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I looted sweet shop when I was just five and a half

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 06, 2014

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HERE are my memories of Christmas during the war. I was born in April 1934 in Sams Lane on the Lyng as it is now.

We lived in a two up two down villa type house right next to Lawleys' ironworks.

War was declared in September 1939. I was five and a half at the time. From that day everything changed.

We had to carry gas masks going to school; food was very scarce.

When we went to bed every night, because of the air raids, we had to get out clothes ready to put on when the sirens went.

We had a very bad air raid one night and lots of bombs fell. We were in the shelter and Mom told us stories and read to us to keep us from being frightened.

Dad was in the Home Guard. He used to go out on manoeuvres at weekends.

When I got out of bed one morning mother was feeding our new baby sister Margaret. "Go out and play," she said. I was feeling bored so I decided to go looking for shrapnel and found that our sweet shop had been bombed.

I was kicking pieces of metal around and dislodged a large piece of metal. To my delight I found bars of chocolate! I ran home and fetched Mom's potato bag which I filled with these chocolate bars.

On arriving home Mom asked: "What have you got there?" She took the bag from me, looked at the chocolate and said: "Don't tell anybody about this, it's a secret. We could be 'ad up for looting." I never said a word to anyone.

On Christmas morning I was woken by my sister Brenda who was older than I was. I was whispering: "Has he been yet?" Kicking off the bedclothes we heard a rattle. Our Christmas stockings were on the bed at the bottom.

We found a torch from our Aunt Annie, an apple, an orange, a few nuts, and a shiny penny in the toe. The best bit was a few squares of chocolate for each of us.....delicious!

I never knew what happened to the rest of the chocolate bars but I have a good idea. Christmas was magical then. I will never forget that moment.

Gwendoline Horton,

69 Temple Meadows Road,

West Bromwich.

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