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Work, service and the rest.

by gmractiondesk

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Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Joan Hockey
Location of story: 
Clayton, Manchester
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
25 June 2005

One evening I awoke screaming for my dad, because of the noise of the whistling bomb. It's a terrible sound, you know.

I remember a German bomber passing over. I ran to the 'Anderson Shelter' and I put my sump hole. My feet was soaking wet.

I remember one morning, trying to get to work from Ancoats to Rochdale Road. They had a bad hit on the railway goods yard on the corner of Rochdale Rd. There were flames all over the goods yard. I gave some cigarettes to the firemen - in fact, all the women I worked with gave the firemen cigarettes that was given to them by the boss of the small factory. I had to climb over rubble of bombed houses to get to work.

Getting to work was difficult. The factory was 9 miles away and the street signs were taken down. I had to try to remember where I was and where I was going.

They showed all the devistaion of Germany, but very little of the raids on Manchester. The news was screened in a little picture house called the 'Don' in Ancoacts.

I walked down Rochdale Rd one day and heard a plane overhead. I thought it was one of ours, but it bombed the barage balloon site.

I was called up, like everyone else, but I asked if I could go nursing instead of going into the forces or parcel vans.

I looked after the soldiers that came in from the D-day landings. I was in Withington Hospital. The worse ones that came in was later from abroad. One soldier had malaria very badly as well as being badly wounded. Fortunately he survived, but the malaria kept re-curing.

I lost my fiance, who was a pathfinder in the Royal Airforce. He was supposed to do two tours of operations and have a rest after one, but they asked all of them to do two tours without a break. He was killed in the second tour.

I lost a lot of friends in the war.

I had a friend called Dougie and he was in the army. He came into the school where we had this centre. It was a youth centre. He played records, he and his friends with us at the centre. We had a get together for company really, when they came home.

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