- Contributed by
- CSV Actiondesk at BBC Oxford
- People in story:
- Fred Munt
- Location of story:
- Oxford, Colchester, Berlin
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 25 July 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Matthew Smaldon on behalf of Mr Fred Munt and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr Munt fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
'During the war I worked at the Morris Motors plant in Oxford. We worked on the assembly of engines for aeroplanes, repairing damaged Spitfires, producing barrels for guns, building tanks, scout cars and DUKWs — all sorts of things.
I lived in Headington with my wife and two children. We used to hear the German planes flying over, on their way to bomb Coventry and cities further north. We used to have our shelter in the front room. It was like a steel table, as long as a bed, with sides to protect it. Truthfully, we didn’t always shelter. We’d put the children in, and we would wait by them, in the front room - it was a bit of a squeeze for two children and two parents under there. I remember once, early in the war, standing in the back garden one night and we could see the glow of London on fire.
The Germans dropped a bomb on the airfield near where I worked. There were Spitfires being repaired there, and Tiger Moths. People thought it was dropped by a plane returning from a raid, dropping left over bombs at random. Well they managed to destroy some of the Tiger Moths. Another time a bomb fell on Wheatley River bridge — you could hear the explosion all over Headington.
When I was 35, in 1945, I was drafted to the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. We went for training in Colchester. We were kitted out to travel to the Far East when they dropped the bomb. I always said that bomb saved my life.
Instead we were sent to Northern Ireland, then to Berlin. There was not much left of Berlin, just a lot of rubble. But there were still some snipers about, and we were required to police the roads. I was in charge of running the petrol station. We were based at Spandau prison, and we were there when they brought in the ex-vice chancellor. He was in solitary confinement for years. After Berlin I was sent to Trieste and Polo in Italy. After this I returned to Oxford. I worked for Rover for a total of 46 years.'
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