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The Bath Blitz

by Stanley H Jones

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Archive List > United Kingdom > Wiltshire

Contributed by 
Stanley H Jones
People in story: 
Stanley Jones
Location of story: 
Trowbridge
Article ID: 
A1092025
Contributed on: 
27 June 2003

The thump thump thump of the German bombers passing overhead disturbed the already uneasy silence of the night. They seemed lower tonight and the sirents had already sounded much earlier than usual. Raiders overhead - the wirens sounded again. Their mounful wail had already got us out of bed. Dad rushed in from his ARP duties. ;They're low tonight, you can even see their bomb bays lit up, someone is going to catch it. We now know that the plans were heading for Bath only ten miles away, and suddenly the house shook as bombs began to fall. Again and again, the doors and windows rattled and the solitary gas lamp flickered as four very frightened children sheltered under the table.

Rat a tat tat. Rat a tat tat. Only just outside. Mud headed for the door to find out where the noise was coming from. We all screamed Come back - they're machine gunning.

What a glorious April Sunday morning after the terrible night. Mud and dad were caretakers of the chapel next door, we lived on the premises, and as I played on the little patch of grass we called our garden everything now seems so peaceful. I was however old enough to know what had happened and that over the hills just beyond Trowbridge there were many people suffering. Aunty Lilly was with us for the day. Well not really our aunty, but a cousin several times removed. A prim middle-aged lady who always seemed to wear a large fur. Here husband Uncle George had been staying at Bath overnight where he was due to preach at a local chapel. A very dignified gentleman, with black suit, trilby hat, rolled up umbrella, and memorable an endless supply of extra strong mints which he kindly shared with us. On the B.B.C. the newsreader solemnly announced that Bath had been blitzed. Aunty Lilly went write with shock, but nothing compared with Uncle George who at that very moment walked in, covered in dust.

We always looked forward to visits of another of our parents friends, Miss Carpenter from Bath. We always called her thatl - everybody did, although we knew her name was Katie. She would spend a few days with us and share her sweet ration with us, and so we always looked forward to her arrival which was usually after school on Monday afternoons.
Her arrival this Monday was however different and unexpected. No sweets, but a pathetic looking lady clutching a bag holding a few belongings she had managed to rescue from her bombed-out flat .

Our family had now grown to seven. Five of us, plus an exacuee and Miss Carpenter. One living room, two bedrooms, an outside toilet and only a cold water tap in the back yard, but we were safe and had a roof over our heads

A few days later mum went back to Bath to help recover a few more bits and pieces from the flat. She came back with firsthand stories of wrecked buildings and rescues still going on. Soon the King and Queen would visit Bath and climb over the rubble. Thw war was very close, and in a few weeks bombs would fall even nearer our home, but that is another story and more memories.

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - Bath Blitz

Posted on: 01 September 2004 by Frank Sumsion

I responded to your article re the Bath Blitz, two mistakes one the house where my wife lived was in Chaucer Road not Chaucer Avenue, secondly they moved to Littleton Panel
Nr West Lavington and not High Littleton which of course is in Somerset, my apologies.I must get to bed earlier but find the internet too interesting.
Thank You Frank Sumsion

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