Trudy De Swarte

Recollections of life on the Home Front.


Trudy was born in 1921. She was eighteen years old when the Second World War broke out in September 1939 and living with her family in Tottenham, London. A year later Trudy left London to start work at a nursery in Oxford. Employed at the nursery, Trudy was in a reserved occupation. ‘[The] nurseries were built for mothers that were working in munitions and what have you. We were open from seven o’clock in the morning to seven o’clock at night’. Although the work was hard, she found the experience ‘very enjoyable’.

Wartime marriage

Trudy married her husband in the end of 1941. The couple were apart for much of the war, as her husband served in the RAF. Although it was hard to be apart, Trudy recalls that she was herself very busy on the Home Front and that it was important to adapt to the situation and carry on.  

'Glass was everywhere'

On one visit to her family in Tottenham, the family’s house was damaged by a V1 rocket. The worst part, Trudy recalls was the glass. 'The glass flew everywhere. Glass was everywhere – in my hair – everywhere’. After the incident Trudy’s mother insisted that she return to Oxford. Whilst making the return journey a doodlebug passed above the train and appeared to follow its path, before changing direction. Trudy recalls, ‘ Nobody panicked. We just watched this doodlebug going over. Just watched it going over and luckily it suddenly turned and fell away. Nobody panicked’.

Trudy recalls feeling a sense of pride that the British were resilient and calm, despite the dangers posed during air raids. 


This page was added by Malin Lundin on 22/05/2012.