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15 October 2014
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York Air Raid

by yorkie122

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Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
yorkie122
People in story: 
Gerald Wilkins
Location of story: 
York
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A2010349
Contributed on: 
10 November 2003

I was fourteen at the time. My mother and I were asleep that night [ my father was working nights on the railway in York]. We lived at number 35 Newbough Street I believe. I was awakened by my mother calling to me “Quick”. I ran from the front bedroom to the rear bedroom to find she had grasped hold of an incendiary bomb by the fins. She managed to push up the sash window but it slid shut again, she swore. She tried a second time and succeeded to push the bomb through the window into the yard below, leaving a small part, which had broken off, in the floor. The curtains, which had caught fire followed the bomb into the yard.
I ran downstairs for a sand bag which I deposited on top of the remaining piece of the burning bomb. We went downstairs and hid under the stairs. We thought all hell had broken loose!!!
My eldest brother and his wife lived just up the road in a small cul-de-sac of 6 or 8 houses bordering onto a school wall. My brother was also working nights at “Crooks Optical” factory. His wife, who was pregnant, was on her own. My mother and I went to our front door looking for her. There were many houses on fire also incendiary bombs burning in the street. Soldiers, from nearby Lumley Barracks, were trying to fight the fires. They began shouting, “Get inside” as a figure ran down the street. It was my sister-in-law running towards us. She was safe and sound .She was doubly lucky , as a high explosive bomb hit the school wall demolishing all their houses., as well as German planes which were machine gunning the street.
My father and brother were told that our street had been burnt to the ground. Luckily this was not true, but my father did say that he had seen locomotive engines piled on top of one another at least three or four deep, and wondered at the force required to do this.

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