- Contributed by
- Professor J.C.(Jack) Levy
- People in story:
- Jack Levy, his father Alfred Levy and an unknown lady neighbour
- Location of story:
- Stoke Newington, London N16
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 May 2005
I attended Owens school London that was evacuated to Bedford in 1939 when I was 13 years old.(See the book 'Well Remembered Fields - The story of one schools evacuation 1939-45' by Martin Mitchell and David Bernstein published 2003)
In left Bedford in 1943 to do a degree in Engineering at Imperial College, London. As our contribution to the war effort the 3 years of work had been condensed to two. At the end of the first year, in the summer vacation of 1944, I was gaining industrial experience at the engine works of AEC Southall, London and living near there.
It was the time of the V1 'buzz bombs' and for some reason I telephoned my home in Stoke Newington the other side of London. My father Alfred Levy was living and working there having re-established his printing business on a small scale at home after his factory in Holborn had suffered serious bomb damage in 1941.
There was no answer to my telephone call and the line appeared to be dead. Worried, I telephoned the local police station and the sergeant on duty asked "Where do you live?". "Number 7 Clissold Crescent" I replied.
There was a pause and he said to me "You'd better go home"
As I came down Albion Road an hour later on a Number 73 bus I saw my house in complete ruins. It had taken a direct hit from a V1.
Fortunately my father who was alone in the house extraordinarily was unhurt apart from shock. When he heard the engine of the V1 stop overhead he had gone down into our cellar that the Council had strengthened to be a shelter. Here he had kept a whistle and a torch.
In the adjoining cellar our neighbour had similarly escaped but the exits from both houses were blocked with debris. But there was a small hole between the cellars where a couple of bricks were missing and through this the lady neigbour called "Blow your whistle Mr. Levy ! Blow your whistle!"
He did and was heard by the local air-raid warden now on the scene. Both my father and the lady were dug out safely as I arrived.
Later my cousin the actor and author John Slater wrote a short story entitled "Blow Your Whistle Mr.Levy !"
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