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15 October 2014
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Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Maureen Middlemiss
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Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

After we moved to Bexleyheath in about 1943-44, it was the time the V Ones and the Doodlebugs coming over, and my mum and I had been to church, came back, sitting in our lounge just about to have a cup of coffee, and one of these doodlebugs just landed not very far away from us. Our coffee cups just went straight up in the air and my dad went out — he wouldn’t let mum and I go, obviously — and it had literally just flattened a whole building site. I think what they were after was the gas works at the bottom of the road, and it had just flattened this whole building site . I think that was something that my father never got over. He never told me, but my mother gradually told me afterwards, that he’d found little children’s legs, just in the Wellington boots, and I think that stayed with him until he died.

The other memory I have is being shot at going to school. It was a similar sort of area because by then I was going to the Primary School and that was up, near the gas works. It was all fairly open ground then, and suddenly I heard these planes just dived and luckily there were some grooves, or ditches, and I just dropped in the ditch for a while. I was on my own and I can remember I just sort of stood there for a minute thinking which way should I go? Do I go home or do I go on to school? I went to school!

This story was submitted to the People's War site by volunteer Sue Craig on behalf of Maureen Middlemiss, and has been added to the site with her permission. Maureen fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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