20191013 001053 2 minutes
Fun story Country Life 1941-2 WWII

The new house where our friends moved to was on the river. It was a beautiful big Stuart, or maybe Georgian, place. At Easter I was introduced to an Easter Egg Hunt. The grounds were large and we spent a happy time searching for the eggs. Our parents did their best to give us a normal life, away from the war.

There was a big horse chestnut in their field which had magnificent candles in the spring and hundreds of chestnuts in the fall. We had wonderful conker fights with the chestnuts from that tree. Conkers are horse chestnuts.

To prepare for a fight you make a hole through the middle of your choice weapon and thread a piece of string through it, with a knot on one end. For advance weapons you can thread more than one chestnut per string. Then the combatants try to knock the opponents’ chestnuts off their strings. It’s not easy to hit another conker on a string, and even more difficult to hit it hard enough to make pieces fall off it, hopefully while keeping one’s own intact. The aim is to obliterate the opponents’ weapon.

It becomes a long drawn-out battle and can become a blood sport. It’s war to the death.