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Land Mine Dropped By Parachute

by cornwallcsv

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Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
cornwallcsv
People in story: 
The Revd. Canon Ivy Frith
Location of story: 
London
Article ID: 
A8855067
Contributed on: 
26 January 2006

This story has been added by CSV volunteer Linda Clark on behalf of the author The Revd. Canon Ivy Frith. They both understand the site's terms and conditions.

It was during the period when night time raids were regular and heavy and Hitler’s war-lords were using anything they could find to reign down upon us. On one particular night they dropped a huge land-mine. It was about nine feet high, carried about 1,000llbs of explosives and it was dropped by parachute. It just happened that across the road from Russell Square Underground Station in Bernard Street there was a block of flats occupied by the Nurses from Great Ormond Street Hospital. As misfortune would have it the parachute which carried the Land-mine got caught on one of the balconies of the Nursing Home. In an effort to make the bomb safe enough to be transported to an area where it could be safely detonated, teams of military and naval experts spent many hazardous hours. It was finally decided that the smallest member of the military personnel would have to sit on the top of the bomb, using his feet to keep it away from the wall, whilst the Bomb Disposal Unit gradually lowered it at about 1/16th of an inch at a time. The mission was finally accomplished with good humour and the knowledge that many lives could so easily have been lost. But ours is a civilisation which values human life and hopefully puts the safety of others before the glorification of self!

As the night raids grew in frequency and intensity the number of Rest Centres multiplied with them. Gradually, each Area of the Rest Centre Service was provided with a Head Office. Ours was set up in the Francis Holland School on the corner of Park Road, Regents Park and I was asked, because of my experience, to transfer to the Office there. I had managed to get through five different posts in four short years. By the time I was eighteen I had been given many opportunities for which I will always be grateful. But life had a lot to teach me yet.

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