- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Rose Thomas
- Location of story:
- Liverpool, Great Mersey Street
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 17 August 2005
This story appears courtesy of and with thanks to The Liverpool Diocesan Care and Repair Association and James Taylor.
Rose Thomas remembers the chaos, confusion and problems caused by her home
being hit by a bomb:-
Where were you living when the war broke out?
We were living in Great Mersey Street, in a big house. The road was hit with a land mine and all the people who were inside were killed. I had my mother out in the town with me at the time, so we were alright. My sister was out that night with a friend.
I had a boyfriend at the time and he asked me to go into town, it was Saturday night. I would not leave my mother in the house on her own, so Billy said, “Oh, we can take her with us.” Of course mum didn’t want to come with us, “I’ll go into the air raid shelter,” she said, but I refused to go unless she came along, so she agreed to come. Well, this was May, when Liverpool got the bombs very bad, I walked out in just my dress, because it was pretty mild, mother put her coat on and came with us. I think we went to a little pub in Dale Street. We were having a drink when the sirens went, and everyone had to get out, we went in a shelter in Manchester Street. Well, then the bombs started falling, it felt like the whole of Liverpool was on fire. It was dreadful, and you were stuck in an air raid shelter with all different people, but I suppose they were very friendly really, you know, people trying to sing and things, but mum kept saying, “I shouldn’t have come out with you, I should have stayed in my own home!”
When six o’clock in the morning came, mother was getting a bit tired, so Billy asked a policeman if we could get mother home. They would not put the all clear signal on though, because everywhere was on fire and they were frightened of shops being looted. They were keeping people in the shelters, but he said he’d give us a call to get the old lady out when he could.
We had to walk every step of the way from town to Great Mersey Street. When we got there, the house had been bombed, in fact the whole road had. A land mine it had been, and all the people across the road had been killed, horrible it was, horrible. Well I couldn’t go to work because I had no clothes or no coat. I thought my sister was dead, and I shouted to people had they seen her, but nobody had, well we were looking everywhere, and mother was screaming hysterically calling me for everything. As if it was my fault for the bombs. Coming down the street was my sister with this Scotsman, it seemed she had been in the house, and he had just told her to get back into the air raid shelter when the land mine fell. He got her from under the bricks and everything. She was filthy, black and her clothes were all torn, but we were so happy to see each other, because she thought we were dead as well.
My sister in Wales, her husband had heard about the Blitz, and came to Liverpool and took my sister and I back to their bungalow in Gronant.
Tate and Lyle who we worked for, were very kind and wrote to us and told us to rest for a week or so, and our jobs would be alright, they said they would try and find us digs, which they did, so my sister and I moved in with an old lady in Utting Avenue East. She had two sons and they had both moved away from home, and her husband had died, and her only daughter was married with a family. So she lived alone, and she took in evacuees, when my sister and I got there, she had one girl already with her. We lived with her for four and a half years, and my mother lived somewhere else.
When we were in Great Mersey Street it was alright, because we were near Tate and Lyle, but we moved down here, it was quite a distance. If the sirens went while we were at work, it was nearly next day before we got home, and then ready for work on the same day. So when we got called up we transferred our jobs to Napiers, because it was only down the East Lancs Road.
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