Frances Louise Moore was born in Hammersmith Bridge, London on 14th July 1924. Moore’s father worked in an ice factory, where ice was sold to fishmongers as there were no refrigerators at the time. As a young girl, Frances attended St Paul’s school in Hammersmith, up until the age of 14. Her first experience of the war was on a Sunday morning, when she heard the alarming sound of sirens. She recalls everyone panicking because they thought it was an air raid, when in fact it was a practice run by the Home Guard to see how people would react.
After this incident, it was quiet for a while, but once the bombing started the Blitz by the Germans was almost constant. She remembered vividly that the sky would turn a bright red colour as a result of the explosions. When Frances was living in Shepheard’s Bush, west London, a particular incident occurred, where an incendiary bomb came through the window, landing on her bed. Fortunately, it didn’t explode, leaving her in one piece.
On VE day, Frances recalls everyone being happy because of the end of the war. They were dancing and hugging each other to celebrate. However, Frances felt lonely as she had lost her husband during the war. She married her second husband in 1951 and had three children with him, including two sons and a daughter. Sadly, a daughter she had with her first husband died from pneumonia at just three months old due to a lack of heating in her home during the cold winter. Frances first met a black person at the age of eight at Hammersmith, west London. As she had previously only seen black people in films, seeing one in real life left her and a friend in shock. ‘We both stood there with our mouths wide open… [we] couldn’t take our eyes off him’ she says before,” light-heartedly laughing.