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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Child's Eye View

by beryl phillips

Contributed by 
beryl phillips
People in story: 
Beryl Phillips
Location of story: 
Belfast
Article ID: 
A2425600
Contributed on: 
15 March 2004

My story goes back, I believe, to some time in 1941. I was five years old and had been taken to Belfast by my mother because my Dad had been hospitalized due to a serious illness. He was in the RAF and worked as a mechanic on the planes that would eventually bomb Germany. We had travelled a very arduous journey from Farnborough, Kent, via a stormy crossing of the Irish Channel (I remember my mother telling me years later that because I slept most of the time, I wasn't sick like most of the other people) to eventually arrive in Belfast. I was too young to remember much of that journey. We finally ended up living in a very nice house, Sydenham Park, Victoria (Park?) for a few months whilst my mother visited my Dad. My only memories of that time are of hearing the siren going off to warn that Germany planes were coming over and listening for their distinctive droning sound, and then being I was made to go under the stairs for safety until the 'All Clear' siren sounded. After the bombing we would go out into the street the next morning and I remember seeing the house opposite had been raised to the ground. I was too young to realise how near to death my mother and I had been.

I also remember looking out of the upstairs window one night and seeing the fires burning on the horizon. I was told it was the airport that had been bombed.

We had to get our domestic water out of a hole in the road after that. I remember trudging up a hill at night with hundreds of other people to get away from the bombing. There was a big building at the top of the hill but I don't remember what it was called. We camped out on the hill until morning.

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