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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Alarm Bells Ringing in Woking!

by Martin Hussingtree Parish Church

Contributed by 
Martin Hussingtree Parish Church
People in story: 
Sheila Thomson, (nee Howitt)
Location of story: 
Woking, Surrey
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4099593
Contributed on: 
21 May 2005

My sister and I were living with a family in Woking in 1940. One night when we had gone to bed when we were suddenly woken up by the ringing of the church bells. The family we were with announced that the invasion had started and we must be prepared.

We all went downstairs with our pillows and blankets and settled into a room already lined with sandbags. Rex, the Dad, was in the local DVL. had strict orders to go to a certain bridge in the event of an invasion. He instructed us to let no one into the house, under any circumstances before he set off. John, his eldest son was so concerned that he wanted to remove the valves out of the bicycle tyres, in case the Germans took them.

We settled in our room and were having quite a convivial evening when there was a thundering knock on the front door. In the silence that ensued, John grabbed the poker from the fireplace and approached the door, only to hear his Dad outside shouting that he had forgotten to take his tin hat! What a relief!

Needless to say it was a false alarm, although London continued to be bombed and burnt throughout September that year.

Sheila Thompson, (nee Howlett)

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