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Great escape from a burning school

by CSV Solent

Contributed by 
CSV Solent
People in story: 
Peter Foyle
Location of story: 
Blackpill, Swansea
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4196252
Contributed on: 
15 June 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Richard Jackson on behalf of Peter Foyle and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr Foyle fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

Like many who survived the Three Nights' Blitz, we were lucky to be alive. But that was futherst from our minds when we emerged from our shelter in Picton Terrace, just above the old Swansea Grammar School.

It was bitterly cold at the time of the bombings. That changed for us, though, when the Germans set the grammar school on fire with incendiary bombs. There was little water because many pipes were frozen.

Our shelter was against the wall of the grammar school and as the fire raged, things became hotter and hotter. Eventually we had to get out and make a run for the old workhouse below the school.

A string of about six bombs came down as we went, one of which blew all our doors in and the windows out. I was only 14 at the time, but my brother was on the ack ack guns in Ashleigh Road.

You could see the aircraft clearly and our guns were going all the time. The whole town seemed alight. It was cold and dry and there was a huge pall of smoke refelcting the red glow from the flames. People just couldn't believe the speed and scale of the destruction.

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Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
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