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A Near Thing

by Elizabeth Lister

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
Elizabeth Lister
People in story: 
John Amos
Location of story: 
West Drayton
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
17 November 2005

A Near Thing

It was the beginning of the war and we were living in West Drayton, Middx. The air raid sirens had just started. There was a whistling sound and suddenly thud, thud, thud — the house shook and we heard the tiles crashing off the bathroom walls.

My father hurried my mother, sister and myself to the Anderson shelter he had recently installed in the garden and we spent the rest of the night there. Next morning the all clear siren sounded about 6am and we came out of the shelter and into the house. My father went of to work and my mother said we should all go to bed to get some sleep.

We had just got in to bed when there was a hammering on the front door. Outside were several policemen who told us there were several unexploded bombs in the area and we were to evacuate immediately. My mother gathered clothes and essential papers together and we were escorted out of the house and the road was cordoned off.

We went to stay with some friends nearby and it took three weeks before the bombs were removed and we were allowed back home. We were told that if the bomb closest to our home had gone off our house would have been destroyed.

One of my hobbies(!) as a child was collecting shrapnel from AA shells that had fallen during the night and my prize possession was half of a propeller from a Heinkel bomber which had crashed in the nearby fields.

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