Anecdote – My mum won the Second World War with Winston Churchill.


My mum won the Second World War with Winston Churchill.

It is just possible that this might be dramatic use of hyperbole. I’ll let you judge.

My mum left school at fourteen with no qualifications but she was a clever cookie and took a course in typing and short-hand. She was extremely proficient and when it came to passing her examinations she excelled in exam after exam.

The upshot of this was that in the war, as a slip of a girl, she secured a post as one of the typists working in the underground bomb-proof shelter under Whitehall coordinating the war effort. She was part of the team that typed up the Top Secret information.

My mum typed up the page that made the crucial difference and enabled D-Day to happen and be successful. Well I don’t know that for certain. She was under the official secrets act so she couldn’t tell me anything. I’m only surmising. It is equally possible that she was typing up lists of rations. But even if it was lists of rations she would have been responsible for feeding all the people in the planning room; giving them the energy, sustenance and nutrition to plan successfully. Not that she told me she was typing up food requisitions either.

The fact is that she could have been typing anything. Somewhere in the historic archives are sheets that my mother typed. I’m not sure what they were or how significant they were. I like to think they were the little extra that made the crucial difference. She was the beat of the butterfly’s wing in the corridors of power that culminated in the storm over Berlin.

She told me that on VE Day when Churchill went on the balcony to wave to the crowd outside someone had to hold his belt from behind because he was so drunk that they were worried he would topple over the balcony.

This year we went down into the underground chambers under Downing Street where she worked and looked at the cramped offices, planning rooms with big maps, and Churchill’s rooms. I couldn’t find a single reference to my mum.

That’s strange isn’t it? Seeing as how I sure it was her who single-handedly saved the world from fascism.

What do you think? Slight exageration?