1942 War Teen

Diary of a teenager in WW2


The family shared the insecurity and uncertainty of many working class families during the thirties, with the Second World War adding further hardship. Hand written notes amongst Franks papers contain his recollections of the jobs his father undertook, and the hardships faced. These will be added later. Frank Lepper left school and started work at Clarences Garage during the period of this diary, looking back from the 1990’s he wrote about this period:

“By Easter 1942 I left school at 14½ and went to work at Clarence Garage, Parkshot, Richmond. I did not gain as much experience as I expected as with severe petrol rationing and no new cars being built or sold during the war there were few cars about. There were no petrol companies. All were merged into one called ‘POOL’. The Clarence Garage almost closed because of lack of work but were then offered a lifeline overhauling a small number of Pool vans.”

The diary entry for
September 30th 1942 records Frank being asked to sign apprenticeship forms at the Garage, forms which were found amongst his papers and are reproduced here

Several entries refer to
‘Patches’, these were made as ‘piece work’ for a local factory and I’m indebted to Jim Blewett, a school friend of Franks, for the detailed account included here