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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Two Consecutive Lucky Escapesicon for Recommended story

by Ronbrett

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Ronald Brett
Location of story: 
Borough of Lewisham/London
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
22 March 2005

I would like to tell of two days in June 1944 that not only changed my life, but almost ended it.

In the month of June 1944 when I was only nine years of age I had two very lucky escapes, the second of which nearly killed me. On Friday 16th in the LONDON Borough of Lewisham I was living with my family at No 8 Brookbank Road when the warning siren sounded and we went into the Anderson shelter next door at No 10. After a while a V1 rocket(Doodlebug) exploded in the back garden of No 4 and the emergency services had to dig the debris away to get us out.

As the blast had severely damaged the rear of our houses we were sent to the Convent in Belmont Hill which was offered as temporary accommodation for people made homeless as a result of enemy action. When the in-laws of my eldest sister heard of our plight her father-in-law collected early in the morning of the 17th and took us all in the back of his Express Dairy lorry to his house at No 22 Ivorydown Road on the Downham Estate. He gave us the key and told us to make ourselves comfortable as he had to go to Keston in Kent to collect his wife and my elder sister Ida. We had only been in the house for approximately 15 minutes when the warning siren sounded as another V1 was approaching from the direction of Kent. I was told many years later that it's engine had stopped over Bromley and had glided silently over the house we were in, and as we thought the danger had passed everyone came out of their shelters, but to everyone's horror something turned it around and it came straight back the way it had come and dropped on the very house that we were in. There were thirteen people listed as being in the row of terraced houses at the time of impact and my elder sister told me that I was the only one found barely alive, some distance from the blast. My injuries were such that I have not been able from that day to remember the first nine years of my life, or remember my mother, my brothers Roy and Reggie, and my other sister Dorothea. Also killed was my brother Roy's friend who was lodging with us at this time. I cannot even remember my father who sadly died in 1943.

Due to my loss of memory all of the above information was given to me over the years by my eldest sister Ida who sadly passed away a few years ago.

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V-1s and V-2s Category
Childhood and Evacuation Category
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