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15 October 2014
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You’d dive under your desk

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Norman Foord
Location of story: 
Brighton, East Sussex
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

More towards the end of the war, 1943 or 1944, 1943 probably, there was this major hit-and-run air raid that came across from France. There were 15 or 25 aircraft. I was at Varndean and of course the school there overlooked the town, you were up and you could see right across the town. And they’d changed the system by then, instead of having sirens they had what they called bleeps. When the sirens went, the air-raid was over, so as soon as an aircraft came in sight they would put the bleeps on — bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep - and you’d dive under your desk. There wasn’t time to do anything else. Having dived under, and all these aeroplanes were flying all over the town, you could see them. And then when they had gone you could see all the smoke rising in the town from the various bombings and you’d try to work out where your house was in relation to the smoke to see if any bombs had fallen in your particular area and you won’t know until you get home whether your people had been bombed or not. I can remember that.

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

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Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
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