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15 October 2014
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John's Lucky Escape

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

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BBC Southern Counties Radio
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John Savage
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Contributed on: 
07 July 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site M.Absell from Littlehampton Learning Shop and has been added to the website on behalf of John Savage with his permission and the fully understand the site’s terms and conditions.

I was only 18 months old when WW2 started, and my twin sister and I slept under the stairs, as it was the safest place to be! Later, we got a Morrison Shelter, which virtually filled our living room, which the two of us then slept in.

When the Blitz started we used to go down the road with our friends looking at all the broken windows! As things became more intense, we were evacuated to my grandfather’s farm in Northamptonshire. We stayed there until the main hostilities ended.

During our stay at the farm, we used to wander the fields, picking up ‘window’ which I later found out was dropped by aircraft to test radar communications.
We were told this was poisonous because it had carbon on one side and silver on the other, but still collected it nonetheless!

When we returned back home to Addlestone in Surrey, in about 1943, we encountered a new menace, called V1’s or ‘Doodlebugs’. I learnt to recognize these through the sound of the engine, and hoped it didn’t stop! The reason for this was that if it did, it dropped like a stone!

The only time I was really frightened, was when one ‘doodlebug’ stopped directly overhead. My father shouted “run” and he and I dashed indoors into the shelter. He shouted to my mother, who was standing at the window to join us. As it was, we heard a big bang, which blew out the very window that my mother had been standing at, a few seconds before. But mercifully it landed half a mile away in an allotment. This was the last V1 to have been sent over Britain.

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