On the BBC’s WW2 People’s War site there is a 2005 posting by a John Appleyard, aged 68 at the time of posting. The site content is copyright, but it's legitimate to give a link to it here. John Appleyard (who adopts the site name ‘jontyjon’) was a TB spine patient at Thorpe Arch for six years, leaving in 1945. His posting gives a vivid account of air raids on the munitions factory – which he found thrilling – and of the gas masks in the shape of Disney characters issued to the children. He became so attached to his Mickey Mouse mask that he cried when he had to leave it behind to go home! The full posting is worth reading, by clicking on this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/74/a5499174.shtml . The whole site is fascinating.
. The whole site is fascinating.
I came upon the posting some years ago, and tried to follow him up, but unfortunately he left no contact details. Do any of you know him, perhaps? You can read his account by clicking on the link.