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Childhood memories of war in Norfolk

by Norfolk Adult Education Service

Contributed by 
Norfolk Adult Education Service
People in story: 
Ruth Denmark
Location of story: 
Norwich, Norfolk
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A3837738
Contributed on: 
28 March 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Sarah Housden of Norfolk Adult Education’s reminiscence team on behalf of Ruth Denmark and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I was born in 1936 and can remember going to school at Colman Road. When the siren went we went to the shelters at the end of the playground. There were wooden covers over the entrance, which were pulled up to reveal steps.

We lived in Henderson Road in Norwich and had an Anderson shelter in the garden. I can remember being in there one day when a bomb blew the shelter door in. It went over our heads, hit the back wall and then bounced back over our heads again and out of the shelter. When we came out of the shelter our windows were all blown out and the house at the end of the row was on fire.

My Dad worked on the railway so he stayed in the house so that we wouldn’t lose it, but me, my Mum and my younger sister Ann went to Arminghall to stay with Uncle Sam and Auntie Eva. There wasn’t room for us all to sleep so I went to sleep next door with Mr and Mrs Palmer. I had to walk to Poringland School, but hated it there. Fortunately I was only there about eight weeks while the glass was restored to our house in Norwich. Finally we went back to our house and things returned to normal.

Dad didn’t have to go into the forces because of working on the railway, so he was in the Home Guard. One day when he was on the allotment a plane came over and machine-gunned him and my sister, but fortunately didn’t hit them.

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