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'Bearly' survived!

by threecountiesaction

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Derek Robinson and family
Location of story: 
Broughton Road, Greenman Lane and Denmark Road W Ealing London
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
01 August 2005

'Fred Bear' in 2005, a survivor!

This story was submitted to the People's War site by a volunteer (Rachel Irven) from Three Counties Action, on behalf of Derek Robinson, and has been added to the site with his permission. Derek Robinson fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

In 1940-1, when the Blitz was at its height, I was about 10 and was evacuated to Cornwall. My parents, older sister and baby brother stayed at home in Broughton Road, W Ealing.
One day, the sirens went and everyone went down to Dean Gardens Air Raid Shelter. Everyone, that is but my fifteen year old sister and her friend who refused to go with them and stayed in our house. A land mine fell into our back garden and flattened our house and about 20 large houses in our street and the one behind. My sister and her friend were later dug out of the fallen house. The beams that had fallen had been held up by an old Victorian desk, which had just left enough space for them. They were very lucky, as little was left of our family home. One thing that did survive, though, was my teddy bear (later to be called ‘Fred Bear’ as he had become rather worn out).
The family were re-housed in Greenman Lane, but lived there only a few months when this house was hit again, this time by a doodle bug. This was not a direct hit, but enough to make the place un-inhabitable. The family were OK, but the only belongings which were saved were ‘Fred’ and a carpet.
The family were re-housed a second time in Denmark Road (where we were to live for about 20 years), and in about 1943, I came home from Cornwall.
I can remember the crunch of glass under my feet when walking round every street where windows had been shattered.
I still have my memories of the war and ‘Fred’ still lives with me.
He has now become famous as he was exhibited as part of a display about the War in Shepperton.

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