- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Mrs Shirley Stuart
- Location of story:
- Chertsey, Surrey
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 07 December 2005
This story has been entered on the People's War website, by CSV Volunteer, Ann Toomey, on behalf of the author Mrs. Shirley Stuart, who is fully aware of the site's terms and conditions.
I was born in 1935 and went to school in Chertsey, Surrey.
One day when I was about 8 years old, I was sitting in class looking out of the window when I saw a man coming down on a parachute, landing in the fields. I think he was English.
We used to have to go to air raid shelters with duck boards on the ground because the shelter was waterlogged. They tried to get us to do lessons but without much luck because there was no light.
Father was in the ARP. Once he told us to go under the bed during a raid because there was no time to get to the shelter. I buried my face in a pillow because of the noise. We were very near a bomb dump which the Germans bombed. There were lots of bombs and large amounts of ammunition which exploded in all directions. Because of this we had to stay indoors and not at the shelter. My father built the shelter in the garden with old bikes and any metal rubbish he could find and then covered it with turf. Light came in from an air pipe. This, however, was seen by another member of the ARP who thought we were signalling the Germans.
During the war we had cousins from London staying with us while they moved house, because their home was bombed. Their father saved them by holding up the table they were hiding under, with this shoulder. He had problems for years with that shoulder.
We used to barbecue food in the garden because there was no gas. BBQ tea - what a good idea!
Bombs also fell in the garden two doors away. We had to stay indoors and soot came down the chimney when it was blown up by the bomb disposal squad. We also had a doodlebug go off while we were in the shelter in the lane behind us. Mother went to shut the door, but couldn't because of the blast from the explosion.
On VE Day the aeroplanes flew over, The sky was almost black because there were so many and people came out of their houses cheering.
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