Memories of wartime

Recent wartime Exmouth letters in the Journal have stirred memories of sheltering in what I thought was a cage in our living room and of my father s tales of his adventures on roofs. My dad, Reg Palmer, had suffered from TB in his youth and was refused fo

Recent wartime Exmouth letters in the Journal have stirred memories of sheltering in what I thought was a cage in our living room and of my father's tales of his adventures on roofs.My dad, Reg Palmer, had suffered from TB in his youth and was refused for military service for that reason and, because he was a brickie (bricklayer) cum journeyman stonemason, his skills would be required at home. He had to do his bit with the Home Guard instead. Known as Pedaller Palmer because of his love for cycling, he was a founder member of the Exmouth Cycling Club, which eventually morphed into the Exmouth Working Men's Club. During WWII Dad travelled to London a lot, repairing damaged buildings and making good, where they could. Many's the time that I, as an adult, have been informed with a nod by a weathered Exmothian that "I've slept with your Dad". They used to bunk down where and when they could, often four top and tailed in a double bed.Exmouth, having a rail goods yard and being close to the docks, was an inviting target for German pilots. So, it seemed, was my Dad when he was repairing roofs, especially on The Beacon. The tales he told of circling chimney pots, hanging on for dear life and dodging bullets were terrifying but he simply shrugged. He claimed he'd had lots of practice in London! Ann Prior,(by email)


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