- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Gwynne H. Davies
- Location of story:
- London Area
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 23 September 2005
This Story Has Been Inputted By A BBC Radio Bristol Peoples War Volunteer.
Gwynne H. Davies — Memories of Childhood (Blitz, Evacuation, Doodlebugs and Victory)
My first memory is of walking home from school aged 9 and the fire siren. The ball was very much in our court as we lived only 12 mile from the centre of London. The first bomb landed 150 yards away from the bottom of our garden, shaking our house violently and causing us to move to the top of the road. The next was hearing the German bomber coming overhead, my father shouting to my mother to get in the Anderson shelter with us three children, she was stuck in the doorway as the bomb landed 200 yards away and the shelter shook like mad, we were all in hysterics at the look on Mum’s face.
Next came evacuation for all three children, me with my gas mask and piano accordion playing You Are My Sunshine to cheer everybody up. I was lucky and went with a fab family Livingstone in Formby, Lancashire. What was frightening was watching Liverpool being bombed, many incendiaries lighting the sky at night.
The next memory is returning home, Morrison shelters so a good community spirit.
Next starting work in Grays Inn Road with the ever present threat of the V1 chugging overhead and waiting for the engine to stop, ducking for the nearest shelter, but even more frightening were the V2’s, no warning — a final shriek and “bang”. On the roof at work one day and the shriek deafened us, an enormous “thud” and the building shook, we looked around and an enormous plume of smoke was rising over where St. Pauls Cathedral should be. We thought they had hit the cathedral but it was worse than that, it had landed a direct hit on a packed Smithfields Market. As Senior Scouts all 3 apprentices dashed down to High Holburn and down towards Smithfield, it was a horrible sight as there were bodies and meat everywhere. The casualty figure was very high, I think in the 3hundreds.
The next memory of course the end of the war, VE Day, the wonderful celebrations in Trafalgar Square, I got home very late that night.
Then of course the celebrations for VJ Day. Street parties, and the relief of knowing War in Britain was at an end.
My next memory, as stupid as it sounds, is Mother coming home with a banana, what a strange looking thing. Lovely though.
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