Listening to and capturing our residents' life experiences always amazes us, to hear of all the things they've accomplished and the stories they tell, is fantastic.
Davina, 98, who lives at Oakwood Court care home in Haywards Heath recently shared her poignant experiences of the second world war whilst we commemorated Armistice Day.
"When you’re 21 you expect to be called up, it’s your turn. I started in the first grade and got as far as being a sergeant who was trained to be in charge of my section. I was a mechanic and would help fix army vans and cars used for transporting people and army goods, I’d often be covered in oil!
At first I was posted down south a real change from living in Scotland. There was nothing I could do about it, you’re in the army and it’s your life, you go where you’re told. Shortly after I was posted my mum was ill and my dad wasn’t coping so I requested to be moved back home nearer to my family in Glasgow so I could support my mum.
I loved my dancing and there was one night during the war I’ll never forget. There was one Saturday night we were out, I’d saved up all my money to go to this dancing venue and just before the evening ended there was an announcement that bombs had been dropped nearby. We were told to stay put as the streets were a dangerous place. There were six of us who wanted to go home. We were told off for leaving and being out on the streets, we were running about trying to get home and were chased to get off the streets, it makes me laugh when I think back to it.
Another night we heard the sirens, living in our council apartment, we had shared shelters and they were packed, it was chock-a-block, children and all. Sometimes it felt like a very long night and you could hear the thuds of the bombs. We’d all help each other out and there was a great community spirit. We’d have pillows and blankets in the shelter and would share what we had.
We lived near the docks at Clyde bank and the enemy would try and target the boats with their bombs, but would often miss and so would bomb neighbouring houses, there was a lot of destruction.
As time goes by life helps you to forget it and heal you. Remembrance day is important to me and I find it sad thinking back to what we all went through. I certainly wouldn’t want to see another war."
Thank you Davina.