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Thread: Josie Schicker ( Nee Owens )

  1. #1

    Default Josie Schicker ( Nee Owens )

    My Great Aunty Josie - Her Wartime story.

    I now live in Calafornia USA, but I was brought up in Rose Place , Liverpool.

    1939 I was five years old and my first recollection was leaving the Friary school with my brother Jackie and sister Mary and more kids from the school marching off to Lime St. station for Llanrwst in Denbighshire Wales . My brother was sent to a different home than my sister and I. we were billeted with a lady (Mrs Target) in a fancy house, I remember the white pebbled path leading up to the house. For some reason or another we did not stay there very long and I remember my ninnie McInerney coming to pick us up in a car.

    Now my ninnie had friends who owned a greengrocer business and were rather affluent for that era, they were the Rimmers with their own trucks etc. so it was their car that took us back to Liverpool.

    Now by this time my Dad is in the army and it was just him and I (he in his army uniform) going by train back to Llanrwst. I was so excited to be travellng with my Dad not knowing he was taking me to another home then going to leave me. I was taken to Mr and Mrs Berry, he was Hugh Berry esquire the local coal merchant and owned some houses besides his own in Llanrwst. All was well, we sat down to a nice tea and then came time for Dad to leave and I cried my eyes out.

    I was later joined by Mary my sister so that made things a bit easier then my Mother and brother Austin and baby Eileen were also in Llanrwst in another home so even though the family was apart we stil could see each other.

    Now I am settling down and in some ways was fortunate to be with such a nice well to do family and then not so fortunate as I was with them for many years, I think until 1947, but during all that time I was carted back and forth from Llanrwst to Liverpool to see my mother and family when school was out. My Mother ended up going back to Liverpool and took Mary with her as my Nin was still there by herself in Rose Place off Scotland Road.

    I did not quite understand all that was going on and I do remember some of the bombing and going to the air raid shelter across from the house. Sykes bakery was across from our house and it was their shelters we would go in at the bottom of Rose Place, a cinema I think it was called the Adelphie and it got hit and people were killed.

    My Mothers brother John was in the army he was home on leave and was seeing a girl (later she became his wife)now they were in a house up above some shops so they were standing on the outside landing when a bomb hit and blew them to the street. Luckily they both lived and I remember him having a cast on his leg, and she carried a bad scar on one of her legs up until she passed away a couple of years ago. The scar was from a piano leg that had crushed her leg in the blast from the bomb.

    This one night we were all in the kitchen and the older people were praying and all the young ones would be huddled together. My Mother's younger brother (Joey McInerney) was on leave the same time as my Dad and this one night there was a big thud on our roof. My Dad and Uncle Joey went up stairs and climbed onto the roof and low and behold there was a parachute, they brought it down and scared my mother who wanted out of there. It was a German parachute and they took it to Rose Hill police station. To this day we never knew if a person landed or maybe some kind of bomb might have been attached to it.

    To this day I cannot think of why I stayed in Wales for so long after the war and I had most of my education in Wales and spoke welsh fluently. During those years I was lucky to have my best girl friend also in Llanrwst, we had known each other since we were babies and remained friends all through the war years and our adult years until she passed away a few years ago. Her and I had a lot of memories from those years ,like the time I was going to the farm for a can of buttermilk and she was with me and I remember she had a cigarrete and was going to teach me how to smoke and when I took a puff the can of buttermilk went flying and was I ever scared to go back empty handed, but the farmer relented and gave me some more.

    Down the lane from where I lived was a big field and they built barracks there for german pow's. We had to pass them on the way to school and they would be walking around behind barbed wire with big round patches sewn on the back of their clothes, I suppose to identify them as pow's. I think we were mezmerized by their presence. Now that I think back it was all so difficult to understand at such an early age.

    During all this time I got news that Ninnie Owens had died after falling down the stairs in Kew Street, Liverpool, and of course was confused as to why I never got to go home. Another time my Dad was on leave from the army and rode a bike from Liverpool all the way to Llanrwst to see me.

