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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Childhood

by cambsaction

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Contributed by 
cambsaction
People in story: 
David Gardener
Location of story: 
Ilford
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A7958325
Contributed on: 
21 December 2005

I was born in March 1937. Lived in Ilford throughout the war. Ilford was the most V1+V2 bombed place in London. Early recollections of the Blitz - we had a Morrison Shelter (an indoor shelter), we spent many nights in the Morrison Shelter. A stick of bombs fell in a row on the houses in front of ours. Our Grandad was living with us and he couldn't get to the shelter quick enough anD after the raid he was found unconcious in a bedroom, the ceiling had fallen on him. All the windows were blown out, and the glass was all embedded in my mother's bedding and pillows.

After the raid we went outside, luckily only two people had been killed. One of our neighbours had put her hands to her face when a bomb went off and accidently pushed glass into her face - there was lots of blood.

As the raids intensified we were evcuated to just outside Ipswich. But as we came out of the train we were lined up so that people could pick who they wanted. But my mother was angry at this and siad 'it's not a cattle market' and took us home.

After each raid I used to go out on my bike and pick up shrapnel and compare it with those bits my friends had found. Sometimes it was still hot. we also used to collect chaff - the Germans used to drop it - bits of foil - to confuse our radar. One night there was a raid and I looked outside my window and I saw a parachute come down. I couldn't sleep for the resy of the night because I thought it was a German coming to capture me.

We used to watch the doodlebugs coming over - as long as you could see the fire and hear the engine you knew you were ok.

Right towards the end of the war, behind the Pentecostal Church near my home there was an older girl that would let us look at her breasts for a penny and touch them for tuppence!!!

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