I was a child of 5 years old during 1943 when our world changed.
Our quiet country village suddenly seemed to be the centre of the war when the 40th Signal Construction Battalion were billeted in the grounds of Eyensham Hall, North Leigh, Oxfordshire.
No, we hadn’t seen any black people, let alone troops before but I think we were color blind. Us kids quickly learned to ask “Got any gum chum?” and we were usually rewarded.
I recall some of the local folks doing laundry for the soldiers and being rewarded with bags of oranges and other goodies, we had hardly ever seen an orange due to war shortages.
I remember being given rides in open jeeps which seemed to me at breath taking speeds around country lanes.
To my memory the soldiers seemed so positive they had a sense of “can do, lets get the job done”.
Best wishes for your efforts, Pete