- Contributed by
- Violet Jean Kitchener
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 November 2004
Born in May 1934 in Ashford Kent, I was just five when the second world War broke out, I just about remember the day, and my mother rushing in from the kitchen. When I think whistles were blown in the street.
After a while it was decided that because of the dangerous area, we would be evacuated, my Brother was two years older than me and another 3 years older. We ended up evacuated to Oxford.
My memory of that was first of all being taken to the town hall, where we slept on straw pallets the first night. The lady and Gentleman who was willing to take all three of us, treated us very well. He was quite well up in the Morris Motor works. But when illness in the family meant they couldn't look after us we were “moved on”. My eldest Brother in a different place. There then was another move, and there my Mum and Dad came to visit us as a surprise she could see we were unhappy and not looked after very well. So home we came. We had been away for about a year I think.
Our School was just across the road from us. The road from the main line station and we were all in the same school; boys one part, the girls in another.
We knew what had to do, in case of air raids. The girls having to run down the road to the underground shelter at the Catholic Church, while the boys had to shelter at the bottom of the school playground.
One bright sunny morning, the “spotter” warning was sounded. We knew we didn't “line up” for that, we just had to run, taking nothing. Down in the shelter we sere sitting on benches at the walls. When we heard the big bang, and there was, what we thought was smoke coming in the shelter we had buckets of water in the shelter into which we dipped a clean hankie to put over our mouth and nose.
After quite a while we were allowed out, to what I saw was rubble where our school had been.
I spotted my mother waiting in the road by the station.
Apparently the German Aircraft came in from the suns direction making it difficult to see then. The bomb that was dropped was meant for the station but it missed. It ricochet off the station motel and ended up in the school across the road.There was nothing left of our belongings, but I do remember that there wasn't one child killed. The staff I remember also were commended on their actions.
We still stayed in Ashford for the rest of the war. Being transferred to a different school until I was 11 years old.
It was a matter of courses routine at bedtime. Undressing downstairs and clothes and shoes at the ready for when the siren sounded. We didn't have to be woken up. We heard, then it was a dash downstairs, put on a coat and shoes, grab our clothes and to the air raid shelter. Mum and Dad made our section comfortable with an old settee for us to sleep on and other chairs.
There were terrible bombings at Ashford, the station being a main line junction and we got quite good at knowing the sounds of the German Planes and ours. But the worst sound for me was the sound of the doodle bugs.
My Dad didn't go in the army, because of the work that he did and the fact that he had only one kidney, So he was in the home guard.
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