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Under the Stairs

by ateamwar

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Pat Fearon
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
12 September 2005

By kind permission of the Author

No silly cupboard under Grandma’s stairs
Prevented us that night from snuggling down
On the mattress that just fitted there
As if those builders long ago had known
We’d want to shelter from the German planes,
The tent-like slope above us like a hide,
The half-heard to and fro of adult chat
A soothing contrast to the noise outside.
The grown-up females later joined us there
While Uncle Joe continued to confront
Anything the Luftwaffe could do
And Grandma pleaded, sure he’d take the brunt
Of blast from bombs a street or two away,
The shards of flying glass about his head.
But we knew better, we had helped our aunt
With criss-crossed sticky tape avert that dread,
Every window diamonded in brown
In parody of ancient leaded light
Like some Elizabethan hall: and had
Not Tudor England, too, withstood the might
Of foreign force, Drake, like Uncle Joe,
Completing his defiant game of bowls
Before repulsing the massed power of Spain.
Both being sailors, we compared their roles.

‘This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his/ her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.’

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