Ted Ruston

Childhood memories of wartime Greenwich.

Assisting the war effort

Ted Ruston was a young boy of around nine years old living in Greenwich when the war broke out. Although Ted was only a young boy, he assisted the war effort. Equipped with a bell, it was Ted’s duty to warn people nearby of coming doodlebugs. Ted recalls many lucky escapes from injury for him and his family. One day Ted’s mother was bathing him in their kitchen when a V2 rocket fell nearby and the shattered glass from the blast injured his leg. He was then taken to hospital in an old fashioned ambulance to get stitched up.

An exciting time

Like many young children, Ted was not scared by the war and remembers it being an exciting time. He would go out to play – only returning home when the sirens went off. The local schools were often heavily damaged in air raids and so Ted and his friends were sent to schools all over Greenwich. Ted took the change in his stride swapping shrapnel and making fireworks out of unexploded incendiaries with friends. He further recalls “cadging cigarettes” from the Italian prisoners of war who were held near the gas holders in East Greenwich.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 07/06/2012.