Molly Bounds
WWII Civilian
War Bride
Audio Samples

She was born Molly Short in Bristol, England. Her father, Reginald William Short, served in the Royal Air Force in both world wars. Molly grew up on an air base but moved out onto a farm to avoid bombings raids of the German Luftwaffe. The family was living at Felix-stowe, a seaside resort town, when the war began in 1939. As a young teenager she helped with the baggage of children, who had been evacuated from London, as they disembarked. Soon, however, her family moved to her grandparents' home in Bristol while her father, working at bases in the United Kingdom and in Europe, analyzed bomb damage. She recalls many shortages. Coal was rationed, as well as many foods, including sugar. Two eggs per person per week were allowed. Because of meat rationing the family trapped rabbits. Paper shortages reduced her local newspaper to only one sheet. Clothing was hard to get, especially for growing children. "We cut up blankets and made coats," she recalls. Despite hardships, however, morale remained high. "You didn't hear people complaining," she says. "Everywhere you went people were singing. You'd get on a bus and travel and everybody would be singing." Soon after American soldiers arrived children invented a game called "Yanking." "They'd meet a group of Americans and they'd say, `Got any gum, chum?' And the Americans would give them gum and candy." She says "the ladies" got along well with Americans, but the British soldiers were envious of their wealth and uniforms. Molly met her future husband, Guy Bounds, an American staff sergeant in the 359th Engineers from Ivan, Louisiana. "I'd known him about two weeks and he asked me to marry him," she says. Their daughter was born during the Battle of the Bulge. Several months later church bells rang when Germany surrendered. "That's the first time we heard them ringing because they were to be rung if there was an invasion of the country. No church bells had rung all through the war," she recalls. "So when we started hearing those bells clanging we knew it was over. We all got out and danced in the streets." Molly came to America in March of 1946 and moved with Guy to Texarkana. The couple lived in San Antonio and Kingsville where Guy worked for Humble Oil Company. Molly became an American citizen and worked as a nurse for eighteen years. The couple has three children, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.