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WW2 - People's War

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A War Baby from Coventry

by Steamshow

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Location of story: 
Bristol and Coventry
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
09 November 2003

I was born, so I was told, one hour before the war was declared, that is I was born at 10 o clock on Sunday morning the 3rd of September 1939 in a flat above a jewellers shop in Clifton, Bristol.

My parents discussed the formidable future and decided that for the sake of my safety and that of my Mother, the family should move to Coventry! Oh what a big mistake.

I appantly spent the first five or six years of my life dodging the bombs which devastated Coventry by either going down the councils local bomb shelters or hiding with my Nanny under the stairs.

I do have broken memories of emerging from the shelters complete with my 'Mickey mouse' gas mask and my teddy and finding a scene of desolation with many of our neighbouring buildings being hit.

We had a telegraph pole through our roof and because we had lost our mains services I remember, especially later, on having to go to the 'Civic Restaurant' for what I remember were very substantial meals.

I also remember the fun of playing on the bomb sites and chucking stones in the 'static water tank oposite our house, of watching the huge number of barage baloons on the common and all the various sound of bombs, planes, sirens, bells, etc, and the acumulator radio being on most of the time for the latest news.

At the end of the war I remember being able to look across vast areas of Coventry which had been reduced to rubble.

I lived on Clay Lane in the Stoke area of Coventry and we were surrounded by factories and railways and we seemed always to be in the thick of it.

I am, to this day, glad to be alive.

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The Blitz Category
Childhood and Evacuation Category
Coventry and Warwickshire Category
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