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The Last Air Raid on Plymouth

by cornwallcsv

Contributed by 
cornwallcsv
People in story: 
R. Page
Location of story: 
Plymouth, Devon
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4614428
Contributed on: 
29 July 2005

This story has been written onto the BBC People’s War site by CSV Story gatherer Jessica on behalf of R. Page. They fully understand the terms and conditions of the site.
I was a small 6 year old boy living at 36 Fisher Rd, Stoke Plymouth. Living with me was my older brother and sister, my mother (Phillis Page nee Nickels) and my grandparents Mr and Mrs W Daw. My father who was a Flight Sergeant in the ’regular’ RAF was away at his official military unit. My grandparents were living at our family home because they had been ’bombed out’ from 27 Glenmore Close Ford, during an earlier air raid on Plymouth (August 12th I believe and my brother’s birth date). Indeed even though my grandparents’ house was bomb damaged during the August 12th air raid my brother’s birthday money was still in situe on the living room mantle shelf over the fire place: - much to his delight!
Now sometime during the night of this last air raid I can still just remember being woken up from a deep sleep by my mother, dressed in a warm blue dressing gown and taken down to the Anson air raid shelter part buried in the back garden, to the wail of the warning siren. By now the lit candle placed under an inverted plant pot was, no doubt, fully operational to generate a slight heat to warm the interior of the shelter. I being the youngest was again very soon asleep on some form of bunk bedding to be awakened sometime later stating
“Well, that’s your house gone but thank God we are all still alive,” The next day it was clear to see that my Grandfather’s earlier remark was associated with a bomb which had dropped close by in the back lane separating Fisher from Sturdee Road and about seven to eight houses further down the back lane. Fortunately, apart from superficial damage to paving and garden walls along with broken windows, our house was undamaged and life continued within it. The windows later and as a temporary measure covered with a council provided material we called ’blacken’. Situated right on the rim of the bomb crater was a newly installed Anson, whose inhabitants would have surely died had they not decided to shelter from the raid in a neighbour’s shelter next door.
One of their children, a daughter, was a long and dearest friend of my sister Pam. Unfortunately the bomb took the lives of Mr and Mrs Body whose house was situated in Sturdee Road and right on the crater rim. Needless to say all manner of items were deposited in the bottom of the crater before in was finally filled in. Although we did not know it at the time this air raid proved to be the last in Plymouth and our road therefore I experienced one of the last bombs to be dropped.

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