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Kitty Francis

b. 1935 | Civilian

In this fascinating if short audio recording, Kitty remembers her time as child during WW2 in Pontycymer, where she still lives today. She talks about hearing the air raid warnings when in school, the evacuees, the impact and terrible loss of life from Luftwaffe bombing, and the morale boosting games the local population played including ‘knocking a nail in Hitler’s coffin’! 

10 year old Kitty in 1945. Kitty is proudly wearing her Urdd Cymru badge on her school uniform.

 

Summary

 

Laura Catherine Francis, known as Kitty, was born in the Rhondda on the 14th March, 1935. The second child of David and Rebecca Francis, Kitty moved to Pontycymer as an infant and received her primary education in the school situated at the top of Upper Adare Street in Pontycymer.

 

Kitty passed her scholarship and attended Garw Grammar School until she was 17. Kitty then worked as a clerical officer for Mid Glamorgan County Council and received her ONC and HND while in the role. Kitty has 2 children, 4 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren and still lives in Pontycymer.

 

At only 9 years of age, Kitty learned that her older brother, Dilwyn, an RAF bomb aimer, had been killed on operations over Germany. Kitty’s Granddaughter, Catrin Jones, is currently researching Dilwyn’s history which will appear on the West Wales Veterans Archive soon.

Dilwyn Francis, Kitty’s brother, in his RAF uniform on Llangeinor Mountain in 1943. The initials KWE on the monument behind Dilwyn belong to Sgt. Kenneth W. Evans (AUS. 409678) who served alongside Dilwyn in the 100 squadron.

 

 

Kitty as a teenager in the late 1940s

Kitty and her granddaughter, Catrin in 2019

Kitty enjoying a glass of wine in 2020

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Royal Navy | Cowbridge/Freshwater East