Simply Whitstable Logo - Click for Home Page

Return to 
War Menu

Whitstable at War - World War II

Family Life: The Odd and The Funny Sides of War

     

Seeing the Funny Side...

   

As Diana mentions, humour played a part in survival and sanity. Mind you, laughter sometimes had to put on hold until vital activities had been completed....

 

Vital Ops

    

I have just finished reading a delightful fun little book entitled ‘Kent Privies’, not a subject one would expect to find in print.  The book has reminded me of a wartime story I heard adults speak of, perhaps during hop or fruit picking, perhaps in our, at times, much occupied home and certainly repeated post war.  

The story is reputedly a Whitstable story but whether it took place in the town or outlying areas I know not.

Apparently, grandpa was in his ‘cludgey’, the outside privy, when an air raid warning sounded. His family pleaded with him to join them in the Anderson shelter ‘down the garden’ but, with an “I’m not letting those buggers interfere with my bowels”, he refused to come out.  

That was a worry for the family as his bowels were somewhat reluctant at the time. Despite the noise of many aircraft overhead, grandpa was left in peace to encourage his uncooperative bowels into action. Suddenly, there was a loud crashing, clattering bang on the corrugated iron roof of the privy. 

Some debris had hit grandpa’s ‘cludgey’.  Reputedly in one seemingly simultaneous action, grandpa’s bowels activated. He crashed out of the privy and, in a marvelous ‘sack race’ style, made it to the shelter before attempting to raise his ‘Long Johns’ and trousers.

Brian Smith
Hoppers Crossing
Victoria
Australia

   

Chance Meetings in War

   

Travel sometimes gave rise to surprise meetings and coincidences.....  

   

No doubt Wartime brought about many surprise meetings in unexpected places between people. Mum was out shopping in Lewisham during one of our visits to her sister in Catford.   She saw what transpired to be a German fighter appear low down over the far end of the street.   The pilot opened fire strafing the shoppers.  

A soldier grabbed mum and pulled her into the protection of a shop doorway. He had just started some convalescent leave and was visiting his sister in Catford before going on to his wartime ‘home’ - his sister’s in Whitstable.  The soldier was Mum’s youngest brother!

Brian Smith
Hoppers Crossing
Victoria
Australia

         


Return to War Menu:

Simply Whitstable Logo - Click for Home Page

The Simply Whitstable Web Site