Mary’s Story

Mary Antcliff
During the war, Mary was sent to Par, Cornwall to live, as her father was from Ireland and he didn’t want to live in a neutral country during the war. He was a chemical engineer and worked in Birmingham. Therefore Mary’s family was separated from their father for about 4 years, only seeing him at holiday time. Mary remembers that on VE Day she walked in a parade in nearby St. Austell with the Girl Guides. She doesn’t remember there being a street party or anything, as she doesn’t remember any other children living in the same street apart from a lad who lived at the other end. Rationing still continued after the war, but she said that no-one went hungry as it was the same for everyone.
Mary enjoyed living in Cornwall. She remembers walks to Fowey, her youngest sibling in a pushchair and she and her brother on bikes. They went to Newquay for their holidays – which was a well-to-do- place then. It was quiet with just the RAF there. She learnt to surf on a wooden body board. After the war when it was safe, they rejoined their father in Birmingham.