- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Clive Bottrill
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- Contributed on:
- 08 November 2004
I was born in 1935 in Shepherds Bush London. because of the heavy bombing a lot of people were killed and at four years of age I went with other young friends to the nearby Open Air Swimming Pool, we looked through the rotting fence and saw the bodies stacked up in makeshift mortuary ready for burial , there were so many it took a long time to bury them.
The sewers were also bombed and because of possible pollution and for hygiene reasons, canvas baths were built in the roads with screens around them disinfectant was added; people in the area stripped off their clothes and bathed in them.
I also remember when the milk train was bombed and all the milk spilled out, we ran for buckets so we could gather up the spilled milk due to the shortage of food.
They also bombed Wormwood Scrubs (it was believed that Rudolf Hess was a prisoner inside at the time), quite nearby was an Army barracks so I am not sure if it was the barracks or the Scrubs the bombers were aiming at.
I came from a big family and the only toy we had to play with was a wheel barrow, (as it was passed down to me the wheels were almost square). White City Exhibition Hall was also very close to where we lived, and ammunition and guns were stored there.
One day we went into the hall and I came out with a revolver and took it home.
I played with it until my mother found it and threw it down the rubbish chute, until then 1 had thought it was a toy pistol.
As sweets were rationed and coupons were needed to obtain them my elder sister gave me her share of coupons, with these I obtained extra sweets which I sold to my friends.
We were not evacuated as many others were, and when the sirens went my mother put a mattress in the hall as she thought we would be safer there. My best friend Ronnie lost his whole family when a doodlebug skimmed across the roof of our flats, and it was a direct hit on the flats where Ronnie lived and he was the only survivor of his family.
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