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Tribulations of Anderson Shelters

by gmractiondesk

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Tom Smith, father Joe Smith, sister Edna
Location of story: 
Wythenshawe Manchester
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
21 July 2005

I was 15 years old in 1940 living in Wythenshawe and the air raids on London had just started. We had already erected an Anderson Shelter in the garden which required digging a hole and the ground was very soft clay. Consequently it soon became flooded. My father decided to empty the water out of the shelter and started to bail it out. When he'd got it deep enough and in order to continue bailing he decided to dig a 'sump hole'. Unfortunately he slipped into the sump hole and the mud completely covered his glasses. He had to feel his way to get out of the shelter. My sister witnessed this incident and had the doubtful pleasure of describing it to me. However this was during the evening meal and not being one for keeping my face straght, started laughing. The old man was not amused and threated to swing for me!

This story has been submitted to the Peoples War website by Rupert Creed for GMR Action Desk on behalf of Tom Smith and has been added to the site with his permission. The author is fully aware of the site's terms and conditions.

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