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YDNA - MacLeod
Earliest Known Ancestors
James MacLeod (Marg Blakely)
Wilke of Germany/N.Y.
Jessup of England
Checker/Tskeris of Greece/N.Y.
Abnett of England
Hudson of South Carolina
Ives of South Carolina
Arrants of South Carolina
Barnes of South Carolina
Blyther of South Caroliina
Boykin of South Carolina
Cook Family of South Carolina
Coombs of Maine
Davis of South Carolina
Dennis of South Carolina
Freeman of South Carolina
Holland of South Carolina
Huggins of South Carolina
Hurst of South Carolina
Jones of South Carolina
Josey/Jossey of South Carolina
Keretas of Greece
Medhurst of England
Meyers of South Carolina
Moseley of South Carolina
Rodgers of South Carolina
Ross of South Carolina
Yates/Yeates of South Carolina
Online Research Sites
Sumter South Carolina Genealogy
Kershaw South Carolina Genealogy
County Kent England Genealogy
Our property had a garage near the house and a barn at the back that was home to pigs, chickens, a lamb and a couple of horses. For some reason, one hen decided to leave the barn and took up residence in the garage and another one remained living in the barn - eventually they each had chicks to hatch.
One morning I walked outside to find Granddad and found the Garage Hen and her chicks following him as if he were the Pied Piper....I asked him where they were going and he answered "I'm taking the Garage Chicks to meet the Barn Chicks" and off he went.
Another favorite memory is actually what could be called a "tradition" - whenever we visited England or were visited in the States by Nana and Granddad, each morning, we climbed in bed with Nana while Granddad went down to make us all a cup of tea. He'd bring a tray back up with tea and biscuts and we'd all snuggle in and listen while they told stories of Mom as a child.
One of my favorite stories took place at the Saxon Restaraunt in Hastings when Mom was a teenager. Nana said that one evening after Mom had spent her hours as a telephone operator, she came rushing in the door of the restaraunt where Nana was serving behind the counter asking "Mum, can I wear that skirt?" . Nana said that she ran upstairs with Mom and gave her the skirt for her big night out.....and that this was something that happened quite often.
The Saxon Restaurant in Hastings where mom and dad met.
by Kirk A. McLeod
Note: Some artistic license was taken in the writing of this high school article/project. Genealogical corrections have been made in parenthesis....
On June 22, 1940, Premier Henri Philippe Petain of France decided to surrender to the mighty invading forces of Hitler's Nazi Germany. Great Britain was now on her own. France's surrender left Great Britain with no allies in Western Europe. Germany had now crushed six countries in three months, and Hitler boasted that he would march into London in two more months. Hitler, along with his high command, now turned to plan an invasion of the British Isles, called Operation Sea Lion. But Hitler hoped he could force Britain to surrender without invasion.
In July of 1940, the Luftwaffe began it's routine raids on the islands, blasting airfields, ports, towns and cities. The Royal Air Force was greatly outnumbered but had better planes and better pilots. During the first few months, the Luftwaffe lost so many planes that they were forced to give up daylight attacks. In September, the Luftwaffe switched entirely to night raids. The British used radar, a carefully guarded secret development, to track the attacking planes. From September 7, 1940 through May 11, 1941, the German's blasted London and surrounding towns and airfields nightly. These raids became known as the London Blitz. Hitler offered to negotiate a peace, but the British did not even give an answer.
By the middle of 1941, Germany gave up it's attempts to break Britain by air raids. At this time Germany had already dropped 190,000 bombs. Hitler continued the raids, though not quite as often, in 1944. By then, Germany's Luftwaffe had lost 2600 planes.
Hitler's attempts to weaken and then conquer Britain between 1941 and 1944 became known as the Battle of Britain. The paper you are about to read is based on the recollections of Mary Jessup McLeod, an English girl who grew up with her parents in a section of England known as Kent. this section, which included London, was the most heavily raided section of England during the war. Mary was eight years old when the London Blitz started, and has many memories of the events which followed.
