Louise Lamborne

Childhood memories of wartime in Lewisham.

Childhood memories

Louise lived in Lewisham and was five years old when the Second World War broke out in 1939. Although the area experienced heavy bombing, Louise was very young and has few war time memories.  She was not evacuated – on one occasion her school was damaged by a bomb just one hour before it opened. Her other recollections are of the street parties which were held after the war had ended, particularly the ‘jelly and cakes’. Louise remembers playing many different games, particularly hopscotch and skipping. The majority of her childhood friends were girls, although she was friends with a few boys who she later attended Greenwich Park Central School with.

The Home Front

Louise also recalls the railings being removed from outside of the houses, in order to contribute to the war effort. Although she lived in Lewisham, she did not see many soldiers in the area. She remembers having sweet coupons and using ration books at the corner shop. Louise is still surprised at how well people stretched their limited supplies, and at how successful mothers were at managing the household budget. She recalls seeing boxes which were attached to lamp posts in order for people to donate their food waste which would be given to the pigs.

Louise remembers the generosity of spirit which was expressed by many people during the Second World War towards their neighbours. However, she recalls that not all was positive – many of the repair works which were undertaken after the heavy bombing were completed by unskilled labourers, resulting in further disruption for those whose properties had been damaged.

Positive memories 

Overall Louise has many positive memories, and feels that this could be due to the fact that she was very young during the war years and so did not experience it with an adult perspective.  

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 25/06/2012.