DOROTHY MARTIN

Dorothy Martin Dorothy Martin was born in Birmingham on 13th August 1918 - three months before the end of the Great War.

She spent her childhood at 5 Cuckoo Road, Neachells.

She moved to the Black Country in the 1920, to live at 53 Wolverhampton Street, Willenhall.

One of my earliest memories is of the 1926 General Strike and the difficulties my Father, Harry Martin, had in getting his flour supply There was no transport to bring the flour from the railway depot. Father was manager of the small bakery on the corner of Peel Street in Willenhall.

During the strike we had only gas light, and that used to waver or splutter out. The supply became more and more haphazard.

There was no newsprint for a time and the "Express and Star" took to publishing a small, single sheet paper to tell us about how the strike was effecting the Black Country.

At the time of the dispute my Mother, Gladys Martin, would often say how shocking it was to see men standing in groups on the street corners. Many of them had soft white hands from lack of work. It was sad to see ex-servicemen just sweeping the streets, still wearing their army spats around their feet.

Lots of the unemployed men and many of the ones in poorly paid temporary work had war wounds. My Father, like many of these ex-servicemen, had been badly wounded during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was still having shrapnel removed from his body almost thirty years after. He died of cancer in 1947.

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