MATLOCK: Probus Club member Stan Codd speaks about wartime experiences

Matlock Probus Club was entertained by one of its own members at the March meeting when Stan Codd talked about his childhood and youth in the years just before and during the Second World War. Before the war he lived in Grimsby and at the age of eight saw a Zeppelin travelling slowly along the coastline laden with ‘holiday-making’ passengers filming as they passed. In reality they were spying out and recording coastal defences. At the beginning of the war a searchlight and Ack-Ack unit was based 50 yards from his home.

Matlock Probus Club was entertained by one of its own members at the March meeting when Stan Codd talked about his childhood and youth in the years just before and during the Second World War. Before the war he lived in Grimsby and at the age of eight saw a Zeppelin travelling slowly along the coastline laden with ‘holiday-making’ passengers filming as they passed. In reality they were spying out and recording coastal defences. At the beginning of the war a searchlight and Ack-Ack unit was based 50 yards from his home.

In 1939, he was evacuated inland and was moved three times. Whilst climbing trees one day he witnessed three Messerschmitts being shot down by Spitfires to much cheering from the lads.

He realised that Humberside had become the focal assembly point for German air-raids across the country. Nevertheless his parents brought him back to live with them in Grimsby and there he experienced screaming bombs, needle shrapnel and incendiary devices at first hand. Stan’s parents required him to leave school at the age of 14½ to find a job to contribute to the household budget. He was apprenticed to an electrician working at the Lincolnshire Motor Company and, unusually for an apprentice, was paid the princely sum of seven shillings and sixpence of which he was allowed to keep one shilling and sixpence from which he had to clothe himself.

Matlock Probus Club meets for lunch and a talk on the first Thursday of each month at The Duke William Hotel, Starkholmes, from 12 noon. The next meeting is on April 4, when Mr D.Templeton will talk on South Yorkshire in the 14th Century. Anyone interested in joining the club should contact the secretary, Graham Bowmer 01629 534592 for further information.