- Contributed by
- People in story:
- John W Goode
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- Contributed on:
- 10 November 2003
I was nine years old when the 2nd World War started and some of the events from 1939 to 1941 are still very vivid for me.
I lived and went to school in Birmingham where the only big event was all the talk about evacuation. My school was not evacuated but I was sent down to Gloucester to stay with my Aunt Katie, that is until my parents heard Lord Haw Haw talking about how the aircraft factories there would be the target of the German Airforce. So I was rushed back home only months later to be faced with nightly bombing and the noise of destruction all around.
My father had reinforced the pantry under the stairs with strong wooden posts and beams - this was to be where we all lived for several months.
I have two vivid memories of that time; one was the noise not so much of bombs but of anti-aircraft guns stationed in the local park. Not only did they make some very loud bangs but, if the wind was in the wrong direction, there was an awful smell of cordite. In her efforts to get rid of that smell my mother sprinkled something that smelt like garlic thus the mixture was a memorable cocktail which stayed with me for a very long time.
The other memory was the drone of German aircraft. At one period they came at the same time night after night, with that droning engine noise that struck fear into me and many like me.
The only night of respite that I remember was when the terrible bombing of Coventry took place where even we could see the glow in the sky from the raging fires in that City.
One of our neighbours built himself a proper shelter down the garden. One night, at the height of the blitz, he and his family thought the bombing was over and they went back into their home. Half an hour later, his shelter suffered a direct hit and all his windows were blown out, but they all lived to see another day.
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