Topic categories:

Wartime miscellany

You need to be signed in to respond to this topic

No actionNo action

Displaying 1 to 15 of 58 posts

Page 1 of 4

1 2 3 4
Next pageLast page
58 posts:
Order:    

K
Somewhere
All posts by this member
1 of 58  Sat 28th Jan 2012 4:32pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:561

I thought this might be of some interest for discussion. When I was at GEC in the 60s, we had a toolmaker in charge of the lab workshop, who was keen to brag about his pay. I heard him one day telling someone that, during the war, he was able to put in a lot of overtime, and made loads of money, his best week reaching close to £90 wages. I don't know whether he was exaggerating or not, but that much seems more than a bit excessive for the time - or is it? I know there were quite a lot of strikes during the war, and that people who were required to work long hours on rush jobs got very much premium rates, but was £90 p w possible? He also reckoned that he moved job several times; I thought that was rather hard to achieve during the war, especially as he must have been in a reserved occupation? Perhaps someone out there may know more?
Wartime miscellany
dutchman
Spon End
All posts by this member
2 of 58  Sat 28th Jan 2012 4:58pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2990

I heard similar stories from a very reliable stories. It was more like £40 per week which was still a huge amount at the time. By comparison a pre-war assembly worker at Standard's received a basic wage of £2.50 but in practice was more like £5.00. My source actually named some of the people involved and claimed that is how they could afford to set up businesses of their own after the war. I knew some them personally but am not going to name them here.
Wartime miscellany
K
Somewhere
All posts by this member
Thread starter
3 of 58  Sun 29th Jan 2012 3:32pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:561

Hi Dutchman I would expect that pay went up quite a bit during the war anyway, because I know that a skilled craftsman's basic wage in 1950 was in the region of £12-14 p w, and of course there was a lot of overtime being worked in the early years after the war. Didn't someone say "One man's war is another man's profit" or something like that? Blush I certainly wouldn't expect you to name anyone! The person I knew is unlikely to be alive now - he'd be over 100 - but I still wouldn't name him here. Thanks for the information. Thumbs up
Wartime miscellany
shoestring
Rutland
All posts by this member
4 of 58  Sun 29th Jan 2012 3:51pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:21

My father served in the Navy for the 6yrs of the war, while his elder brother and brother-in-law worked in the Coventry factories and I remember a certain amount of resentment that he came back to find a woman in his old post (working for less pay) and was encouraged to train for another trade at his own expense, while other family members all had houses, cars and could afford holidays!!
Wartime miscellany
dutchman
Spon End
All posts by this member
5 of 58  Sun 29th Jan 2012 4:29pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2990

Pay for a woman doing war work was about £2.50 per week, which was a lot less than a man but still far more than a woman would have earned in peace time. It wasn't consistent though, women doing 'traditional' women's jobs such as sewing were paid exactly the same as before the war. Servicemen's pay was always low, even for career servicemen. There was subsidised accommodation for men with families but this was withdrawn immediately if there was any change in circumstances.
Wartime miscellany
K
Somewhere
All posts by this member
Thread starter
6 of 58  Mon 30th Jan 2012 11:16am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:561

When my brother did National Service 1946-8 the officer whom he drove around told him that he had come up through the ranks, and couldn't really afford to be an officer, with paying mess bills, uniform, etc. He said that it was virtually essential to have independent means to be an officer, even then. An issue that I've heard caused both serious resentment and hardship was that Merchant Navy seamen had their pay stopped the instant a ship was torpedoed - literally. And not only that, but PoWs were encouraged to escape, risking their life; when they did so, their pay too was stopped as soon as they were beyond the wire. It only resumed when they were either recaptured or got back into the forces. As you say, it affected their families. What price loyalty?
Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
All posts by this member
7 of 58  Thu 27th Jul 2017 6:06pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

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
All posts by this member
8 of 58  Fri 28th Jul 2017 4:23pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

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
All posts by this member
9 of 58  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
All posts by this member
10 of 58  Sat 29th Jul 2017 9:06am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

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
All posts by this member
11 of 58  Sat 29th Jul 2017 4:29pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

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
All posts by this member
12 of 58  Sat 25th Aug 2018 8:34am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

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
All posts by this member
13 of 58  Thu 8th Nov 2018 5:13pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

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
All posts by this member
14 of 58  Mon 27th May 2019 1:45pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

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
All posts by this member
15 of 58  Sun 2nd Jun 2019 6:43pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

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

You need to be signed in to respond to this topic

No actionNo action

Displaying 1 to 15 of 58 posts

Page 1 of 4

1 2 3 4
Next pageLast page

Previous (older) topic

Spon Street
|

Next (newer) topic

W Lant & Co Ltd
View similar topics in the Wartime and the Blitz category
 
Home | Forum index | Forum stats | Forum help | Log out | About me | My music
Top of the page
HTML5
1,805,381

Website & counter by Rob Orland © 2020

Load time: 94ms