Here are some recollections of a Barry War Bride who shall remain anonymous. I will call her M. They show how love and romance could overcome initial local reservations regarding Americans, especially having Americans in the home which touches on the touchy subject of billeting…
During the Second World War M worked at Barry Docks at the British Army’s Supply Reserve Depot (SRD) Number Two. With other young girls she used to pack food into tins, which were then sent to British forces overseas.
It was summer of 1943. The weather was warm and there were Americans in town...
One day an American officer and a corporal drove into their shed on business. The Americans were in the process of taking over the SRD and turning it into General Supply Depot – G40. The next day the corporal named Alf returned to the depot and later that afternoon he met M and walked her through the docks past the Barry Dock Hotel to her home.
When they arrived there he said: "I was at this house today." " Really, why?" asked M." "Well, we have to have billets. We were coming to get billets, the officer and I." When the lady of the house had opened the door, she had taken one look at the Yanks and said; "I have no room! I have no room!” It had been M's mum! She was terrified. She wasn't going to let any Americans into her house.
But this changed when M met a GI sergeant from 11th Major Port, Transportation Corps, named Bill, at Barry Island fairground and eventually a real romance began
so that M’s mother’s reluctance to have Americans in her home was duly overcome!