I was born in 1952, and have a ration book in my name. Eating up all the food on your plate, not wasting food, preserving food – they were all there from the start (inherent sustainability for me). ‘Make do and mend’ was also part of my childhood in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, which was one of the New Towns after the war.
My views on World War 2 are very strongly influenced by conversations over the years with my late father Charles Mills, who survived a very rough time in the war – he always felt later in life that if he could cope with all that he could cope with anything.
I was almost 15 years old when the war commenced in 1939, still at school – a Quaker boarding school – Ackworth. My parents had been pacifists in WW1, my father spending over three years hard labour in prison as a Conscientious Objector and mother having a hard time, insulted and even spat on for being his fiancé.