Audio Archive: Oral History - Wartime in Ewyas Lacy
1939 - 1945
Extracts from a DVD published by the Longtown and District Historical Society in 2007 entitled “In the Shadow of the Black Mountains: Memories of Rural Life in South West Herefordshire”. The audio recordings are reproduced here with their kind permission, after adaptation by the Ewyas Lacy Study Group for website presentation.
The material consists of interviews with local residents designed to record an oral history of the parishes of Ewyas Lacy. The work was carried out by members of the LDHS Oral History Group between 2004 and 2006 as part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The memories in this clip relate to the history of wartime in Ewyas Lacy during the Second World War of 1939 to 1945. Ewyas Lacy is on the whole a fairly remote area, and you may think that the war might have left little mark on the communities here. The memories of local people suggest otherwise. Recollections of the billeting of evacuees from Bootle with local families remain vivid - including a bid by evacuee children lodged in Walterstone to make a run for it back to Liverpool.
Local schools were strongly affected, too, with different approaches to fitting in the newcomers described at Newton and Walterstone. Other narrators describe their experiences of being called up to the ATS and to the Home Guard. There are also tales of some less patriotic individuals who reputedly dabbled in the black market closer to home, and of strangers lost in the local lanes who received short shrift from farmers alert for German spies.