The BBC article “Bevin’s Babes” is a personal account or memoir of a group of women who were born during World War II and grew up in post-war London written by Heather Noble. It forms part of an archived of World War Two Memories compiled by the BBC and written by the public.
They refer to themselves as “The Bevin’s Babes” or “War Babies” and share a strong bond of friendship that has lasted throughout their lives. The article discusses their experiences and memories, including the scarcity of food, clothing, and housing during the war, the impact of Commonwealth immigration in the 1940s and 1950s, the fear of polio epidemics, and the pressure of the Selection Test (Eleven-Plus) that determined their educational futures. The article also touches on highlights of their childhood, such as the Festival of Britain, early television broadcasts, picnics, parties, excursions, and family holidays. The women’s individual stories include experiences of evacuation, bombings, the Balham Underground Bomb, and personal journeys during the war. The article ends with a reflection on the changing role of women over the decades and their hope for a future of equal opportunities and goodwill. The upcoming sections mentioned in the summary include “When Daddy Came Home” and “Starting School,” which likely delve deeper into the women’s experiences during those times.
One contributor Gillie recounts “Nearby our home in the busy High Street, was a large complex of flats, called “Du Cane Court” — and well known locally for its Art Deco façade. Despite obvious signs of heavy bombing in the area, it had surprisingly escaped any such visits from the “Luffwaffe”! Interestingly, there was much talk from the local residents that their homes had been spared, due to the fact that the complex had been earmarked for a residence for German Military Officers — had the invasion succeeded. Thankfully for us, it had not!”
You can read the full account on the BBC Archive.
‘WW2 People’s War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar’