WWII ~ Currahee !

Introduction

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What is this site about?


Initially I wanted to tell a little of the real story and times of my own family in WWII in Swindon, England.

I have now widened the scope of the site to become a FREE platform for anyone who wishes to contribute memories, stories and historical material relative to the  506th Parachute Regiment during WWII. I want the content of these pages to be historically accurate and so I openly welcome comments and support from others.

During WWII my family lived in Carr Street, in Swindon, Wiltshire. My Grandparents owned their terraced house near to the huge railway works where Percy Loveday my Grandad worked as a Foreman on carriage building for the GWR (Great Western Railway Company).

Percy Loveday – ‘Gramps’ who served in the British Army during 1917-18 in Belgium.

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Percy’s wife my Grandmother was called Florence but everyone called her ‘Flo’.

Pictured below at Carr Street during the war are my Mum Val and Flo my Grandmother together with ‘Jock’

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Flo and Percy had two children, one my mother Val Loveday and her elder sister, my late aunt Norma Jean Loveday. After leaving school my mother got her first job at Nicholson’s Factory, where she started to learn the skills of a Tailoress. The firm were then making uniforms including officers raincoats.

Life in wartime Swindon was much as many provincial towns, with the same hardships and restrictions however there was also massive industry turning out machines for the war effort at the railway works including Landing Craft for D-Day. Percy as well as putting long days in there at work also served in the railway home guard unit in the evenings.

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Above – U S troops marching along Wood Street, Old Town, Swindon. The firm of Hyslop are still trading in partnership but now at 33 Wood Street, Swindon

The family took to the new arrivals of young Americans and made them welcome, my Gran cooked for them and they spent time with our family going skating, playing cards and being made to feel ‘At home’. Some of the G.I.’s and their families wrote to the Loveday’s to thank them for their kindness after the war.

A letter of thanks from one family from Danville, PA.

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Norma Jean Loveday (Centre)  pictured at Marlborough in Spring 1944, photo taken by Bill Miller.

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French Invasion Money – Given by Bill Miller to Norma in 1944. Bill Miller and Norma became sweethearts, a romance that like many was tragically cut short by his death in action in Holland.

Bill served in E/506th

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This carved pair of wooden Jump Boots modelled on Bill Miller’s boots were made by my Grandfather

as a gift for my Gran during the war.

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A photograph taken of Norma sitting on the wall at the church in Marlborough by Bill Miller, Spring 1944 – the colour was added later by hand with my mum’s artistic touch. They both became very close and planned to marry.

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A hand written note from Bill Miller in April 1944 to Norma (‘Jene’)

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Swindon V.E. Day – Street Party at Farnsby Street – Norma is 4th from left my Gran is 6th from left in the circle facing.

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V.E. Day – Radcliff Street, Swindon

Monica Tovey was another Swindonian who’s story of love ended in heartbreak – click HERE