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- Shanklin IW
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- 02 August 2004
REPORT OF AN INCIDENT AUGUST 19th 1942
Hearing bombs dropped, the Centre Organizer expected to be called. As no call came through, she rang up the A.R.P.O. and was told “nothing reported” … if anything came later they would at once let her know. After the second lot of bombs had dropped, the C.O. waited for 20minutes for a call, but no message came, so she went down to the town to find her Deputy already there. Two houses were demolished, many damaged, and nearby every window in the High St. gone. We asked if there were any casualties and were told there were none at all, and that all the people in damaged houses were removed to friends.
The Mobile canteen was called out to give hot drinks to the Rescue Party and the Canteen was opened to refill the urns. By this time all the Rest Centre helpers had arrived to see if they were needed, also Mr.Young who asked if the Rest Centres were required. The answer was No, and as there seemed nothing they wanted of us, we left. At 11.45p.m. we were rung up by the ARP to ask if we would open up the Canteen as it had been found a woman was missing, and the demolition squad and military were out digging in the ruins. Four W.R.V.S. members came down to help look after the men, who came in shifts of eight at a time. The body of the poor woman having been found, we closed the Canteen at 1.30 a.m.
The next day No.1 Rest Centre “Palmerston Hall” was inspected and found unsafe. Informed Mr.Walker, and made arrangements to have everything moved to No.2 centre “The Town Hall”. The Clothing section worked hard and the change over was all in order by 4p.m. that day. Second hand clothing was given out to several who needed it.
The Slogans were given out to the shops in High St, which were much appreciated, in fact it was difficult to keep pace with the demand although a stock had been ready for some time.
On the second day Mr. Walker telephoned No.3 Rest Centre to be got ready. This was at once attended to, but it meant a lot of extra work which might so easily have been avoided if only the Centres had been arranged for us as promised months and months ago, and the stock sent in to equip them.
We have fed the Demolition Squad at the Canteen since the incident. This being a Soldiers’ Canteen, we have told them that after today (Saturday) we cannot serve them any more. We tried to get a ruling on this from our H.Q in Newport, but found no one in authority to ask.
Today Newport sent over two officials to investigate the cases of homelessness etc. A car went round and collected the outlying cases and brought them back to this office, where they were interviewed, but since then more cases have come in.
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