BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

31 August 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


The Hat

by ateamwar

You are browsing in:

Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Muriel Watson nee Pritchard.
Location of story: 
Norris Green, Merseyside
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
14 September 2005

In 1939/40 I was 8 years old and living in Aconbury Close, Norris Green. I remember how frightened I was when an incendiary bomb came through Mrs. Foulds (our neighbours) roof especially as her house was attached to ours.
Luckily for her she was in our air raid shelter with us when we heard the almighty bang, my dad pulled aside the blackout curtain covering the door “it’s an incendiary bomb” he said as we all looked in horror at the flames through Mrs. Foulds roof, as he scrambled out she took off her best hat with the feather at the back and she plonks it on his head “to protect you from the shrapnel” she says.
The bomb had fallen on to her bed, several more neighbours had joined dad to try to put the flames out, it was dark so they had trouble finding buckets and bowls to put the flames out and one man was running backwards and forwards with cups of water from the bathroom. What a wet mess the bed was in.
When the fire was out the men decided to throw the bed out through the bedroom window, after an abortive attempt to get it down the stairs. There was feathers everywhere inside and out, some sticking to the trees it looked like a snow storm.

After dad had left the shelter, mum kept the candles going lighting one from the other and we all just sat staring at the blackout curtain covering the entrance, so when dads head suddenly appeared we all jumped out of our skins as he’d just put his head in so as not to show any light outside. His face was jet black even his nostrils, his eyes were like a pandas and Mrs. Foulds hat was still on his head, back to front, the huge pink feathers stuck to it. We all just stared at him- and no one laughed — at least not then.

I am 74 now and mum is 95, we both laugh as we remember dad that night and how we had never let him live it down.

‘This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.’

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

The Blitz Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy