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15 October 2014
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A Brighton Boy's War Diary November 1940

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Norman Foord
Location of story: 
Whitehawk, Brighton
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
02 June 2005

Norman Foord, taken a few months before the diary was written.

Nov 19th 1940
This morning everyone at playtime was looking at two enemy bombers. They had pointed wings and were Junkers. This afternoon I went over the dump. I found a revolver, a pot of white paint and an electric light switch. I met Leslie Voak’s brother over there.

Nov 20th
When we had P.T. this morning we had to take the four mats and stand round them. Then we had to go in and wrestle each other. I went in and fought Brian Cooter. Mr. Gordon said that if we got our opponent’s shoulder on the ground and kept them there while he counted three, we would win. Jim Lang kept on boasting that he could whack Alfie Pacham up while we were changing. This afternoon I went to church and the man told us a story. The last part was where the boy was falling over a cliff.

Nov 21st
Sid Why kept on crying this morning because he lost his sum book. It has rained all day. This afternoon I made a Christmas card. It had a camel on it with pyramids in the background. I copy blue papered it out of my Bible. Before I did this I did 18 sums. I have done two more cards tonight. One is a picture of a Syrian bear and the other has the picture of an ibis on it.

Nov 22nd
This morning Mr Gordon told us some Spooners. He told us to learn a poem called ‘Weathers’, and we wrote it in our exercise books…….A Nazi bomber was brought down at Newhaven just before we went out.

Nov 23rd
This morning the siren went and we missed our P.T. lesson. This afternoon I went over the hills and found a German steel helmet. I have now got two German steel helmets.

Nov 24th
I helped my father clear out the chicken house this morning. I went to Sunday school and we sang ‘Who Would True Valour See?’ After that I played stick and wheel. Tonight I played cards with my mother and father.

Nov 25th
This morning it was foggy. This afternoon I stirred my mother’s pudding and wished. After that I went out and played stick and wheel.

Nov 26th
This afternoon I saw a fighter-bomber. It was a Messerschmitt. When I went along the road to give some lady her meat I saw three Heinkel 111 twin engine bombers.

Nov 27th
This afternoon I saw a bomber just after the siren all clear had sounded. This morning I had a shower-bath just after P.T lesson. I had a bath after tea.

Nov 28th
The siren went in playtime this morning and we were stopped in the trenches till ten to one. We had to do some sums in the trench. We are doing decimals now. This afternoon the siren went again and there was a lot of aircraft about making smoke screens. Tonight I have to do 40 decimal sums.

Nov 29th
Just after breakfast I saw two Vickers Wellington long range bombers coming back from bombing operations. We had science lesson this morning. I went out with my mother and we went to my Aunt May’s house. Before tea I was out playing stick and wheel when I saw three Nazi bombers circle around six times.

Nov 30th
Last night they dropped several Molotov bread baskets on the town. Some strange things happened. In one place a policeman saw this incendiary bomb on a road and immediately tried to put it out. A fire engine came along and squirted water over it. Of course the policeman was soaked. Some soldiers had formed a ring around a thing which they called a ‘Time Bomb’. A fire pump came by and a man jumped off. He walked over to the ring, walked inside, picked up the ‘Time Bomb’ and put it in his pocket. It was an incendiary bomb.

Norman was a pupil at Whitehawk Primary School in Brighton and his diary was typed by Donna at Brighton History Centre and has been added to the site with his permission. Norman fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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