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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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1 of 20  Thu 27th Jul 2017 6:06pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3134

At the outbreak of war the gov't imposed a ban on the assembly of big crowds at sports events. The West Indies cancelled their tour and went home. First class cricket season stuttered to a close until 1946, brought an end to many celebrated players. Hedley Verity, Yorkshire slow left-arm spinner, in his last game against Sussex, took 7 wickets for nine runs. He died from wounds as a prisoner in Italy in 1943. Denis Compton, outstanding, spent the war abroad but came back to play in the Test Match 1946/7, scoring a century in each innings. The Oval was to be a POW camp (didn't happen) but lines of wooden poles were set in concrete in the ground, took 45,000 rolls of turf to put it right.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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2 of 20  Fri 28th Jul 2017 4:23pm  
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With the allies planning to invade France in the future, the troops needed realistic training, and in August 1943, ships of the Royal Navy put American troops on Slapton Sands in Devon. The landings went well in fine weather, the G'Is making many friends with the Navy and civilians in the country pubs. But then in November the people of Slapton and surrounding villages received notice from the Admiralty that they had to move furniture, animals, everything, within the next six weeks - no reason was given. That they did not know because there was a tight security cloaking the event. Slapton Sands in Start Bay had a resemblance to Utah Beach in Normandy. 750 from 180 farms and hamlets were ordered out of 9 parishes. But it was the old folk that suffered most, some had never left their homes before. In one of the fields black GIs built a large camp, the first black people Devon had ever seen. Soon the place was awash with Americans, military vehicles growled along the country lanes. Eisenhower considered it essential to accustom the men to the noise and fury of battle. April 44 - the first flotilla of slow moving LSTs set out from Plymouth the night before. The first landing was planned at 7.30 next morning, but right from the start things went seriously wrong. A British cruiser was to lay down a bombardment for thirty minutes, at the same time troops on land were to fire live rounds over their heads. But several of the LSTs were delayed, the officer in charge ordered the whole thing a delay of 1 hr - but some of the LSTs didn't receive the message, and went ashore during the bombardment and were killed by friendly fire. But worse was to follow the next day. Another group left Plymouth that night, should have had two destroyers as escort. One was damaged in a collision, the other was left behind because of bad communication, leaving the LSTs without protection. German E-boats, fast moving craft, were regularly patrolling the Channel, based in Cherbourg - the LSTs were sitting ducks. That night 749 American soldiers and sailors died. Altogether 946 US servicemen died. A lot of them drowned, they had their life jackets on wrongly. Survivors were sworn to secrecy. On land in Devon, the disaster was suppressed for 9 months, then reporters were allowed to visit - they found black US troops clearing the area, but their reports were censored.
Wartime miscellany
pageb45
Goderich, Ontario, Canada
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3 of 20  Fri 28th Jul 2017 5:57pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:32

Another reason for the high death toll of U.S. troops was the fact that when the soldiers jumped into the water, their steel helmets jerked upwards with the force of impact, and the firmly attached chinstraps effectively garrotted the wearer.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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4 of 20  Sat 29th Jul 2017 9:06am  
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pageb45, I have never heard that before, I heard most of them drowned because they had mistakenly fastened their life-jackets round their waists, rather than under their arms, with the result they turned turtle in the cold water, weighed down by their equipment. I can fully understand what you're saying, for the airbourne had the same problem in a reverse way. I had twists once, meaning the two lift webs wound round each other, pressing the helmet over the eyes, the straps cutting into my throat (like turning a piece string round your finger). I dared not press my head back for if the twists ran up the lift webs then your chute collapsed. What we were taught to do was wait, find out which way they turned and kick your twists out, all this with your head bent into your chest, your breathing cut off, and little time before you hit the deck. Although this happened often I never heard of anyone dying this way. But thank you for your reply. My regards, Kaga.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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5 of 20  Sat 29th Jul 2017 4:29pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3134

