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Sheffield Blitz: The Danger of Beetroot

by luckybruce

Contributed by 
luckybruce
People in story: 
Vera Wibberley
Location of story: 
Sheffield
Article ID: 
A2086085
Contributed on: 
27 November 2003

Told to Bruce by Vera Wibberley

Thursday night 12th December 1940 was the first part of the Sheffield Blitz. At 7 o'clock the sirens went and off we all went into the reinforced cellar. We did have an Anderson shelter but my father didn't really think they where that safe so we always used the cellar.

Living near the city centre we had a lot of bombs falling and going off around us. The house accross the street got a direst hit and our anderson shelter in our garden was hit. If we had been in it we would all have been killed, as it was our house was flattened by the blast!

I can still remember the choking dust falling about all around us as we sheltered in the cellar. My father was sat on the cellar steps and my mother looked up at him and screamed. Blood was pouring down his head and covering his shoulders. It turns out it was a jar of beetroot which had fallen from the pantry area onto his head.

After we had pulled ourselves together we crawled throught eh passageways leading to the other houses and made our way out of the rubble three houses down the road.

My father and me walked down the street and loked up, German planes where flying around and diving down towards us, fireing their guns.
My father threw me onto the floor and him on top of me, the bullets where flying round our heads ricocheting off the road and pavement, luckily non of them hit us.

Both my grandmas lived on the same road and we all went down to stay with one of them that night.
The next day we went back to the house and made our way very carefully up the rickety stairs to my bedroom. The wardrobe had fallen onto my bed, throwing all my bedding onto the tree in the back garden. The mirror inside the door had broken and covered all my clothes in dust and tiny shards of glass, making them all unwearable.

On the street across the road a lady had been killed when her house had been hit, because all the morturies were full she had to be left in the street covered by a sheet of tarpualin, everyone stepping over her for a few days untill she could be moved.

While we where there my other grandma came to look at the house and seeing the damage thought we where all dead. When she realised we where still around we all had a long cry.

A few days after we again went back to the house to see if anything could be salvaged and the army where there making the area safe. My father in the cellar had some bottles of home made wine and for some reason they had survived. As a little bonus my father handed the bottles to the sodiers and I can see them now, sitting on the rubble and pavement, drinking from the bottles my fathers wine.

We lived in my grandms cellar for a month before moving into a vacant house near by.

50 years later the council dug up the area to build some new houses and low and behold they found an unexploded bomb right where our house was!!

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