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The Blitz Through The Eyes of A Child

by ateamwar

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Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
ateamwar
People in story: 
Trevor Hughes. Featuring Mr and Mrs Loughran and their son William John (Deceased).
Location of story: 
Birkenhead, Wirral, Merseyside
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4140965
Contributed on: 
01 June 2005

The year was 1940, and my father was taken away in the army. my mother and I were living in a house in Sun Street, Birkenhead. For some reason (maybe because she thought it would be safer), my mother moved the double bed downstairs into what was known as the parlour, i.e. the front room. We had been sleeping there for some time when she again moved the mattress, this time in front of the fire in the kitchen. On the night of December 20th 1940 a landmine had dropped on houses in the next street to ours, Moon Street. Several house were demolished with a considerable loss of life. The main beam of one of the houses supporting the roof was blown over the houses opposite us. It smashed its way through the parlour window and landed on the bed where we would have been sleeping. We had had a very lucky escape. A day or two later my Mother and I went to the local funeral parlour. I was four years old and did not really understand what it was, although I remember I was very alarmed at seeing the people lying in coffins. There was a man, a woman and a boy. I recognised him as a boy I played with; he was three years old. From my height they were very close. I could see they all had cotton wool in their noses. I remember being very frightened. For a long time after this I found it very disturbing to see people lying down.

All this was a very distant memory until about two years ago when I bought a book called 'Birkenhead at war 1939 - 1945'. When I looked through the book I found an entry confirming the bomb, the little boy, his mother and his father. What had been something from my very early childhood, which I barely remembered, became fact. It awoke many of my childhood fears. I have not looked at the book again. The unfortunate family was Mr and Mrs Loughran and their son William John.

'This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his / her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'

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