- Contributed by
- CSV Solent
- People in story:
- Eileen Rickards
- Location of story:
- Wastdale Road, Forest Hill, London
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 03 August 2005
In 1944, I was living at 36 Wastdale Road, Forest Hill, in London, very close to my parents. My father owned a shop at the top of our road. I had a young family with my husband Peter, an engineer, who would go on fire duty at night. (Incidentally, our dog would often accompany him and so I made little boots for him to stop him getting too much dust in his paws!)
I was in bed asleep at the time and was then quite used to the sound of anti-aircraft guns, of enemy planes and of exploding bombs. However, on this occasion I was woken up by a peculiar noise that I didn't recognise. I got out of bed and went to the window and looked out. There were many planes flying about up in the darkness, but that was quite usual for us. I then found that the funny noise was coming from what looked like a long, burning cigar whizzing through the sky. Flames were shooting out the back. I didn't hear it land and explode and of course at the time I didn't know that it is very dangerous when the peculiar noise I heard cuts out. I also didn't know that it was called a "doodlebug"!
I was terribly frightened and I ran to Peter, my husband, who was downstairs.
This story was submitted to the People's War website by Toby Farmiloe, of Heathfield Community College, on behalf of Eileen Rickards, and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs. Rickards fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
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