Florence worked at Courtaulds Mill, Halstead making parachute material during the war; her husband was in the Navy.
Florence Daniels (née Pilgrim) was interviewed on 17 May 2013 by her grandson, Darren Stone, who lives in Great Easton.
Florence was born in March 1922, so was 17 years old when war broke out; she lived with her family at Little Yeldham then. She heard about the start of war on the radio; amusing story about early local war fright!
Florence worked at Courtaulds Mill in Halstead during the war making parachute fabric on looms; they had to do one large ‘spool’ per day. The parachutes were made of Nylon, not silk.
Vivid memories of air raids; remembers running to friend’s house nearby when the air raids were on.
Moved to Great Dunmow after husband de-mobbed from the Navy post war.
Lived near Ridgewell Airfield (USAAF 381st BG flying B17 Flying Fortresses); locals took to American servicemen who were friendly to locals. Aircraft crashes in local area.
Talks about: land settlement houses/families; the blackout; Home Guard; rationing; extra allotments to grow food.
Great anecdote about a trip to Holland-on-Sea. There was very little food available, but they managed to get some ‘Whale meat sausages’ from a butcher! They tasted so bad they were thrown away!
At the end of the war, husband Harry Frederick Daniels was de-mobbed from Navy Service. Florence remembers him talking about taking soldiers to Gold Beach for the D-day landings, and bringing British prisoners back from the Far East in very poor condition.