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

28 July 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!

 

A CHILD LIVING THROUGH THE WAR

by actiondesksheffield

Contributed by 
actiondesksheffield
People in story: 
GILLIAN MARY GELDER
Location of story: 
LOWESTOFT,SUFFOLK
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4043972
Contributed on: 
10 May 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk — Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Gillian Gelder, and has been added to the site with the author’s permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
============================================
My first memory was a moonlit summer night; my daddy was carrying me from our house to the dugout. I felt safe; I could see and smell the flowers.

We always slept in the dugout. I can remember listening to the drone of Jerry planes and lying in huddled fear on my top bunk as bombs exploded in the near distance.
Skeletal walls of buildings stuck up on High Street, around Swallownest. There were a lot of hit and run raids, often without warning. On one occasion I was with my dad and David; a Jerry plane was over the town and Dad was able to see the whites of the pilots' eyes and pressed us down underneath him. The pilot did not open fire. I do not remember this incident but was told of it much later. I was also told that I watched the boats returning from Dunkirk.

Even more terrifying was the memory of shopping down town on the other side of the bridge; we were in Chads. Suddenly, a blast splintered through the ceiling. Everyone took off and ran for shelter except me. I made for the door at lightening speed. I had worked out in my childish mind that if nothing was above me nothing could fall on me. I forgot about the plane, Mum chased after me and I was hauled into the safety of the shelter. When the all clear sounded we made for home past the station. There was fallen masonry all around. British Home Stores had taken a direct hit. The Baptist Church between British Home Stores and us had protected us. Later my mother told me that the grocer had tried to persuade her not to go to town that day. The raider was shot down; at last it was over. No more bombs! It was VE day. The relief let rip. The lights were put on and the prom. was lit up. I can remember dancing round a bonfire on the prom. near the south pier in between two large sailors. Of course there was romance. I was going to get married when the war was over. I was just seven then.

PR-BR

© 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.

Air Raids and Other Bombing 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