A Grand day out!

by Arthur

 

Sunday 3rd September 1939 the first day of the outbreak of the second world war was a strange day .It seemed to me as a child that everyone was waiting for something to happen, but what?   At 11a.m the air raid siren sounded for the first time. Father gathered us all together in the hallway and made us stand in the doorways leading off the hall, so that we had some form of protection over our heads should there be an air attack. (We did have an Anderson air raid shelter in our garden, but because we lived so close to the river it was impossible to use it, as it was always full up with salt water!) It turned out to be a practice arranged I guess to make sure we knew what to do should the real thing come along. It had the desired effect, but was not good for our moral! On the same day around lunchtime, we observed from our lounge window, the arrival of a detachment of navel personnel, who proceeded to set up a field gun on the quay immediately opposite our house, with its sights set on the harbour entrance, probably making my father think we would be better off living elsewhere. Preferably the U.S.A.!

Anyway, on the following Saturday 9th September, my father was busy removing his huts, tents, and deckchairs from his beach site and storing them for the duration of the war in the old Storm company H.Q. warehouse on the bend of the river, now known as the Storm house Café. Around 10 a.m. a coastguard pal of his who had just finished his shift on the Pier, called in the Storm H.Q. to tell father they had just received a yellow warning appertaining to an intended raid on the harbour of Gt.Yarmouth! Within the next few hours! Dad locked up as soon as possible.

Bro . Cecil .Cafe Cosso .Tel Aviv Oct. 1942 07-0402001

Brother Cecil

Back Row - Left

My older brother Cecil was called up very soon after this event, he was was a transport driver. Taken at the Cafe Cosso Tel Aviv .October 1942 Cecil back row left , The two with forage caps are Australians ,who had swapped their hats with the two Polish soldiers sitting at the table. Cecil died in 1989. I guess he was lucky going to the Middle East Ron , he could easy have finished up in Singapore, like your dad. My sister Eileen died in 1996.

Upon entering the house, he, in no uncertain terms, told my mother, my sister Eileen aged 23 and my brother Cecil who would have been aged 20 years at the time and with little me aged 9. To leave everything and follow him! I couldn’t blame him, I would have done the same, had I a wife and three children .My brother Cecil hopped on his bike and grabbing a half bottle of whisky headed out into the country. (Two not very hard things to do in 1939, as whisky was cheap and Gorleston was not the large urban sprawl it is today.) We walked until we were several miles inland, on reaching Lound Run, we caught up with my brother Cecil sitting in the hedgerow having a drop from his whisky bottle, enjoying the late summer sunshine! We continued to the village of Browston. By now it was getting past lunchtime, and as nothing untoward had taken place, dad felt it was safe to wend our way home! A lorry driver picked us up and deposited us on Lowerstoft Road, near the White Bridge. We arrived home mid afternoon to a tranquil scene on the bend of the river. Not a sign of the enemy. Just another rumour, one of many at that time. The real thing came later. Sadly with great loss of life.

Although at that time, I for one, and I am sure my brother as well. Had a Grand Day Out!

 

 

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