- Contributed by
- Age Concern Salford
- People in story:
- Emmeine Paylin
- Location of story:
- Ryehope, Sunderland
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 08 May 2005
This story was submitted to the peoples war webside by carol from the gmr action desk on behalf of Emmeline Paylin and has been added to the site with her permission.
I was aged twenty when war broke out and I was working on a farm in Ryehope villiage, Sunderland. I was exempt from doing any war work, things were very bad at home at that time. The germans started coming over at night at around 10pm. We had no shelters and we had to go under the stairs, after a while we got an anderson shelter at the bottom of the garden.
The German airplanes came over as soon as it got dark, where I lived we had a lot of serch lights and the men were in the fields with guns, the idea was to shoot the germans planes before they got inland.
One particular night they came and bombed the pit, the pit shaft cage got bombed and stopped the men from getting up but they were safe under ground although they were all trapped. They were very lucky because they had made a passage way to another mine.
The miners walked from Ryehope pit the another coal mine call Seam colliery at Co Durham. My father was in that mine at the time, it took them over two hours to get out.
I also had two sisters living in Sunderland. One sister's house was very badly damaged and her husband was away at the war, there was no where for her to live. A elderly gentleman school teacher said she and her two children could live at his house and she could be his housekeeper until her husband came back from the war.
My other sister whose husband was in the royal corp of signals, he got killed at age 26yrs with three of his friends by a german bomber while they were serving in north africa, it was a very very sad time.
I also had a brother in the royal scottish fugilees as a regular soldier, he when all through the war, he was at Dunkirk and thankfully he came back safe.
My other brother Fred got to Dunkirk there was a lot a bars that had been abandoned, so he decided to empty his water bottle and he filled it up with spirts. He walked to the sea and took one look at the water and said to himself, "if I stay here I'll be killed and if I go in there I will be drowned" but he had to walk into the sea the men on the boats dragged him to safety, they pulled him up and when he climb aboard the boat he said "thanks lads, have a drink of my water".
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