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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Olive Bates (nee Turner)
Location of story: 
Ilford, London
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4339541
Contributed on: 
03 July 2005

I was eleven years of age at the start of the war and lived with my Mum Norah, Dad Walter, sister Alma and brother Walter. Walter was in the Army and died in Burma aged 29.

I did not like having to go out to the air raid shelter at night there were too many creepy crawlies in there so I stayed in bed. One night all the windows came in after a land mine exploded close by but I slept through it all. These land mines were parachuted in and landed anywhere.

Another night part of the roadway came up after a landmine hit it and the roof of the house collapsed on my Mum and Dad's bed. Luckily they were in the air raid shelter. I was in the next bedroom and my bed moved across the floor, my parents came rushing up to see if I was alright which I was but it did not make me go out to the air raid shelter even after that close shave. We stayed in that house until the end of the war and were always having to do repairs to it with the damage that was continually happening. I dont think as a child you realise how bad things really are.

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