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Witham: Wartime schoolboy hopes to track down old classmates
9:00am Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
A schoolboy of the 1940s is trying to track down his former classmates in a bid to find out more information about his upbringing.
James Lees, 78, also known as Dickie, grew up in a house above the former Midland Bank in Newland Street, Witham, where his father was the chief cashier.
He attended a school next door to the bank, at 55 Newland Street, run by a teacher called Miss Murrell.
Mr Lees said: “At Miss Murrell’s I was no doubt taught the three Rs, but I do remember embroidering a needle case for my mother, making wool balls around cardboard milk bottle tops and being taught some basic French and German.
“I understand there was a Miss Murrell who was the headmistress of the Chipping Hill infants school at this time so I am assuming that the Miss Murrell at 55 Newland Street was a sister.”
Mr Lees, who now lives in Wassenberg, Germany, said: “Over the period of the war my mother must have had a difficult time with three children but from my viewpoint everything seemed normal.
“Obviously war is a terrible thing and many people suffered horribly, but personally I have only happy memories of this period.
“When the war ended in Europe in May 1945 a big bonfire was built in the middle of Newland Street and a dummy of Hitler was placed on the bonfire to be burnt.”
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