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The Great Depression - my memories of the 30s

I was born in that era in 1930.

It was a dreadful time worldwide so I was told when I questioned my parents about them putting me in a Sisters-of -Mercy home when I was 6 months old on the understanding that I would in time be reunited with my family.

I caught Double Pneumonia when I was about 5 months old and it affected my eyes. I had to have one eye covered over to make the bad one work. Doctors and hospitals had to be paid for then. It was one of the worst eras to be born in because there was no work and my family moved from London to Dagenham in the hopes of my father could find work because I had two brothers and an elder sister.

My father was a stevedore by trade or a docker in other words. He was C of E religion and was against me being put in the home but knew he had not got the means of paying for treatment for me. I spent nearly 7 years in that so-called Sisters-of -Mercy home where the children were treated cruelly and beaten with a cane if they so much a sniffed. I finally came out when I was nearly 7.

It was a whole new world to me and my brother was put in charge of me. In 1939 I can well remember war being declared and my mother saying ( Hitler or no bleeding Hitler she was still taking her kids hop picking ). It was while we were in the hop fields that a Jerry plane got through our so-called defences and decided to machine gun us. Luckily a Spitfire came to our aid an shot the Jerry down.

That is my memories of the 30s.

Created By on 02/11/2018

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5th Nov 2018 11:10:00
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Reading between the lines Maywalk, your experiences seem to have forged a strong woman with an agile mind. It is good to write about your experiences, I would love to hear more about your life, a slice of history through your eyes.x
4th Nov 2018 16:38:45
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Thank-you, Maywalk, for giving us a brief insight into your childhood. It sounds terrible living in the Sisters of Mercy Home. I often wonder why the nuns in these Homes were so cruel. What possible justification can they have had and how did they reconcile their cruelty with their faith? Thank goodness that you were able to return to your family - were they allowed to visit you in the Home or did you feel as though the Home were giving you away to complete strangers when your parents came to claim you?
I hope that you have written all your childhood experiences down for your family and future generations so that they know what your life was like.
3rd Nov 2018 15:04:22
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What an interesting read Maywalk, thank you.

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