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WW2 - People's War

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Memories of a Child in Bristol

by ActionBristol

Contributed by 
ActionBristol
People in story: 
Roma Willmott (Mogford)
Location of story: 
Bristol
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4021697
Contributed on: 
07 May 2005

As I was only 6 years old dates meant nothing to me but I remember the very first Blitz on Bristol which was on a Sunday evening. The reason I remember this so well is because my sister who was 15 at the time was on her way to chapel with her friends, when the sirens went off a man told them to run to the shelters in Eastville park. During that raid one of her friends was blown onto the pavillion by the blast and she was not found for three days. She died from a combination of her injuries and exposure, if she had been found earlier she would probably have survived. Another lady (Mrs Webster) was blinded by the blast. My sister arrived home after 2 o'clock the following morning, my brother was furious with her as my mother had been so worried. Even having gone throuhg this terrrible experience, she was up for work and walked to Bedminster where she worked at Wills tobbacco factory, where she did a normal days work.
I also remember a daylight raid on Bristol, when they bombed Filton, men came home saying how terrible it had been. My husband remembers seeing the planes coming in for the raid over his school, so low that he could see the markings.
A polish fighter squadron circled the town to defend it, one of the German planes was shot down over Fishponds where it landed in the grounds of the hospital, the pilot was still in the cockpit.
Roma remember the sound of it comming down, it sounded as if it was comming down on top of them.
Her brother was away in the RAF as an aircraft mechanic, she didn't see him for four years. Initially, he was despatched to Singapore, but thihs fell to the Japanese before he arrived so he was sent to Alexandria behind El Alamien where he spent the war as an RAF Mechanic.
Len and Roma's retain clear memories of the war, but they are full of praise for the spirit of the people of Bristol and the strength of our families.
VE day was marvellous

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Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
Childhood and Evacuation Category
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