BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

A Bomb falls on Reading

by Waterloovillelib

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mrs Healy
Location of story: 
Reading, Berkshire
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
28 April 2005

In Feb 1943 a lone plane offloaded its bombs on to Broad Street in Reading, destroying Grassteads Store, Wellsteads, People's Pantry and the Post Office - luckily on a Wednesday when the shops were shut though, even so, about 70 people were killed. I believe these were the only bombs ever to fall on Reading.

I was staying with my grandmother in Wolseley Street. I was 4 years old and begged to be allowed to go to Coley Recreation Ground with the neighbours older children. We were playing happily when the sirens started and everyone ran to the shelter in the park.

In the confusion, I was separated from the other children and found myself in this strange place with a bad smell and no light. I panicked and made such a fuss that after a few minutes the adults said "Oh, let her go"!

There was nobody around and an eerie silence. I ran towards my grandmother's house and was very relieved to see her running towards me. She dragged me past the big advertising hoardings (Margaret Lockwood - Lux soap) and threw me into the house as the plane went overhead. The plane was so close that my grandmother could see the pilot's face. He was grinning. The pressure of the plane blew the front door open. He fired at a neighbour who was hanging out her clothes. My grandmother was shaking.

I didn't realise until long afterwards how close a shave I had had. They put hoardings around the bomb site. You could peek through and see - bodies, no just shop dummies.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
Childhood and Evacuation Category
Berkshire Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy