|BOB CHISHOLM - WALKS|
|VE AND VJ DAY|
Olive was born in Queenborough Lane in 1923. Olive has 2 sisters and a brother.
Olive used to walk 2 miles to school each day, taking jam sandwiches for her mid-day meal. If it had been raining the headmaster, Mr Curtis, would dry out the children's wet clothes on the fireguard round the boiler. The infant teacher was Miss Ketley.
Olive had problems with spelling so hated school - these days it would possibly be diagnosed as dyslexia, but in those days there was no individual help or support for children. The classes were large - about 40 children.
With her sisters and brother, Olive attended Sunday School at the Chapel in Dunmow Road, walking all the way from Queenborough Lane in all weathers.
On Sundays there was a strict regime in the house - no toys were allowed so as to give her mother a rest from clearing up and her father would read the children stories. On Mondays her mother would spend all day doing the weekly washing and would still be scrubbing away when Olive came home from school. Olive belonged to the Girl Guides when she was older.
At 14 Olive left school and went to work at Courtaulds in Bocking for 3 months, but after a nervous breakdown she left and then went into service at Saling Grove where she worked as a kitchen maid, starting work at 7am each morning and not finishing until late evening when she had cleared up after the family's dinner. She did not stay long at this house and then went on to do housework at various places.
WORLD WARD II
At 18 Olive had to register for war work; there was no work available in the factories in Braintree, so she would have been sent to Birmingham to work in a factory there. However, she volunteered at 20 in 1943 for the A.T.S. She was attached to the R.A.O.C. where she packed equipment for the army overseas, such as mosquito nets, tools, steel helmets and other equipment. Olive underwent her initial training in Leicester and then was posted to Didcot. The girls slept in bunk beds in huts for 30 people. She enjoyed it, even though they had to march down to work at 7am. each morning and only had one day off a week. When they were preparing the equipment for D. Day they did not return from work until 7 in the evening. All leave was stopped and they did not go home for 6 months.
They worked on conveyor belts and had to stitch up packaging for mosquito netting which was sent out to the troops in the Middle East.
Olive was demobbed in 1946.
AFTER THE WAR
After being demobbed, Olive did shop work until 1958.
In 1956 she was married in Rayne Church to Dennis - they had met because they were both on the British Legion Committee in Rayne. She then worked on the British Legion Committee in Braintree.
Olive did not have any summer holidays until after she was married.
Olive was treasurer of the Braintree Branch of the W.R.A.C. for ex-army members.
Olive was a poppy seller in Rayne for many years.
|© Geoffrey Stone, Braintree 17-1-2008|