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Anderson Shelters and Evacuees in Falmouth

by cornwallcsv

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
cornwallcsv
People in story: 
Peter Gilson
Location of story: 
Falmouth Cornwall
Article ID: 
A8711994
Contributed on: 
21 January 2006

CWS 180804D 16:27:14- 16:29:04

This story has been added by CSV volunteer Linda Clark on behalf of the author Peter Gilson. His story was given to the Trebah Video Archive, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2004. The Trebah Garden Trust understand the site’s terms and conditions.

We all joined up and we were encouraged to do something. Air raids were not exactly common but they did happen and my mother, who was a very frightened person when the air raid siren went, insisted that we all go down into the Anderson Shelter. She didn't like air raids and it didn't even matter if there weren't any bombers about.

I had dug a large hole in the front garden for an Anderson Shelter, covered it with earth and planted flowers on it. Someone later came along and dug up all the flowers thinking they were weeds. Every time the siren went off my brother, who was an apprentice at the Docks by then, had to go down into the shelter. My father refused to go down into the shelter because he thought that if a bomb did drop it would destroy us all anyway. As mother always went down, my brother and I always followed her and all the neighbours came as well. We used to spend hours in the shelter, which we all declared to be ridiculous, so mother announced that we were moving out of Falmouth and she arranged for us to all go and stay on a farm at Constantine. At the time we didn't want to do that because we already had an evacuee from Hastings staying with us. We all had a wonderful time at Constantine and Dennis, the evacuee, was re-evacuated with us. We were there from about July to October before we went back. When we got back we found that Dennis's parents had come down to Falmouth to see how he was and they were horrified to find that Falmouth was being bombed much more heavily than Hastings. So they took him back to Hastings and we lost poor Dennis. I'm still in touch with him-he was a lovely lad.

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