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The Day Before Yesterday: 60 - A Born Entertainer

Gladys Schofield's 18-month old unsusp[ectingly entertained the audience when they went to the cinema.

To read earlier chapters of Gladys's life story please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

Cliff had voiced his concerns, on the amount we had to manage on and he was not alone it seems. He made a complaint when he got back to camp a week or two later. A man came to see me and wanted to know my circumstances, down to the last detail. A law was soon rushed through Parliament and we all got a rise in pay. The wife got three pounds and each child, five shillings. Because Reggie's contribution was voluntary, it wasn't included in this amount. I was rich. I never had more than this when Cliff was at home, so things began to get easier on the home front after that.

Just before the Christmas of 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, the American's did not expect this and great loss of life occurred, as the ships were sitting ducks and they now declared war on Japan and Germany.

The American boys were easy going and smooth talking with a lot more pay than our boys and the girls fell for them. This caused a lot of resentment. A lot of these boys were coloured and within the year you would see little half cast babies appearing in the prams. Some were genuine relationships but others were a case of love them and leave them. What a price to pay for a pair of silk stockings and a chocolate bar.

At least we had the support we needed and lads all over were on embarkation leave and they didn't know where as talking costs lives.

Dad had to give up his lifting job in the textile mill. He suffered a double hernia and was told he could only do light work in future. He found another job in a local engineering firm, working in the spare parts office. I don't think his operation was a great success, he never looked well again.

While Cliff was home on seven days leave, we decided to take Alan with us to the picture house. He wouldn't be more than eighteen months and families often went together during the war. We sat at the back as couples often did. Of course Alan needed the toilet half way through. He had been trained early and didn't need nappies in the day time. His talking was also coming on in leaps and bounds but he just could not say Alan. He called himself Ayin. Anyway Daddy took him to the men's room and in due course, back they came. This childish voice shouting "Mummy, Ayin cever boy, Ayin wee wee'd,'' with his remarks that night.

He entertained the whole audience.


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