Thursday, June 18, 2015

Charles and Frances Gill: The two perspectives

In the interview with Charles and Francis Gill the couple talked about where they were during the war and remembering the stories back in the day. Charles who was 19 years old was drafted into the war and traveled to Liege, Belgium. He talked about what he did there and what he saw. The photos he showed me were amazing. He remembered who the people were in the pictures and what they were doing, which I found remarkable. One story that he mentioned when he was in Belgium, he got the opportunity to ride the jeep for the medic team. He also witnessed the aftermath of the bombings of the city and showed me pictures of the rubble of buildings. He mentioned, when he was not driving the jeep around he had the opportunity to ride in a bomber plane with a few of his army mates. Not witnessing any fighting, but seeing the families and the destruction from the bombings must have been very upsetting to witness.

Charles Gill & Frances Long Gill
Francis, who stayed in Chestertown during the period of the war told us about the rationing, what the businesses were like, the bond drives and what Chestertown was like after the war. She said there was rationing on tires and that there were recipes in the newspaper that helped you cook meals with the food that you had and not have much of what was rationed. She also talked about the different family businesses that were in Chestertown, like the Candy store that is now replaced by the lemon leaf, but during WWII she remembered going in there and getting five pieces of candy for the amount of money she had. She also remembers using the rationing cards at the drug store in town. She said the community was much closer and everybody knew everyone. Another topic e covered was asking about if there were any war bond rallies and there were. She said there were parades around town to support the war effort and lastly she talked about what it was like after the war. She remembers that the churches played a big role in bringing the community together and she remembers hearing people talk about when their sons and husbands will come home from the war.

I was very fortunate and thankful that I was able to listen to both of their stories and different perspectives on the war. Having both a veteran's perspective and a person who was living on the home front was a great opportunity to have a conversation about what it was like for them as young adults.   

--Abby Gordon

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