BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

You are browsing in:

Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Stella Phillips and Vera Goldsmith
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
30 November 2005

A few days before the following incident the bombing of London had begun, and much of the city where I had worked for years had been reduced to rubble.

My friend Vera and i decided to give up our jobs and join the Womens Auxillary Air Force, the WAAF, and we had volunteered our services at Adastral House in Kingsway.

We had been disscussing our future in uniform that evening and Vera asked me to acccompany her to her home, about 3 quarters of a mile away. Vera was an attractive young lady and nervous of walking home alone at night.

We had arrived on foot at a point near Veras home, which was just around the corner, but we stopped walking when we heard a plane very high overhead. We had just agreed that it sounded like a German plane when 2 bombs 'screamed' down and obviously landed very near. There had been no public warning!

We threw ourselves to the ground and felt the strong vibrations from the explosions. Vera fainted but I got up and ran round that corner to her house, knowing that young children were there. As I got to the front garden gate, a large roof beam from a nearby house which had been hit, crashed across my path to the house, missing me by an inch or 2!
A few days later, I was told that I had made drinks for Veras mother and the children who were unhurt but in shock. I had no recollection of doing so, then or even now, or of how I got back to my own home. I awoke next morning on my bed fully clothed with my hair and clothes covered in filth, plaster and debris.

To my utter outrage, I heard a BBC radio newsreader report that "there was no enemy activity over London last night"!
I later learned that the target was an arms factory in the district.

Unfortunatly, Vera and I were seperated when we reported for duty with the WAAF. We were allocated to different 'trades' and posted to opposite ends of England; she to the north-west, I to the south-east. we never saw each other again, and most regretfully lost touch.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

London Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy