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Hazel Reed's Caterham WW2 experience

by Geoffrey Ellis

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
Geoffrey Ellis
People in story: 
Hazel Reed
Location of story: 
Caterham
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A8114654
Contributed on: 
29 December 2005

My name is Hazel Reed and I was born on 11th November 1930 in a house belonging to my parents at 22 Chorden Road, Caterham. My father was a newsagent. It was quite a big house, which was connected to the shop. All the staff that my parents had employed had been taken or gone off to the war, and really I consider myself very fortunate that we came through so well.

During the war my father served Kenley aerodrome with newspapers, and because we lived between Kenley aerodrome and Caterham Barracks we were quite a target for the area.

My main memory is that on 13th January 1943 after a dog-fight above Caterham, a Junkers 88 aeroplane was shot down and landed at the bottom of my father’s orchard. We went down the orchard to see what was there, and there on the ground were the bodies of three airmen who had been the crew of the plane that had been shot down. It was quite a sight and caused quite a happening in the village.

I cannot say that I was unhappy during the war, my parents kept chickens and we used to barter eggs or chickens for perhaps potatoes or things that people grew on their allotments.

214 words

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