One of the first things I remember is that during a night raid, a bomb dropped fairly close to our house and I was cut by a china bowl that was smashed in two by the blast. I had come out from the Morrison Shelter, which was a huge table made out of iron or steel, and we slept under it, or in it, during the night raids. The cut was pretty bad so while my Mum held it closed, my Dad got out the van, (we owned a bakery shoppe), and drove me to the hospital. We had to drive without lights and of course, there were no street lights at all during the war. We were in total blackout, not a glimmer of light was allowed to show on the ground, not even a torch (flashlight). Even bicycle lamps had most of the lamp painted black with just a pin point of light showing through. We made it to the hospital, but while I was being stitched up, a bomb hit the back part of the hospital, luckily we were in the front. For being a good girl the nurse gave me two squares of Cadbury chocolate, which I ate on the way home.
Soon after this incident, we moved from Tonbridge Wells to my Mother's home town, Maidstone, Kent. The raids were getting very bad and we hoped to get out of the path of the Jerry planes. Soon after moving into our new home, workmen came in with blow torches to take down our metal railings and front gate to ship to the munitions factories. Then more workmen came to place sandbags and concrete blocks all around everyone's house. They also dug large pits in all the open fields which were called tank traps. I did not know it at the time but the reason for these precautions was because it was feared that an invasion by land would happen at any time. Our home was not far from the South East coast which was thought to be the most likely place for Hitler to attempt a landing.
The concrete blocks which they put in front of our house were about four or five feet high. My friends and I thought they were great for tap dancing on and putting on a show. I suppose I was about eight at the time and taking dancing lessons, as were my two best friends. Those blocks got quite a workout, Fred Astaire had nothing on us. I can see us now, leaping from one to the other, its a wonder we didn't break our necks.
Life was fairly normal really, in fact, I remember asking my parents one time what the word "peace" meant. I would hear the grown-ups talking all the time about it. I knew we were at war but thought this was a normal state of affairs. We went to school each day, even if we had spent most of the night in the dug-out, or air raid shelter. This shelter was in our back yard about fifty feet from the house and was down about six feet under the ground. The roof was raised up out of the ground with the top covered by dirt or grass. My Mum planted marigolds on ours. It had four bunks in it with blankets and pillows. There were four in our family, I had an older brother named Frank. He used to worry my poor Mum to death because he just would not stay in the shelter while a raid was going on, but had to be outside watching the dog fights as they were called. Mum and I would sit inside and she would say to my Dad, "PLEASE tell Frank to come in" and then my Dad would go out to get him and then they would both stay out there. Mum would get frantic and say, "they are going to get hit, I know they are". Most nights I would go to bed in my own room upstairs and either wake up as my Dad was carrying me out to the shelter, or actually in the shelter. We also had two or three Air RAid Shelters at school and spent quite a lot of our school day having lessons inside it.
Everyone was given a gas mask to carry with them at all times. They were in a case similar to a camera case. The children were given gas masks in the shape of Disney Characters. My first one was a Mickey Mouse gas mask and I remember all the kids would suck or blow into them and make rude noises which we all thought was hilarious.
We all walked to school. It was about two miles, I think. If the Jerries decided to raid during the day and we heard the siren or the planes, we would run to the nearest house for shelter. The warning siren would start on a low note and then go up and down while the all clear was one long note. We soon learned the difference. We could also tell a German plane from one of ours miles away. It may sound funny, but our planes had a higher, friendly pitch and the Germans sounded low and angry.
Later on in the war, when Hitler came out with the forerunner to guided missiles, the buzz bomb, we learned what that sounded like too. They were aimed for London, but our town was between London and the coast, so they passed right over us. Sometimes they would pass as low as the tree tops. We called them Hitler's Lighters because it looked like a bomb that had a flame coming out of the back. The main thing we learned about those was we were safe as long as you could hear them coming, but the moment the sound stopped, run for cover. This meant it was coming down somewhere. I remember one boy from London came to stay with a friend's family and he always wore a cap because the blast of a buzz bomb caused him to lose all of his hair. I often wonder if it ever grew again.
