- Contributed by
- CSV Solent
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 31 December 2005
Interview by Henriette Wood-Grossenbacher with Mrs. Diana Shervington of Lyme Regis who spent the wartime as a WREF around London and a housewife in Surrey. Diana is a valued member of our local church, columnist of the parish magazine and mother of a friend. She also gave an interview to a colleague and gave kindly permission to add her stories to the people’s war website.
When I was living in Sussex Place, the owner of the house I was living in was a lovely woman. She suffered from dropsy and she was enormously fat and as she couldn’t get upstairs and had her office just by the front door. She always said, if we get bombed would you be sure and carry out the little cabinet, which is just inside the door because it has got all my deeds in it of the house. The next door house to us was bombed and of course it felt as if it was our house. So she dashed out into the street with a chair and stayed in it. It was bombed during the night and the poor rigid owner had been in bed and went right into the basement in her nighty. I was the smallest person and I managed to get to her crawling down under everything and give her a drink and tell her the doctor was coming. After that I didn’t want to go to bed any night. I was so afraid of being caught. The house next door did not go up in flames but all the timbers had collapsed. We managed to get the landlady out .It really made an impression on me. It was a horrible experience. It was awful, it was terrifying. I was pleased I was able to help her a bit. She was in hospital for some time and I went to see her several times. After that I decided to work at night as well. I didn’t want to go to bed. This was during the Blitz, 1941/42?
When the Germans were fire-bombing London non-stop, thinking they’d defeat us. Night after night after night they came. We had all those big balloons up to try to stop them to come down very low. The fighter planes could have come very low and machine gunned. The balloons kept them up at a certain height. I knew a lot of the pilots flying spitfires and planes going up trying to defeat them. A lot of my friends were killed. There was an air raid warning but there were air raid warnings every single night and people either went down into an air raid shelter or they went under the stairs.
Our house was still alright to live in but I didn’t stay. My move to Adesstral House came just at the right time. That was the house in the Strand first and then I went to Whitehall DD (Deputee Director) of photography. That was the title of the office.
The war was so interesting, it really was. It was such an interesting war. My brother went on the very first day and the D-Day landing. He was in the Black Watch Regiment and my sister was in the RAF and Rupert going off to India and Burma. It was frightening.
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.