“I was 13 when was war was declared. I was an ARP cyclist taking messages in Grosvenor Road, by the entrance to Taylor Park. The first house there was made for us to go into, the ARP. I was meant to take messages on my bike from one ARP to another but I was never used.
And I was in the Boys Army, and I was that small that they had to take the belt off the jerkin and sew it on up here. I was only tiny, and the rifle was too big for me, so I was the hand grenade thrower. We went to the wood by Frith’s Farm at Red Rocks and we did our training there, in the woods. We were supposed to be attacking, and he said to me “Hand grenade thrower – put it over there!”, I said “I’ve none left, Sir”, so he said “Find one”, so I picked a brick up. He said “You’re out!”, and I thought “Oh, if this is the war…”
I had my medical at 18, I was 5 foot one and six stone ten. We had to go to Renshaw Street, and the queue was so long it was unbelievable.” Norman