Our family was a very close one, and we had much fun together. Most weekends we would go to see a live stage show in the next town. During the intermission, an organ would come up from the orchestra pit and everyone would sing songs like "It's a long way to Tipparary", White Cliffs of Dover", and of course, "There will always be an England".
My mother came from a large family, thirteen brothers and sisters. Some of the brothers were in the service and of course some of their children. Some didn't come back and one Uncle lost his leg in France. A cousin was a Hurricane pilot from 1941 till 1944. His name was Ray and he used to tell me stories about his missions. The RAF must have led a rough life during the Battle of Britain. He told me how he used to sit up all night with the other pilots waiting to scramble. And how in seconds flat, the pilots would be out of the break room and into their planes when the signal came. He is one of the ones that never came back. (This cousin did survive the war)
My Dad was in the Home Guard, which was called the Home Front. I think it was a combination of age and the fact that he was a baker that kept him out of the service. The Home Guard patrolled every night and they had lookout points in shelters and Church Towers where they would keep watch with binoculars for the first sign of a plane. If they spotted one, they gave the alert to start the warning siren. The sky was criss crossed with search lights every night and we had big barrage balloons above the town. (Something like the Good Year Blimp). The Home Guard was equipped with anti aircraft guns and one night they shot down a German Plane in the field behind our house.
Life was never dull and I was too young to be really afraid. when I think back, I marvel that Mum and Dad made everything so normal and happy for me. Food was scarce and we were heavily rationed. I think we were allowed two eggs per person, per week and two ounces of sugar and had to wait our turn at the butchers shop for any meat. There was board hanging up in the shops with seven letters of the alphabet on it and if your name began with any of those letters, then it was your turn. Cans of fruit were a very special treat and I remember the first time I saw a banana at the end of the war. My mother told me to make it last because she didn't know how long it would be before I saw another one. I made it last for two hours. I really can't remember too much about the food situation. If I had been a mother then, I'm sure I would remember it better. The war took its toll on my mother, she had a nervous breakdown. All the years of the war, she was my rock and never showed that she was afraid and kept our home a happy place.
One thing that contributed to her breakdown, I'm sure, was my brother finally got his wish and joint the Air Force the minute he was seventeen. He was sent to Cairo and a year later contracted typhoid fever. We received a telegram from the war office saying that he was gravely ill and not expected to live. I'm happy to say he did and was invalided out of the Air Force six months later.
When America entered the war, there were quite a few American airman at West Malling, an RAF station a few miles from my home. We didn't have many sweets (candy) then except for the pink fudge my mother made from evaporated milk and of course everyone knew that the Yanks had plenty of everything, so one of the favorite things for kids to do then was when you saw an American serviceman, you went up to him and said "Got any gum, chum?" They would smile and say "Sure, Honey" and hand us a chocolate bar or a packet of gum. This was great until my mother caught me doing it and was scandalized. I was sent to my room in disgrace, a young lady did not do those things. She called it being cheeky, which in America, is the same thing as being smart mouthed.
When Germany surrendered, I thought everyone had gone quite mad. Everyone, men, women and children, grandmothers, grandfathers, all danced and sang in the streets all night. People linked arms and danced the Conga down the center of town and then san songs in the pubs. Later, I am not quite sure of the time frame, each community had a street party or block party right in the middle of the street.
Later that night, the government finally allowed our town to turn all the street lights and electric signs back on. None of these lights had been used since the beginning of the war. My brother was old enough to remember what they looked like, but I had never seen a city dressed up with lights before. My mum and dad took me to town to see the fascinating sites. I remember when I first saw the town in its new decorations, I thought I was in fairy land.