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- People in story:
- Mary Keegan
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- 13 August 2004
Mary Keegan with Emily Caslin 2001
My Nan, Mary Keegan, worked in a munitions factory during the war. she has told us of how she used wire wool to clean out shells prior to them being loaded with gunpowder. She told us how her hands were often cut by the wool and how the sound of the bombers overhead scared the living daylights out the workers. But she particularly remembers two attacks on Liverpool. One occurred whilst she was having her lunch at the factory - she recalls that it was egg and chips and that she hadn't had a real egg for some time. Just as she was about to tuck in and dip her chips in her egg the siren went off. So grabbing her plate she ran to the shelter. "There was no way I was leaving my egg for the Germans!" she said. But as she ran, looking up at the bombers, she didn't notice until it was too late that there was a trail of chips and her precious egg behind her. I don't think she ever forgave the Luftwaffe for that.
Mary also recalls the day that she and a friend were walking through Liverpool town centre when the sirens went off. They were no where near the shelters and didn't have time to make it to one, so they hugged the floor as they had been told to. They didn't, however, put on their tin hats and gas masks, as they had been instructed. "It'll mess me hair up, Mary" said her friend. An ARP warden spotted the pair and shouted over "Oi! You two! Put your f**kin helmets and masks on!". Mary's friend turned to her and said "Ooh! The language on him, Mary. It's a disgrace. I'm going to report him when this is over!", saying all this whilst buildings a few roads away were being flattened by the bombs and the ground beneath them shook. My nan is made of tough stuff and so was her mate.
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