bomber which was trying to evade a German night fighter. The bomb hit the ground about 20 meters from her home which collapsed like a house of…

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Carla Griva (b. 1935) describes different attitudes and various coping strategies of people inside a shelter in Turin: reciting the rosary, putting their hands over their ears to avoid listening, storytelling, and asking children to practice…

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Carlo Gasparini (b. 1930) talks about his memories of the bombing raids on Milan. He provides an account of a night bombing with many flares that illuminated the sky as if it were day. He also describes the rush to safety during another bombing, and…
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