vii: A Memory From 1942

Because ‘Concerto Magnificent’ aspires to the impossible task of being an ‘anthology of all things’, this involves canvassing the widest possible range of voices. While another movement of the piece focuses on the very young (toddlers), this one reaches out to an older generation by collecting together accounts of memories from the year 1942. If you were alive seventy years ago, can you pinpoint a particular memory from this year? Or, if you weren’t yet born, could you ask someone who was whether they can retrieve an event from ’42? As with all the language we are collecting, the shorter the final phrase the better – under fifteen words would be ideal: a brief glimpse of a moment…


Other Visitors Comments

Alison & Sefton (both 93 years old): Getting married, Dec 1942. The cake was made of cardboard with a small real cake inside. Sefton went away straight afterwards for three years - in the army as a doctor. Posted by Emily on
Collected from interviews:

Doris: Travelling the country to welcome home my sailor husband, wherever the port.

Roy: Cycling from school, Doodlebugs overhead in the fog, afraid the sound would stop.

Gwen: I was evacuated into the same house as the man I would go on to marry.
Posted by James on
Mother obliged to take 3 evacuees - Father, Mother & Spoilt Brat, immediately hostile and unco-operative. After 1 week, father gaoled for theft, Mother & Daughter went back to London - Never heard anymore! Posted by Sarah on
We lost our football, the american soldiers were sitting in a bunker filling the sandbags so we asked if we filled them could they get us a football. And they did. But it was an american football. Posted by Sarah on
Collecting papers and magazines for the war effort we had them in a pram and the wheel kept coming off. Posted by Sarah on
Collected from interviews:

We were evacuated from ballet school.
I cried every night, but the headmistress was kind.

Bread-basket bombs over Bromham.
The convent nuns mocking my stammer.

Nature walks with the school in Norwich.
Posted by James on
I was in Belfast, at school, creating hell on the trams, and in 1942 we moved to London. Posted by Mike on
Six evacuees arrived at our house. They all had nits. Posted by // on
No sweets, no sweetie shops, everything was rationed.

From the window I saw a beautiful night sky but it was Coventry on fire.

Night after night I could see the bombs dropping on Coventry, on people like me.

I could not sleep at night as I thought of the bombs dropping.

Bombs dropped on children, so much destruction, so much tragedy.
Posted by Irene on
You were unable to get things in the shop. Posted by Gordon on
I was in Jamaica, the enemies was all around, we had to turn all the lights off. Posted by Lester on
During that time most people had difficulty in getting the adequate stuff for eating and so on. It was difficult during that time. Somehow the people in my country managed to survive from Garden produce. Posted by Bernard on
I did not know what war is like. I was in school. During the time of the war, the headmaster, my Uncle, everyday made us pray. When we were praying planes were flying over our little island. Posted by Bernard on
I remember in Jamaica, in Annotto Bay, we went there every Sunday, my Dad had me on his shoulders, legs around his neck. It was a beach party every Sunday. Posted by Vera on
In Jamaica, I liked eating, I remember all the vegetables my Dad planted. Posted by Dolores on
I was a young girl growing up in Jamaica, my grandmother teach me how to wash, cook and sew. Baking cake, going to church. Teached me how to love and respect people. Posted by Janet on
I don't have a memory of being 4 years old, but when I was 9 years old India got independence, with full independence in 1950. Posted by Hzara on
I worked in the fields, farming. Posted by Baru on
As a child I was interested in swimming, diving,some dive-fishing and I used to climg up coconut trees. Posted by George on
A friend of mine was blown across the road at the bottom of Shakespeare Road.

London Symphony Orchestra was playing at the Corn Exchange and my father took us after school.
Posted by Petra on
When I was at school we got gas masks, when there was an air raid, the hooter would go (from the pit). We were allocated houses to run to. Posted by Audrey on
Black out and clothing coupons. Rationing. Posted by Amelia on
the radio ran on wet batteries which had to be charged, we took them 4 miles for that. Posted by Peggy on
Started work for the National Health in Manchester. Posted by Margaret on
Living in London and sheltering from the air raids.
I worked in a shop and after the raids we would go outside to see the hot shrapnel.
Posted by Joyce on
During war years I lived at Holloway Road. A bomb dropped at Bethnal Green Station, they had to close the station for years. Many people died. Posted by P.M. Kane on
when bomb dropped in Bedford we all ruched to the pantry which was under the stairs in the dining room. There was hardly any room but as children we thought it was fun Posted by Isabel on
Seeing the glow on the horizon of Manchester burning. Posted by Alan on
Thinking I was dying. Five years old and shivering for the first time, after arriving in England from Nigeria. 'Mother - what is happening to me?' Posted by Caryl on
Thinking I was dying. Five years old and shivering for the first time, after arriving in England from Nigeria. 'Mother - what is happening to me?' Posted by Caryl on
Riding home from school hanging off the back of a dustcart. Posted by Caryl on
Everything was on ration except fear, love, and compassion. Posted by Adrian on
BBC were evacuated to Bedford, they did all their recording and gave performances in the Corn Exchange. Glenn Miller played his last concert there, but I didn't go to see it. Posted by Ben on
taking books to school in a doll's pram for Mr Churchill's War Effort (I was 5 years old and won a field medal for it). Posted by Anne on