Part 3: childhood

World War II bombs. Christ Church in Ossulston St & Pancras Square bombed. VE & VJ Day courtyard parties

Basil Jellicoe Hall is a popular air raid shelter with locals helping to sand bag it - a ‘ome from ‘ome’ with kitchen and singalongs. George gets ‘Shelter Rush’ a rash and is treated with a smelly liquid. He is evacuated with his brother to Wales. Sister Nelly weds in the hall but due to shortages, the photographer has no film. So they repeat the wedding for the photos. GIs chat up Nelly and little George learns to ask: ‘Got any gum, chum?’ to GIs, who try and fail to chat up older sister Nelly. Back in London, George wins 1949 football cup with Lancing St School League winners. After the war there are courtyard parties for VE and VJ Day, a tradition that carries on with the Coronation in 1953.

Photo of a porcelain doll of a World War 2 evacuee in front of a model mine cart full of coal.
Map of the bomb damage in Somers Town from World War 2


  • A photo of a hand-written story by George Post-War Odd Jobs

    ‘To earn pocket money, we’d deliver bagwash, and carry luggage between the stations for people. We’d also get as much wood we could carry from the (church) bomb ruins ...bring it all back to Drummond Crescent, and chop it up into fire-wood to sell for sixpence. A sand bag full. Most had fireplaces so needed wood and coal... We could always find a good supply of tarrilogs (logs) in Phoenix Road, but the only trouble was, because of the tar on the logs, it caused the chimneys to catch fire.’ - George


Experiments in living

Children go on Summer camp in Penmaenmawr with Magdalen undergraduates as an ‘experiment in community living’. ‘Our Flo’ Mansur, stalwart of the Mums club, is cook and life and soul.