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the may blitz 1941

by ateamwar

Contributed by 
ateamwar
People in story: 
Bill Roberts, featuring Mum Liz, Dad Bill and Sister Hilda
Location of story: 
Liverpool (Wavertree)
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4241044
Contributed on: 
22 June 2005

I was seven years old when the bombing started. My Mum, Dad, Sister and I, lived in a terraced house in Wavertree. When the sirens sounded, we were advised to stand against the wall in case the ceiling fell in. After a couple of nights, we used to sit out in the kitchen under the stairs. We ate our supper off a board supported by an upturned dolly tub. Dad would stand by the back door, and each time he thought it was quiet he opened the door just as another bomb exploded.

We lived near Edge Hill goods yard, which was often a target for German bombers. One night, the blitz got so heavy that the windows and doors shook and soot came down the chimney. Dad decided to carry my sister and I to the concrete shelter in the road. After that night, we spent every evening in that shelter with our neighbours. For us children it was like an exciting adventure. The sky was lit up with gunfire and searchlights, just like bonfire night. The shelter was rigged out with cots and chairs, and we used to play “I spy”, (though there wasn’t much to spy).

I remember Dad used to go on ‘firewatch’ duty, and on our landing we had a bucket of sand, a bucket of water and a stirrup pump. Due to the black out, the house windows were boarded up. One night my Mum was on her way home from work, and she swore that as she turned from the main road onto our road, so this German plane did the same. She came into the shelter shouting, “There is a German bomber chasing me!” When the “all clear” had sounded, we used to make our way into the house. The following day we used collect all the shrapnel and pieces of barrage balloon.

We eventually received an indoor Morrison shelter, so we didn’t need to use the concrete one on the street anymore. It was like a metal table with a spring mattress underneath. We used it as a meal table by day and ass a bed by night! The thing I remember the most, is that the community spirit was great!

'This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his / her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'

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Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
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