BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

Alexander's story

by GeorgeStephensonHigh

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
GeorgeStephensonHigh
Location of story: 
Bridlington
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4258992
Contributed on: 
23 June 2005

ALEXANDER'S STORY

I was 15 years old when I got the unfortunate news that a war was going to take place. It was terrible but we had to accept it, what could you do? My brother Tommy went to the royal navy, I got a call from him around 3 months after he joined saying he was enjoying it. My other brother died in a bomb accident. The air raids were dreadful but fun in a way me and my friends used to run around the streets dodging the bombs and the shrapnel and playing.

I had an Anderson shelter and a Morrison shelter because my father was rich and he bought them. He owned a sales company called Riley’s in Bridlington.

I was scared of the German aircrafts they caused total mayhem and caused lots of trouble. I remember once a German aircraft swooped in a bombed my house while I was in the Anderson shelter, it was very scary. I didn’t trust the Anderson shelters they weren’t very reliable but it was all we had and when they Germans bombed your house you couldn’t dodge them. So I didn’t spend much of my time in the Anderson. It was very hard to build as well it took my brothers hours. Everyone had to pull together in the war and work as a team.

The rationing was quite hard to cope with. I often stole from the local shop because my mother didn’t have enough food to feed us luckily I never got caught so my diet did change quite a lot in the war I wasn’t evacuated because my mother didn’t want me to go and I didn’t want to go. I thought I would be missing out on all the action in the war.

I was very glad when the war was over but I couldn’t help feel sorry for all the lives lost and I paid my respects to them after the parties had ended.

So the war was a very frightening and unforgettable experience but it will always be in my mind.

Written by Alex Thompson of Forest Hall and Stephen Wilson of Shiremoor, both y9 students at George Stephenson High School, Killingworth, Newcastle upon Tyne.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Forum Archive

This forum is now closed

These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - Re: Alexander's story

Posted on: 25 June 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

There is something distinctly odd about this story and it lacks credibility. For example,

1. "The air raids were dreadful but fun in a way me and my friends used to run around the streets dodging the bombs and the shrapnel and playing". Alexander has evidently never heard about bomb blast. You simply cannot 'dodge' bombs, if you survived in the open you would be concussed. It is not remotely credible that this was done frequently by teenagers for fun.

2. "I had an Anderson shelter and a Morrison shelter because my father was rich and he bought them." They were isued free.

3. "the Anderson. It was very hard to build .... " Well, no, it wasn't. You dug a hole, bolted it together, then put the dug earth on top.

4. "The rationing was quite hard to cope with. I often stole from the local shop because my mother didn’t have enough food to feed us " Rationing in Britain during the war was adequate and less stringent than in 1946/47. If you stole food you were stealing not only the goods' value from the shopkeeper but also other people's rations. If the father was rich and owned a company, why was the son stealing from the age of 15? Was he still stealing in 1942 at the age of 18?

Alexander was 15 years old in 1939, so 21 in 1945. Why wasn't this young man called up, either for military service or work in the mines?

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Childhood and Evacuation Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy