- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Heather Bowden nee Fuller and Sidney Fuller (father)
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 28 July 2004
The war started when I was 6 and we were camping at Lansdowne. As soon as war was declared the camp emptied of people so fast it made me feel very lonely as my family was the last to leave.
I spent most of the war in Sevenoaks. However, when the bombing started those children who wanted to be were evacuated to Sandmouth. I remember standing on Sevenoaks station with my gasmask on my back when all of a sudden a doodlebug bomb came flying over and landed in Wikham road. Then a second bomb came over and landed on Wadham Hall, we were very glad to leave.
However when we got to Sandmouth I became very homesick and upset and so my father came down to see me. However, I did not want to stay so I told my parents that I wanted to go back. "I don’t mind the doodlebugs", I told them and I came back home very soon after leaving.
Our part of the world was bombed quite heavily during the war. Firstly there were factories like the Marley brick works which used to get targeted occasionally. However we also received a lot of bombs from planes going to and from London who would bomb Sevenoaks as they flew over it.
At home we started out going underneath a large table shelter when the air raid siren sounded. A table shelter was a large steel box with one end open so you could crawl underneath it and be protected from bombs; we even used to sleep under it. However, pretty soon we decided that we would go to the main air raid shelter at Camden Road School. I don’t remember much about this shelter. However, when you were entering it underground it was very dark but inside there were lights. I remember that you could hear the bombs going off inside. However, my main memory of these air raids is running as fast as we could to the shelter from our homes to make sure that we were all right.
Before the war my father had worked as a painter and decorator. However, he had to change to do war work during the war. He was unable to join the army because of his feet so he worked on the buses. After the war however, there was a lot of work for him as so many houses had been damaged and destroyed so he quickly went back to being a painter and decorator. The war happened between when I was 6 and 11 and I was at school throughout its duration.
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