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1940: The Christmas Blitz over Manchester

by gmractiondesk

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Archive List > United Kingdom > Manchester

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Irene Barlow (nee Galway), John and Josephine Galway, William Henry Corrigan, Mr and Mrs Herbert Lavelle
Location of story: 
Stretford Rd, Old Trafford, Manchester
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
28 July 2005

This story was submitted to the Peoples War website by Karolina Kopiec from the BBC GMR Action Desk on behalf of Mrs Irene Barlow (nee Galway) and has been added to the site with her permission.

My most vivid recollections are of the December 1940 Blitz over Manchester. I was 8 years old and looking forwards to Christmas. There had been many bombs exploding in our area in October 1940.
My parents John and Josephine Galway, decided to take my 76 year old Grandfather William Henry Corrigan and myself to stay with friends in Hayfield, Derbyshire. The friends, the Lavelle family, had a country cottage in Hayfield.
We left Stretford Rd, Old Trafford, in our little Morris 8 car. It was early evening just before Christmas 1940 as we travelled towards Hayfield that moonlit night. We could hear the planes over head. We had no luggage with us. We went as we were. On Christmas Eve my parents’ friends said my parents should go home and bring their Christmas presents and our little dog and spend Christmas with them. Grandfather and I waited for them to return. When they did come back to Hayfield they had very sad news. My Grandfather’s house and our house which was next door had been hit by a land mine and there was just a big hole. The army were digging for us; they did not think there would be much hope of us all coming out alive. Our dog was killed, we had no furniture, no Christmas presents, no change of clothes, but we were all together and alive. My Grandfather never recovered from the shock, he caught pneumonia and died a month later. We went to live in Little Hayfield in a cottage until 1943 when we returned to Manchester.

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