Source: Sherman Publications

Remove Images

Telling it like it was

March 09, 2011

Siblings Sheila McLeod and Ray Burdett share a family portrait with Clarkston Junior High School students. The negative for the portrait was found after the photography shop was bombed. Photo by Wendi Reardon
Sheila McLeod of Clarkston was 3-years-old when England entered World War II on September 3, 1939.

She shared her stories from her youth on Feb. 24 along with her brother, Ray Burdett of Haslett, who was 9-years-old at the time their lives changed.

They were two of the special visitors invited by Clarkston Junior High School for their seventh annual USO day.

Some speakers spoke about fighting in the war while McLeod and Burdett discussed what it was like to be a child on the home front, living 20 miles from London.

"War is a terrible thing," said Burdett, sharing his memory of walking down a road after a bomb hit a family of nine and seeing the remnants.

Every one had a gas mask, McLeod added, even their baby sister, who was born days after England joined the war.

She remembered saying goodbye to friends as people lined up two by two to leave the country, each carrying a gas mask.

They spent nights in a bomb shelter, listening to the radio and sirens.

"Everyone in our family lived," said McLeod. "Our mom was thankful every night we were still together.

Wendi Reardon