BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

1 August 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Gwynne H.Davies - Memories of Childhood (Blitz, Evacuation, Doodlebugs and Victory)

by ActionBristol

You are browsing in:

Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
ActionBristol
People in story: 
Gwynne H. Davies
Location of story: 
London Area
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A5873565
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.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

The Blitz Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy