"The great European War was in progress and I remember the eagerness with which people awaited the coming of the newspapers each morning. They were the only source of news in those days, there being no Radio or Television. One night neighbours came and asked us to extinguish our lights because German Zeppelins were about. The wind rattled the windows and in fear we thought that it was the Zeppelins' engines that were doing it."
"We were rationed for food and although we were short of many things, being young I did not notice this; for me this was normality and I never felt real hunger. There was not much butter available. The margarine which replaced it was nothing like the product that we buy today. It had a very unpleasant taste and even with jam spread on top it was most unpalatable. Mother had ration books for us all. I remember that the butcher who delivered our meat kept the coupons that he cut from the ration books in an Oxo box, with a slit in the top, through which he slipped the coupons."
"By 1916 most of the men of my father's age (37) were in the forces, and he thought that although he had a family of young children, he should volunteer to go to war. Mother, although of course loath to let him go, did not prevent him from volunteering. What a decision it must have been! - to volunteer to go and fight, with all the accompanied risks, and not knowing whether he would ever see his wife and children again, and with what courage my mother let him go, unhindered by her lamentations. I am glad that this decision never had to be made by me."
"My mother took over the insurance agency with the help of Samuel Brookes, one of the village tailors by trade, who made the collections from villages where my mother could not get, having no means of transport. Once a week Mr. Brookes used to call to give Mother the money that he had collected. He was a family friend and he would report how his family were progressing. He had three unmarried daughters, and a married daughter Minnie, who was married to Thomas Ellson and lived in Dunton Bassett. They had four children. Three girls, Olive, Eleanor and Lilian, and a son Hayes. Much later, Olive became my wife."
"Mother had to be out a lot on her collecting rounds, and we children were often left in the care of neighbours who were very good to look after us. As they had children of their own, they naturally favoured them. This I resented and I was often very unhappy."