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Water From the Gas Pipe

by threecountiesaction

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Les Thomas
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09 December 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Graham Lewis for Three Counties Action on behalf of Mr Les Thomas and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr Thomas fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

Several bombs fell near our house in London. One morning when my father went into the kitchen and turned on the tap of the gas cooker to make himself something to eat and drink, water shot out. An air raid during the night had broken a water main and the gas pipes had been filled with water.

On another occasion after a night raid, my father went into the garden at 5.30 am and found an unexploded incendiary bomb stuck in the earth. He picked it up and took it into his workplace where he, and presumably some friends, took it apart. They did not think this risky and their main conclusion was that it was beautifully made — a piece of precision engineering.

My father was in a reserved occupation. He worked for a brewery delivering beer. It was considered essential for morale that beer supplies should be maintained.

He told the story of someone working in a nearby food factory who was stealing food and taking it home in his Wellington boots. His young son, not realising what was involved, told this to people and in due course he was stopped by the police when leaving the factory and found to have food in his boots.

Food was short during the war so no one was overweight — everyone was slim.

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