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15 October 2014
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Sunday 15th December 1940... Land Mine on Jenkin Roadicon for Recommended story

by WarChild17

Contributed by 
WarChild17
People in story: 
Jean Gregory (nee Woodhead)
Location of story: 
Jenkin Road, Sheffield
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A5219831
Contributed on: 
20 August 2005

When war was declared in September 1939, I was 11 years old, and well remember the air raids. Night after night we were awakened by the sirens and had to make a dash for the shelter in our garden.

One night sticks in my memory very clearly. It was Sunday 15th December when the East End of Sheffield was targeted. (The previous Thursday it was the Centre of Sheffield that was bombed). We lived near the steel works, the target for that night and the sirens sounded at about 7pm, so we made the dash for the shelter.

In our haste we forgot to take my pet canary (a Yorkshire roler) with us, and when we remembered there was no way we could leave the shelter to get him, which upset us all very much.

The German planes were overhead and the guns were firing non stop. A large land mine was dropped on the railway station at the top of our road (Jenkin Road) and a lot of debris had fallen on top of us. When we finally heard the all clear, we had to dig ourselves out of the shelter and found that the roof had been blown off the house and the back door had been blown through three internal doors and into the street. All the windows had been blown out but the canary however, was still in his cage in a corner, black with soot but unharmed and singing away! Something of a miracle.

The next few hours were spent salvaging what clothes and possesions we could and walking to my sister's house on Shiregreen. The canary went with us, mother carrying the cage, and I always think of this when I hear the song, "My old man said follow the van ... and don't dilly dally on the way".

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Message 1 - Sunday 15th December 1940...Land mine on Jenkin Road

Posted on: 20 August 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Jean

I very much enjoyed your story about your canary. That was truly a dreadful raid. According to German sources, on Sunday 15 December, 94 aircraft raided Sheffield. They dropped 80 tons of high explosive bombs and 600 cannisters of incendiaries.

The raid on Sheffield of three nights before, Thursday 12th, was even worse, though fortunately they missed your house. On that night 336 German bombers were over Sheffield; they dropped 335 tons of HE bombs and 457 cannisters of incendiary bombs.

Regards,

Peter

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