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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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'Shoot the child, then yourself'

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Trevor Evans. Lillian Evans. Herbert Evans. Michael Timms. Derek Warton.
Location of story: 
Patcham. Brighton.
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4340288
Contributed on: 
03 July 2005

I remember when I was about 9 or 10 years of age my mother telling me that my father who was in the Forces had given my mum a pistol with the instructions that in the event of a German invasion she was to shoot me and then herself. I don't remember how I felt when she told me that, but although there were hardships during this time it was also a very interesting time.

I remember the B17 crashlanding at Patcham. I was at school in the playground at the time and it came over our school. To me as a child it seemed huge as it came over us. I ran towards where I saw it go down and a Land Army girl gave me a lift to the farm on her tractor. I have since researched the aircraft to see if any of the crew were still alive and have been in touch with two of them who have visited England recently. I understand they got a new bomber and were shot down in Germany not long afterwards and taken prisoners of war.

When I arrived at the farm all the men from the aircraft were lying out on the grass, one had an injury to his head caused by shrapnel, one was praying, all the rest were OK. The Home Guard came up to the site and took the men to the Black Lion pub to give them a meal and then they were flown back to their base in Grafton Underwood. A group from the Shoreham worked on the aircraft for a week, taking everything off it to lighten it and it was then taxied down the downs and took off back to Grafton.

Another time a German aircraft hit a power cable near where we were. We went over and found a lot of counterfeit money which the plane was carrying. We thought we kids had won the pools, we were only about 9 or 10 years of age. We stuffed our bags with all this white paper money and took it home to show our mums. The following day the Police came to the house and confiscated all the money I had hidden. The Germans had counterfeited it with the idea that they would de stabilise our economy. We felt we kids had been cheated. My friends then were Michael Timms and Derek Warton.

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