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it and have a go at it, and Mrs Pritchard's sister would find him and give him a good hiding. But he discovered that I was his friend and I'd hear the brass doorknob rattle and open the door, and there would be the cat. He used to rush in; he knew he was safe there.

One time when I had had to go out of London, a landmine came down not far from the back of the house. When the sirens used to go off, Peter the cat was always frightened and he would rush under the sideboard - it was his air raid shelter. Apparently that's where the landmine had come down and the whole window had gone and the sideboard had been sucked out - and the cat with it.

Mrs Pritchard met me when I came back and said 'Ooh we've had a terrible time! It's been awful, and we've lost the cat. We can't find Peter anywhere. We've searched all round the local places, but no one has seen him. We don't know where he is.' Days later, a black cat turned up with a kink in its tail - and it was Peter. They had to scrub all this horrible oil and stuff off him; his tail was broken and he always had a kinked tail from then on.

 

Chapter 12


" The Ivy Benson Band joins ENSA "


Drury Lane 1945 - En route to Belguim.

In 1944, we were asked to go with ENSA overseas. We had to have lots of jabs, like the military men did. Every week we were in a different town and had a jab there. I didn't want any put in my arms, as I used my arms, but I told them they could do what they liked on my legs. The last one of all was a vaccination; I'd never been