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15 October 2014
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Things were very hard

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Vera Hirst
Location of story: 
Canterbury, Kent
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
23 September 2005

My story starts in 1942 I was living in Canterbury opposite the Cathedral. Up ‘till then Canterbury had not been bombed. I had neighbours who said if anything happened they would help me to the shelter, as I had two boys under four years old, was expecting, and my husband was in the army. It was 1st June and I awoke up to the sound of guns and bombs, and then the room was lit up by search- lights. I heard my door being knocked and my neighbour calling. He picked up one of my boys and we ran down the shelter. As we got in the shelter we sat down, and a bomb dropped. A man put both boys on my knee, and said “If anything happens, you are all together.” It went on until daylight and when we came out my house was burnt to the ground. A lot of things then happened like finding somewhere to live, and my husband came back to help, but things were very hard.

This story was entered on the People’s War Website by Stuart Ross on behalf of Vera Hirst. Vera fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

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Message 1 - Things were very hard

Posted on: 23 September 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Vera

I read your story with great interest. You did indeed have a hard time, one can only guess at your mental anguish during and following that raid. Your short story vividly brings out the meaning of 'total war'.


Peter Ghiringhelli

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