Memories of Dundee - Part Nine

The coming of war brought many changes to our lives. However, I felt the very first impact of war, two day before it started. On the evening of 1st September 1939, the day Germany invaded Poland, a country whom we had pledged to help if they were attacked. I went to see a film about the Dionne Quintuplets, born to a French Canadian mother, who roused a lot of public interest at the time. When I came out of the cinema, I thought it was very dark, but I didn't realise that there were no street lights on. It wasn't until I got home that the truth was brought home to me. I assume this was the first ever blackout and I guess, a practice for that which would later become commonplace when war was declared two days later. I assume the Government was then resigned to the fact that war was inevitable.

I remember the day well. Mum and Dad went off to church as usual, but came home early. The minister had heard the announcement on the wireless as it was then at 11 o'clock or at least had been informed about it and after a prayer had closed the service and sent everyone home.

Then in the afternoon, when Mum and Dad and I were out for a Sunday afternoon walk (a common practice them) we met a couple, Mr and Mrs Norman Newall, who were fellow members of the Rescue Lodge, also out for a Sunday walk. We met at the top of Mid Road and I remember Dad's words "that's the ball buts now!" I knew that it was something of very grave importance, but I didn't realise just how much our lives would be affected and how different things would be from then on, after all I was only 8 years old!


Submitted by Walter Blacklaw