Margaret Strong

Wartime memories of life as a teenage girl.

Wartime Greenwich

At the outbreak of war Margaret Strong was thirteen years old and living with her family in Greenwich. The family lived in Harely Cottages next to the Power Station by the river. Margaret witnessed the Battle of Britain and remembers the large number of German planes coming up the Thames and spreading out over London. Margaret also recalls the overwhelming sound of the Ack-Ack guns protecting the railway lines and almost being knocked over by the noise.

Evacuation to Wales

Margaret was evacuated to Wales with her partially sighted mother following the start of aerial bombardment of London. Whilst in Wales, Margaret found work at a manor house in a small village. She became a nurse maid to Lord Gibson-Watts. Eventually, Margaret and her mother were joined by her father who took up work as a gardener nearby.

Returning to London

Margaret returned to London with her family in 1942 and found that the family’s home had been bombed and destroyed the previous year. Back in London Margaret and her parents came to occupy two rooms in a large house in Gloucester Circus. Due to the frequent bombings of the area, most nights were spent in the air raid shelter.

Margaret found work at the Charlton Rope Factory 'amongst the many rats'. She recalls 'I hated it but I had no choice, it was for the war effort'. At the factory, Margaret met her future husband. The pair married in St Alfeges Church in Greenwich in 1946. As rationing was still in place, she had to borrow the wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses.

'A narrow escape'

The V1 and V2 rockets began falling over London in 1944. Margaret recalls a very narrow escape: 'I was almost hit by a V2 rocket on Blackheath Hill...It destroyed several houses and left a large hole in the road'.


Letter written by Margaret Strong.
Letter written by Margaret Strong. (55k)
To read more about Margaret's wartime experiences please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 18/04/2012.