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The Farmhouse Cellar

by threecountiesaction

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

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People in story: 
Barry Newboult
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Contributed on: 
04 August 2005

'This story was submitted to the People's War site by Edward Fawcett for Three Counties Action on behalf of Barry Newboult and has been added to the site with his permission.The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'I was just seven in 1940 and in December I particularly remember two very big raids in Sheffield,one on the 12th and the other on the 15th.We sheltered in the cellar of an old farmhouse nearby as it was safer than our own house.This house was slightly higher than our house and nearby was a row of bay windowed terraced houses.A land mine was coming down when it was hit by ack-ack from a battery just across the valley.The blast damaged all the roofs and windows of the houses around but our house,being that bit lower,the blast went over it and there was no damage what so ever.It felt quite exciting with all the noises going off.In the raid on the 15th they used alot of incendaries.This farmhouse had a lean-to sort of conservatory where the dog "Rip" used to sleep,but that night for some reason we took him into the cellar.That proved to be very lucky for him as an incendary went straight through the conservatory roof and landed where the dog would have been sleeping.Other incendaries landed on the roof and in the gutters but my father and the man who lived at the farmhouse were firewatching and put them out before they did too much damage.Occasionally we used to go to cinema and I remember particularly the newsreel of the battle of El Alamein,all the flashing guns like the mother of all thunderstorms.From that time on I took more notice of what was going on in the newspapers and newsreels.We followed the progress as much as possible and I remember D-Day ofcourse.We were all in the assembly room at school round a big radiogram listening to what the news was.We were quite excited because we thought it would be all over soon,a couple of days and it would be all finished.After that we followed what was going on ,particularly following it on a map in a book,all these foreign exotic places.I remember two or three days before the end we went to the cinema with my father and mother and as we came out my father speaking to another gentleman saying "it'll be anyday now".A day or so later the Headmaster of the school went into the shelter in the school and opened the emergency rations which contained chocolate and handed it out and we scoffed it!As children we collected shrapnel and one day we found a piece embedded in my Grandmother's front door.It had an identification number three on it, which was quite a coincidence as her door number was No 3!

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