    On one of the times I got to go home for two weeks the war was over and it was VE day, everyone went to the pub and we were put to bed but after they left we all got up and went to Lime street were there was singing and dancing and all the yanks were there handing out gum. I still carry the scar on my knee from falling and we rushed back to get in bed so the knee was not washed and became infected so much for that.

    Back to Llanrwst the day I was going back Auntie Nell Hogan and my little cousin Bernard took me to Lime Street station to make sure I got on the train, which I did but found out it was the wrong train and I was on my way to London instead of Llandudno Junction were I would change trains for Llanrwst. When I found out it was the wrong train the conductor made sure I was taken care of and finally I made it back to Wales.

    On the fiftieth anniversary of world war 2 my hubby and I were over in England for a visit and my Brother Austin took us by ferry to Dunkirk, and we toured all the war memorials through northernFrance, and into Belgium and Germany. In one of the cemetery's, I believe in France, we came across some graves from world war 1 and on my kitchen window is a stone I brought back from a grave of a young soldier from Boundary Street Liverpool, and when I dampen it the moss on it still turns green.

    From the Wartime Website http://liverpoolremembrance.weebly.c...names-s-t.html
    BE NICE......................OR ELSE

  2. #2
    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Interesting story -- amazing to think the dad cycled all the way to Llanrwst ! Amazing too that the children picked up the Welsh language (as someone else - Smallaxe - mentioned on the evacuation thread), well, I suppose they would do - but to learn it fluently is great

  3. #3
    Senior Member Marty1's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Blog Entries


    A lovely story !

  4. #4
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Liverpool, of course


    Another great story Spike. I love the word "Ninnie" a proper scouse word.

  5. #5
    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Stoneycroft / Old Swan


    Tremendous story, please thank your Great Aunty for sharing it with us

    Started the Old Swan Website:

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by hmtmaj View Post
    Tremendous story, please thank your Great Aunty for sharing it with us

    Will Do

    She is very funny. A complete loon.

    I come from a long line of loons
    BE NICE......................OR ELSE

  7. #7
    Came what? Oudeis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    North London
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    I come from a long line of Loons
    intermarried with the Buffoons
    and a branch in the gutters
    of Rio, the Nutters
    with our roots in the Irish Poltroons

  8. #8


    Josie hi,
    What a small world. Your grandmother and my grandmother used to be friends My grandfather was James Rimmer and he had a haulage business and a fruit and vegetable shop in Soho St and he would have been he driver of the car to Llanrwst.They lived in a big house on the corner of Newsham St(79) next to Kew St ( where they also had a yard).Nin was Ellen Rimmer or Lal to her friends it was a big family, Nellie, Wanna, Ada, Lizzie, James and George, Edie, Mina and Nancy
    We used to hear stories of how my grandad and nin drove down to London to bring my dad back because he had joined the army when he was too young.There were lots of family stories about the war,my uncle Albert Gedman was killed and another uncle Bobby Anders from Gordon St was also killed in action.
    My dad enlisted again and went off to the war travelling through Italy Egypt North Africa Holland and Germany with the 11th Hussars. He had amazing stories to tell and plenty of medals too.
    Much later on in the 60s my mum and dad ( James and Doris) had a caravan in the grounds of Maenan Abbey in Llanrwst and spent many happy days there on family holidays. The only reason we were allowed to park there was my Uncle Jack ( Jack Williams from Robsart St) was a keen fisherman and he caught salmon for the hotel at the Abbey. He passed his caravan onto us and we put a big new one on the spot.
    Its hard to imagine what it must have been like during the war as afterwards there were still gasmasks for the carthorses in my grandads stables in Newsham St along with the emergency water pump and other stuff.People had air raid shelters in their backyards in Conyers St and there were gaps in the houses all the way along Netherfield Road and Scotland Road where bombs had been dropped.The war couldn't have come any closer.

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