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Faire Brothers was fairly typical of the kind of business which had made Leicester prosperous. They made all kinds of elastic products including ladies suspenders, men's belts, braces etc.
Their factory although not the Company, is still there in Rutland street near the Odeon cinema. The attitude to staff was typical  of the time, a little paternalistic but a safe place to be employed. There were dances, cricket and football teams and a feeling of belonging. During the war the Company published a small magazine which contained contributions from Staff members away in the forces and those left behind. 
We have reproduced some of these letters here to help recreate the background of the City as it was in those times.


The war took people away from Leicester to far flung parts of the world exposing them to experiences and sights they would never have seen.

From 1737589 LAC Don Weston, India

Eighteen months since I said farewell too the shores of England since when I have been in West, South and East Africa, Madagascar and last but by no means last, India.

My preconceived ideas of this vast land have received a severe shaking and only the fact that this letter must pass the censor stops me from going into too much detail

The enlightenment I have causes me to to know and appreciate my own country and as a result I long to return to that which I once took for granted.

Before I was posted here I was in a jungle outpost. There were six of us and we were visited jut once a fortnight with rations and mail. We were very isolated. Last time I was sick with malaria it took them three days to get me to hospital. But it was on the whole a healthy life with clean air untainted by the nauseating effluvia's of India's civilization.

I spent a few weeks in Calcutta where the famine was at it's peak. Maybe you have seen pictures and read about the famine but unless you have witnessed it your knowledge will be very limited. I can still see the hosts of emaciated human beings fighting over the contents of refuse bins and grovelling in the gutters. My mind conjures some revolting but sad to say truthful pictures which my pen cannot convey as censorship would be contravened.

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From 1121235 Cpl William Beattie RAF India

Another one from India.

We had an uneventful voyage out here, the  sea being particularly 'Gentlemanly'. This was followed by a 3 week stay in a transit camp then a 60 hour train journey in India's boiling sun.

I have visited two of India's cities, Bombay and New Delhi, and was very impressed by the latter. The memorial to India's soldiers called the Indian gateway is almost identical to Leicester's Arch of Remembrance and is most impressive.

The Viceroy's palace, the secretariats, the King George V memorial are all modern architectural beauties and one sees in the distance India's ancient beauties in her tombs, mosques and temples.

The people are most interesting in their clothes, customs and languages but the climate is tough. At present it is 95F in the shade and Winter is approaching

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From 14426756 Private Arthur Hull

Arthur gets his feet under the table.

I have been with this unit for about five months and have done a lot of travelling. To start with I had eight weeks at Eastbourne where I had the pleasure of seeing the RAF boys knock down a large number of flying bombs.
Then on to Aldershot which was not as bad as I had been informed. I didn't care for the town very much but the army had provided plenty of facilities for sport. Eventually orders came to move abroad.

The first fortnight was spent near the town of Bayeux in Normandy. My next move was by lorry and took me through the devastated towns of Caen and Lisieux. They had both caught quite a packet.

Continuing we came to Rouen which fortunately was not damaged to a great extent. Eventually we reached our destination and are in a large warehouse previously occupied by Jerry. He certainly got out in a hurry and left lots of stuff behind.

We have been made very welcome by the French people up here particularly the children who crowd round asking for bon bons, chocolate or cigarettes supposedly for daddy.

Several of us to use an army term have our feet under the table of a french family who give us cordial welcome wherever we go


From 2061267 Cpl Maise Gilbert, Buckinghamshire

It's a strange thing with all boys overseas wanting to get home. I am the opposite. I would love to get overseas and was thrilled to learn in February that the WAAF were to be allowed to volunteer.
I did so poste haste, passed my medical a few days later and have heard nothing since. It's a hard world.

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