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The day Reading was bombed

by Elizabeth Lister

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
Elizabeth Lister
People in story: 
Daphne Greenaway
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
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Contributed on: 
18 November 2005

This story has been submitted to the People’s War site by a volunteer from CSV Berkshire on behalf of Daphne Greenway and has been added to the site with her permission. Daphne Greenway fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I remember Reading when it was bombed in 1943. I had gone to Oxford with my grandmother when the sirens went off and when we returned Reading had already been bombed. I remember my grandmother looking at ‘Vindens’ (fruit and vegetables shop) and saying “looks as if somebody has thrown a brick through this window.” And a gentleman standing near us said “wait till you get around the corner my dear”. That is when we saw the damage. The bomb had damaged:
a) Wellsteeds department store (I think that’s where they have Costa coffee now)
b) People’s pantry
c) St Laurence’s church
d) and the Town Hall

When we got home (Orts Road, Reading) my mother had been walking up and down the road worrying about us. My father had just come home on leave (he was with the RASC). I remember how relieved they all were that we had arrived home safely.

The typical Wartime diet consisted of; Whale meat,dried eggs and drinking chocolate, which we ate regularly.

I remember that we had to take a jar to school to collect drinking chocolate which was being sent to the UK from Canada.

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