Yesterday's Southern News did a small piece on the 70th anniversary of the Palestine trouble. Plenty of Coventry kids in that.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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6 of 20  Sat 25th Aug 2018 8:34am  
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The face of this coin is of the picture below - three gliders, thirty men aboard each, had app. three minutes to exit the plane, capture three bridges intact before the Panzers crossed the bridges or detonated the bridges, this would either be the success or failure of the D-Day landing (the whole operation in darkness). The gliders had to fly in total darkness, land in a small field as close to the bridges as possible - the men had to exit the plane and do the job in total darkness and quiet before the Germans could detonate the bridge, then hold until the paras had dropped and joined them - the whole thing was the success or failure of D-Day, the 127,000 men getting off the beaches and establish a bridgehead. It is a commemorative D-Day coin, perhaps I should not have written anything, but few people would know what the picture on the coin was about. Edited by member, 25th Aug 2018 11:42 am
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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7 of 20  Thu 8th Nov 2018 5:13pm  
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As the centenary of the end of the First World War comes close, I can only sit and watch the television ceremony, but for me I will be remembering the times I visited past battlefields to pay my respects. Also the time I attended the burial of one of my friends in a war grave in a foreign country. As this is the centenary I shall remember standing alone on a past battlefield many years ago at Ypres and listening to the Last Post echoing across the field where my father had soldiered, my eyes glistening as I stood at attention.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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8 of 20  Mon 27th May 2019 1:45pm  
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The next few days we will hear more about June 6th - D-Day. Above I posted a picture of the commemorative coin of the 50th anniversary, and a picture from the coin plus a little of the story. This year is the 75th anniversary.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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9 of 20  Sun 2nd Jun 2019 6:43pm  
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1941 Soldier went to Citizens Advice Bureau, didn't know what to do, wife left him, took all their clothes, 15 year old daughter's as well. He had already transferred his army allowance to her. CAB gave him clothes and money. As soon as it was arranged, wife begged to be taken back, then stole the lot again. He went back to CAB, they helped with clothes and money for daughter again, but made him keep it in daughter's name. You could buy oiled wool but expensive. Rationing and coupons didn't mean that's what you got, if the shops didn't have what you wanted you went without. 150,000 eggs were stolen in one raid, then sold at a 1d each. 80,000 ration books stolen in Brighton - when the gang were arrested, it was the enforcement officer at the food office had stolen them and sold them on. There was no tinned food for a month, fish and meat tinned were rationed at 16 points per month, 16 points = 1lb. Beans in sauce 2lb a month - this 16 points was extended to cover rice, canned fruit, condensed milk, cereals, biscuits. Shopkeepers were not allowed to wrap in newspaper, take your own bag. All waste became no waste. Then Pearl Harbour.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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10 of 20  Mon 3rd Jun 2019 1:45pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3134

Last night channel 4 D-Day topic, Good for me to see Coventry just re-built a Dakota aircraft.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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11 of 20  Wed 5th Jun 2019 9:00am  
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Dreamtime, Not your scene, but one of the unsung heroes of D-Day was Lt Colonel J.H. Hackett, a Perth lad, born and bred. He was my Commanding Officer for over twelve months, I had no idea where Perth was in those days. During the 1990s, whilst in Perth, I laid a single flower on his grave.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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12 of 20  Tue 23rd Jul 2019 10:36am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3134

1940 and a quartet was giving a lunchtime concert at the National Gallery in London. In the middle came an unexpected crescendo - a delayed bomb exploded. The quartet played on as though nothing had happened but a little old lady said “Sssssssh”, as if someone had talked in the slow movement of the music. My aunt boarded a bus in Broadgate to Longford. She went upstairs, there was a man sitting near the front, so she sat near the back. A few moments later the siren sounded, the driver pulled to the kerb and stopped. The man left his seat, walked to the back, sat at the side of my aunt and took her hand in his, without a word. Five minutes later the all-clear sounded - the man got up and walked to the front and regained his original seat. My aunt said “Thank you”. 'The Blitz Spirit'.
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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13 of 20  Wed 24th Jul 2019 9:05am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3134

The war created a sexual revolution. It felt it was an opposition to death. Of all the planning of D-Day the Americans tucked over a million condoms amongst their wants. The night fear and pleasure combined to provoke a mood of wild exhilaration. With most people taking cover, you could dance a polka in Broadgate, or wherever. The belief that death might be imminent was at the root of a great deal of unaccustomed behaviour. Illegitimate births rose from 25,000 to 35,000 in the first two years, and V.D. by 70% in the same period. And the war threw people together in ways that would never occur in normal times. The London Life Magazine pushed the boundaries with sexy stories, and a newspaper created a cartoon strip called Jane, who was always losing her clothes in front of men. Nudity shows became massively popular. They posed nude but were not allowed to move, but at the Coventry Hippodrome the girl was posing in an open robe, and as the lights came down she disposed of the robe and was completely naked. The curtain was always late falling, so... Also you will find, after the blitz, there were a lot of fines for looting in the Coventry blitz. Soldiers sent to help, helped themselves.
Wartime miscellany
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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14 of 20  Thu 25th Jul 2019 9:17am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:540

Studies have shown that the excitement of meeting someone of the opposite sex, the frisson, rated attractiveness and so on increase dramatically when there is a sense of danger, e.g. walking over a swaying rope bridge above a canyon. It's all to do with propagation and the survival of the species. It's coded into our DNA before we are even born and has been for millions of years - often referred to as "instinct". My parents and uncles/aunts got married during the war because they had no idea if or when the war was going to finish. They might be dead the following day, as had happened to many of the people they knew. Edited by member, 25th Jul 2019 10:09 am
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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15 of 20  Fri 26th Jul 2019 9:04am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3134

Thanks for your reply, Slim. Instinct, sixth-sense, the adrenaline boost, was with me most days. I do believe that the constant boost to my heart strengthened it. Of course, I could be miles wrong but I loved it. Now I don't wish to offend anyone, we all have our own ideas on life. The Coventry tradition of being shut in a place, working most of your life in a factory or office, was against my urban upbringing. The challenge in my life was there constantly. 25 years of age, could I really lose myself in a foreign country alone? Only one way to find out. 55 years of age, could I really run the streets of Coventry in a full marathon? Only one way to find out. I'm merely trying to explain where my stories came from.
Wartime miscellany

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