Yeovil at war

Yeovil at war

The wartime Yeovil recollections of Peter J Allen


"I was a schoolboy, living in Stoford and going to school at the Barwick Primary School and latterly at Yeovil Grammar School. My Father was a signalman at Yeovil Junction and was also a Captain in the Home Guard supporting gun emplacements around the Junction station. I think that there was also another gun site across the fields. I recall troops returning after Dunkirk being march down the road from Yeovil Junction station then collapsing in the hedges to await transportation. We kids dashed home to get what food and drink our parents would give us so that we could return to give them to the soldiers. I also recall standing at the window and watching a low flying JU88 strafing the Junction station. I could see the black crosses on it's fuselage.

The Americans arrived and were installed in nearby Barwick Park where Nissen huts were erected. I recall a conversation with white Americans who stated that if a black American soldier was threatened by a German, they would go to the assistance of the German. Guess that they were from the South.

We had Land Girls billeted on us and they worked with German POW's on nearby farms.
I recall the raids on Westlands and being able to hear the bombs and the anti-aircraft fire from Stoford.

My final memory is of an German ex-POW (Karl Finkin, I think) who worked as a porter at Yeovil Town station. We would chat with him on our way to school as we travelled from Yeovil Junction to Yeovil Town each day."


Memories of Peter J Allen, Henley-on-Thames
Reproduced from the BBC's "WW2 People's War" under the 'fair dealing' terms.