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Travelling with the G.I. Brides

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Unique ID:19458
Description:A former stewardess remembers working on the liners going to New York taking the GI brides over to their new families in America. 
Creator:Unknown
Date:Unknown
Copyright:Southampton City Council
Partner:SCC Oral History Unit
Partner ID:M0082

Transcription

So when I had a letter from Miss Summerville to say would I go back to help get the GI brides back, because it seems that there’s a number of Americans landed in Scotland so all these Scottish girls they got married, you see, and they were clamouring to get back to New York. And so I went there and we had all these girls and they came on the ship.  Oh they were so happy to see all the food they had and all their bunks.  There was four girls in a room, with four babies.  The girl on the top had a metal crib to put the baby in and then the one underneath had one metal...to put the baby in there.  There was all these babies, (laughs) and they were so thrilled with all the food they had.  They …they were terribly sick and so were the babies.  When we got to New York we helped the mothers take the babies ashore and the American mother-in-laws you see all came down to meet them and I remember one American said, 'what beautiful babies, we'll have to send our American children over there to get some colour in their faces', you know.  But those girls cried when they left the ship, they felt they were leaving England...really leaving England for the last time.  These little things keep coming back to me now.

Question:  When you were on the Mary and then war was declared on the way over to New York.

Yes.  We went into London, instead of going into Southampton, and we zigzagged like this because there was one of our ships sunk while we were going over, and you weren't allowed to throw any rubbish out of the portholes, because you weren't allowed to do that in port at all because it would float and the Germans would see that, you see, so you had to wait until it got dark.  So we landed in London and we had to stop in the hotel there and then the next morning we were coming home to Southampton, we got to Waterloo and there was all the little children there with their gas masks, and the mothers were crying, and some of the children were upset.

Question:  They were evacuating them?

Evacuating them.

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