- Contributed by
- People in story:
- mary samuel,
- Location of story:
- Broadhaven, Haverfordwest; Pembroke Dock
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 25 April 2005
This story was contributed by Mary Samuel
at Haverfordwest Library through Age Concern Pembrokeshire.
After I was born in Broadhaven, Haverfordwest, in 1932, the youngest of six children, my mother died of septicaemia. Some time later we moved to 15 Perrots Terrace, Haverfordwest, and we were there when war broke out. We moved to Neyland for a short while then to 3 Prospect Place, and then Viburnum House, Victoria Road, Pembroke Dock. As it was a large house we had to billet three RAF men, John, Charles and Bernard. I slept in the attic room and when there was an air raid I had three flights of stairs to go to the understairs cupboard, as we did not have an air raid shelter in our garden! I remember an incendiary bomb came through the roof and my father pushing the burning mattress from my sister's bed out of the window. It was one of these bombs - unexploded - that landed in a field behind the officers' quarters, opposite the Dockyard. Some children were throwing stones at it. Knowing the danger I carefully picked it up (I was only nine) and carried it to the Dockyard entrance where the RAF guards fetched an officer who took the bomb from me and put it in a bucket of sand.
When the sirens sounded while I was at school one day (Albion Square Girls') we all filed out to the air raid shelter in the playground, a Sealyham dog started biting some of the girls. I had the worst - a big lump out of the back of my leg - and was carried to the hospital in Park Street. I still have that scar.
When the fuel storage tanks were bombed it was a lovely sunny day. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was playing with a friend in Princes Street, standing on her garden wall, when there was this huge explosion and a German plane flew quite low overhead machine-gunning some houses. Ours was hit on the side. The strange thing was I had no fear. That was a dreadful time when the tanks burned for three weeks and all those poor men lost their lives.
I remember climbing over rubble going to school after the night raids and the smell of domestic gas, having to carry our gas masks everywhere. After the worst of the bombing was over we moved back to Broadhaven as my stepmother was so frightened. The bungalow, which we later renamed St Catharines, is situated just above a cliff. One night while we were asleep a German sea mine exploded when it hit the rocks, my head was cut by glass from my bedroom window which had been damaged.
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