- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Theresa Doreen Jameson, Norman Riley
- Location of story:
- St Malo,Coventry, Yardley
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 16 July 2005
This story has been added to the website by BBC Radio Cornwall CSV Producer Nina Davey, with the permission of the author ,Mrs Theresa Doreen Jameson, who understands the site's terms and conditions.
My brother-in-law Norman Riley was serving in the signals and was due to be evacuated from France when it fell to the Germans. He was not brought back from Dunquirke but from St. Malo a bit further along the coast. He was due to leave on the Lancastrian when it was bombed and they all had to either jump or were pushed into the water which was alight with burning oil. As a result of this he was badly burned and was hospitalised. Eventually he was transferred to Leicester Hospital and my sister Ena went to stay in Leicester to be near him. It was after a visit to her to go and see Norman that I was travelling home to Birmingham on the train, when the train was stopped because of the raid on Coventry. We were all told to get off the train because it was a target for the bombers and we started to walk to our various destinations. I was quite a long way from home and because of the black out and the removal of all town and village names I had no idea where I was. Because of the severity of the raid on Coventry there was enough light to have some idea of which way to travel. It is 20 miles from Coventry to Birmingham and 48 miles from Leicester to Birmingham so I must have been dropped about in line with Coventry because you could see it all in the sky. As I approached the outskirts of Birmingham I came to a place called Yardley, which gave me my bearings, but then we began to be bombed with the incendiary bombs, which the Germans used to guide the planes to their target. They were falling all about us and setting up fires and exploding, so we were trying to put out as many as we could, with anything that came to hand. It was whilst doing this that I got burned, as one of them landed very close to me and exploded. To this day I have damage to my hearing as a direct result of that incident. I had to go straight to the hospital for treatment and then got sent home, there were no ambulances but the buses were running so I was able to get back to my home to my young son and my mother who was looking after him for me.
My brother-in-law made a good recovery and was then sent out to the Burma campaign until 1946.
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