The War That Saved My Life

Ada Maria Smith born in May 13, 1929 lived with her mother in London. Ada was born with clubfoot and her mother kept her inside of their one-room apartment because she was a cripple. Mam was embarrassed of Ada and did not want people to see her, so she was only allowed to be by the window. Mam was not the same with Jamie because he was born normal, so he could go outside. Ada did not know what she was missing in the outside world since she had been kept inside the apartment since she was born.

While Ada was alone in the apartment she began to practice standing and walking. Ada learns that anything she strives for she was able to accomplish and that having a bad right foot was not going to prevent her from doing anything.

London sent out an order for parents to evacuate children and sent then in the train to England. Mam did not want to send Ada because none of the nice families would take her.

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Ada did not want to let Jamie go alone to England since she has been there for Jamie all his life. Friday morning, they left together to the train station while Mam was asleep. Ada and Jamie arrived at Kent, England where Lady Thorthon the head of the Women’s Volunteer Services was waiting for them and the other children from London. Then all the children were chosen by families except Ada and Jamie.

Ada was sad because she remembers what Mam had said that no one would take her because she was an ugly cripple.

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A lady was going to take Jamie but she told the lady that he was a thief and she was the only one able to control him, so the lady left. Mrs. Thorton decided to take them to someone that would take care of them and they were placed with Ms. Susan Smith. Susan did not want any children because she had never taken care of children, but Ms. Thorton still left them there. Ms. Susan became a great support for Ada and Jamie even though she was not considered a nice lady. Ms. Smith took Ada to Dr. Graham who diagnosed her having clubfoot.

Dr. Graham gave Ada some crutches to be able to move around. Ms. Susan writes to Mam to get an authorization, but she never responds. The doctor recommended for Ada to have surgery to walk better but without her mother’s consent she was not able to get it. She gave them what Mam never did, attention and love. Ada met a horse name Butter who she became very attached to and took care of him. Ada and Butter had the same problem they were not given the attention that they needed. Mam did not take care of Ada and Ms. Susan never payed attention to Butter after Becky died. After several months of living with Susan she helped Ada heal all the abuse she had been through by Mam. Jamie stopped wetting the bed after he found Bovril and would sleep with him. Ada was now able to do many things that Mam had prohibited her to do.

She would now socialize and was able to become a young member of the VMS. Ada met Margaret the daughter of Lady Thorton who she helped after she fell from riding her brother Jonathan’s horse. Margaret and Ada became friends and she would give Ada clothes since they did not bring anything from London. Lady Thorton offered Ada to go to Mr. Grimes to help her with Butter who wouldn’t jump the walls or run faster. Ada and Mr. Fred Grimes became good friends while she was his helper. She learned how to take care of Butter and learned more about horses. Fred gave Ada a side saddle to have easy access to ride butter it was about 20 years old and it belonged to Lady Thorton’s aunt.

Ada could not attend school because she was not “educable”, but Jamie was accepted. In school they believed that Jamie was the curse by the devil for being left handed. Ms. Susan goes to school to talk to the teacher and clarify that being left handed was normal. Susan began to teach Ada at home to write and read. When Ada learned to write she wrote a letter to Mam to ask her to please sign a paper approving surgery. Unfortunately, the letter was sent back with a stamp that said wrong address. Although the was not over, some of the children were being taken back by their parents. Ada being a young member of the VMS met Daisy while they were helping with the soldiers that were injured and brought to Kent.

After several months Jamie kept claiming he wanted to go back to his mother, but Ada was not too sure about it. One day unexpectedly Mam came to pick them up. Mam took them back because the government was asking her to pay 19 shingles weekly while the children were under the care of Susan. Once they were back home, Mam took Ada’s crutches and the leather shoe that Susan had made her. When Ada noticed her things missing, she confronted Mam. Mam never wanted children especially a crippled child. Mam said it was all their father’s fault for wanting children. Ada and Jamie decided to leave to go back to Kent and Mam was not going to pay anything for them to be taken care of.

While the children were planning their way back to Kent, Susan was coming to London she felt the children belonged to her too. Unfortunately, that night they got bombed and had to stay in a shelter overnight. The next day when they were leaving the shelter they saw a lady that looked like a witch, but it was Susan. They all returned to Kent where they were surprised to see that Susan’s house was bombed as well. There were several people looking for them three since the sirens went on all night and they were not aware about the situation they were going through. Susan felt so happy because if it was not for her going to find the children, she would have been dead. Ada holds Susan hand and through her mind the word “joy” popped up she tells her now we are even.

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The War That Saved My Life. (2022, Jan 08). Retrieved from

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