Barbara Turner remembers Peter Wallace (2015)

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In 2015 Barbara Turner came in to the Tauranga City Libraries to remember her father, Peter Wallace, as part of the Threads of Memory project. Story by Debbie McCauley.

Click the Audio Mp3 above to listen to Barbara

Peter Wallace was born in Fife, Kirkcaldy, Scotland on 19 March 1897. His parents were John and Barbara Wallace (nee Buist) who married in Fife on 31 December 1895. John worked as a Compositor which is someone who set and corrects type and generally assembles text and illustrations for printing.

The 1901 Enland, Wales & Scotland Census shows John and Barbara living at 135 Balsusney Road in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland with children Peter (aged 4) and Barbara (aged 1). 

Peter served in the merchant navy as a fitter during the First World War (1914-1918). On 16 September 1925 he married Phyllis Moyne.

Barbara was born in Hull a few years later, a month prior to the Wall Street Crash. It was the beginning of the Great Depression and Peter spent the next six years out of work. At the beginning of World War II a representative from the ship repairers Brigham & Cowan knocked on the door and asked him to go and work for them. There were more jobs available than workers during the war and Peter often worked throughout a day, that night, and then again the next day. Barbara could tell that her mother was often on edge. She guesses that after their experience during the First World War they knew what they were in for.

Barbara was 10 years old at the start of World War II and 15 by the time it ended. Her younger sister Margaret and she were first evacuated on the 1st of September 1939, two days before war was officially declared. Unfortunately the timing was off and she was always in Hull during the air raids. The family took cover in their Anderson Shelter. The Government had provided those to all the houses in the area that had a garden.

Hull was heavily bombed, particularly during March and May of 1941 during what they now call the Hull Blitz. Every night the whole place seemed to Barbara to be afire. The family lived at 40 Telford Street and a bomb landed on number 5 and killed the family that lived there. Barbara remembers hearing that bomb coming down from the safety of the Anderson Shelter. Waiting for the impact was just horrific, but it was the only time she felt really frightened. Their house ended up a mess. Slate tiles fell off the roof, the windows were all blown in and the plaster ceilings fell down. 

Barbara married Arthur Barnabas Turner in Hull on 30 June 1951. In 1953 they emigrated to New Zealand aboard the Captain Hobson.

Peter died in Hull, Yorkshire East Riding, England, on 5 February 1965.


Further Information:

1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census.

Emigrating on the SS Captain Hobson (1953) by Debbie McCauley (the story of Barbara and Arthur Turner emigrating to New Zealand).

War, Culture and Memory (interview with Barbara Turner, 11 June 2011).

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Barbara Turner remembers Peter Wallace (2015)

First Names:Peter
Last Name:Wallace
Place of Birth:19 March 1897
Date of Birth:Fife, Kirkcaldy, Scotland
City:Tauranga, New Zealand
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License
Barbara Turner remembers Peter Wallace (2015) by Tauranga City Libraries Staff - HC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License