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A Week’s Holiday that became Six Weeks

by swindon_college

Contributed by 
swindon_college
People in story: 
Iris Cooke
Location of story: 
Falmouth
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4107511
Contributed on: 
23 May 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by a volunteer from Swindon College on behalf of Iris Cooke and has been added to the site with her permission. Iris fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I lived in Swindon at the beginning of the war. My husband joined the Army and after 6 weeks training, was sent to Falmouth.

I arranged to have a week’s holiday in Falmouth with my husband and baby son. My husband had found a bed-sit for us for a week, so I travelled to Cornwall on the train with my baby.

The first night was fine. On the second night the sirens went off, my husband immediately left for his work leaving me and the baby in the bedsit. The owners of the house were very helpful and helped to get me and my baby down to the shelter at the end of the road. This was a huge shelter built to accommodate all the residents in the road. There were chairs to sit on, but nowhere to lie down. I fed the baby myself luckily as we were in the shelter all night.

Next morning we eventually got the “all clear” and returned to the bed-sit. We were bombed for the next 2 nights and so spent the nights in the shelter again. I saw very little of my husband over this week.

During one of the bombing raids, the station at Truro had been demolished. There was no way back for me and the baby so my one week’s holiday became a 6-week stay. By then Truro station had been rebuilt. I was then able to get the train to get home to Swindon.

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Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
Somerset Category
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