Whittington History Society

Derek Leedham's Memories of Whittington During World War II


Letter to Whittington History Society - February 2010



As a boy of 9½ years I was in the St Giles church choir at morning service on Sunday 3rd September 1939.  The two sidesmen came to the altar steps with the collection directly in front of me.  Vicar Fleming would normally receive the offering and give a blessing, but this morning something different happened - a conversation between Sidesman, Mr Percy Pearce, and the Vicar.  After the blessing, the Vicar made the announcement that war had been declared on Germany.


To boys of my age excitement in the normally quiet village of Whittington began:



Those of us who didn’t go to Grammar School left school at 14, but the last year was spent working more often on the farm than in school.  Most of us who lived down the Swan end of the village chose to go to Fodens Farm (about ½ mile from the new Memorial Arboretum) because they would collect us with a tractor and trailer, which happened to be the very latest Alice Charmer!  (really Allis Chalmer).   It went like a racing car; but with the downside that the farmer didn’t slow down much in the field.


The blackout caused trouble for some people.  Old Mrs Arnold would go to bed very early, get up again around 8-9pm and put all the lights on.  It was no good shouting “Put that light out!” as she was very deaf, so someone would use the long wooden peel from Mr Aston’s bakehouse next door and bang on the bedroom windows.

© 2016 Whittington History Society