This oak bureau was the only item that survived the bombing of my father's family home in the Sheffield Blitz on Friday 13th December 1940. He was an auxiliary fireman and was on duty that night leaving his parents, wife and three year old son in the house, which took a direct hit. They had decided not to go into the air raid shelter because Grandad had a bad chest and it was a cold night. When my father arrived home the next morning he found his house in ruins and his family annihilated. The desk with its contents was the only salvageable item.
My father remarried, to my mother and I am the fourth of five girls from this marriage. Were it not for this terrible tragedy, I would not be here to write this account.
The desk to me is both a powerful symbol of survival and a poignant reminder of the horrors that civilians endured during the bombing of our cities in WW2.