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MEMOIRS 1939 to 1945 - Stacey Simkins


Stacey Simkins - Memoirs, 1939-1945: "You've Got to Laugh!"

My father, Stacey Frederick Simkins, was born on the 12th of April 1924 in East Ham (East London) to parents Henry (1885 – 1941) and Elizabeth Mary (née Landau) (1885 – 1955) and lived at various addresses in the area. He went to Hartley Avenue Infants School then to Monega Road Junior and Senior Schools.

He grew up alongside his older brother Joe (1903 – 1963), his younger brother Dennis (19252007) and his sister Winnie (1913 – 1979).

He left school aged 14 in May 1938 and worked as a messenger in the City of London, joining the AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service) in late 1938. In 1943 he joined the RAF where he served until he was demobbed shortly after the end of the war.

Back on Civvy Street he worked in various offices in the City and West End of London until his eventual retirement in 1986, in a career that could loosely be described as "shipping". He married my mother, Gwendoline Frances Wooldridge, in 1951 and I (an only child) was born in 1962.

I heard many of the more amusing stories as I was growing up and it has long been a dream of mine to record for posterity his memories of the Second World War. Finally I have been able to do so in the pages that follow.

Since this project began I have given birth to my parents’ only grandchild, Emily Stacey Walker, on the 27th of February 2006. I hope she will enjoy reading these tales when she is older.

They died so we might live
Gave all the had to give
Although my pals are dead
They live still in my head.

- Stacey Simkins, c. 2002

PLEASE NOTE:  This website is still under construction - although largely complete, there are some tidbits of information and photographs that I still have to add.  Please check back sometime to see if there are any new additions!  - Hilary Walker, June 2012


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