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15 October 2014
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Family Memories of The War

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Kathleen Standing
Location of story: 
Bank Underground Station, London and Littlehampton
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
17 November 2005

My Auntie Vi, Cousin Gertie and Uncle Harry were in the London Blitz, which was an awful experience. At night people left their homes and used to go to Underground train stations to shelter and sleep on the platforms.

One night just after my aunt had returned from the toilets, a bomb came through the road, through the ticket office which was next to the toilets, down the escalator, and exploded just as the train came in. There was great loss of life. A Jewish man who was next to my cousin was killed, as were so many. Had my aunt not returned at that moment from the toilets, she would have been killed also. My cousin's coat which was covering her was blown away in the blast, but they managed to escape with great difficulty up another exit which my cousin knew about.

I remember very clearly, that they came to our house in an awful state of shock. I went into the bathroom as my cousin was washing her hair, and was shocked to see the water was a bit like mud! They came to us as a "bolt hole" as their own home had been affected by the bombing, and they had no running water just a standpipe in the road. The Londoners had night after night of bombing, and my relations were so glad that they could come down to us for a bit of escape until they had to face it all again after the weekend. My Mother was so good to them, and made them welcome at all times.

This story was entered on The People's War Website by Stuart Ross on behalf of Kathleen Standing. Kathleen fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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