Centre of Swansea

Memories of the Swansea Blitz

Last updated: 17 February 2011

BBC South West Wales has been collecting people's memories of the Swansea Blitz. On 19 Febuary, 1941, 19 February, 1941, Swansea was besieged by the German Luftwaffe. The Blitz was to last for three days.

Up to 70 enemy aircraft dropped some 35,000 incendiaries and 800 high explosive bombs over the three-day period. The raging fires could be seen from the other side of the Bristol Channel in Devon.

A total of 230 people were killed and more than 400 were injured.

Vor Lloyd, Swansea

I lived in Teilo crescent. I was 10years old at the time.

My parents left my sister and I in the Anderson shelter as they went to fight the fire that started two doors away.

The doors to this house was locked and they had to break in there was no water from the mains so they filled the baths in other houses. The men then formed a chain to pass buckets of water to fight the fire.

A fire engine stopped out side our house but most of the firemen and the men in the chain where killed as a high explosive bombdopped at the same spot.

My mother had a man, his arm had been blown off. My father tied it and and told my mother to get him to a doctor.

Thursday 25 June, 2009

Yvonne Greco (nee Sulsh)

I lived in Elved Road, Mayhill at the time. I remember my mother had a square dining table with four matching chairs.

When the siren sounded, my mother would put the chairs on their sides around the outside of the table to form a barrier. She would pile all cushions around the inner edge of the table and put my sister aged two years, myself aged three-and-a-half and my baby brother under the table, then try to squeeze under herself ending half in and half out.

Teilo Crescent took a beating and there were many deaths. Listening to my mother and neighbours talking - one Teilo gateway was roped off and the body bits were collected and put there.

My grandfather lived at 82 Pantycelyn Road and was an ARP. Some years later, it was said that the Germans were trying to disrupt the supply of oil from the docks to Llandarcy oil works which was called PLUTO - Pipe Line Under The Ocean.

I remember being at my grandmothers on one occasion in Kilvey Terrace, St Thomas. The house had 3 levels - the lowest being below the level of the street.

The air raid warning went off and we all piled into the coal house on the lower level - it was pitch black. We were standing on small coal - I had no shoes on. My feet were full of chilblains - I was crying because the adults kept stepping on my bare feet. An incendiary bomb landed in the back garden - but it was soon dealt with. As young as I was - I can remember it as if it were yesterday. We were were terrified.

Terry Jones, Redditch

I was 5 years old at the time of the three nights bombing of Swansea.

We lived in Clyngwyn road above Tirbach colliery in Ystalyfera, this gave us a clear view down the valley.

As there wasn't much chance of sleep during the raids I remember clearly sitting on the low garden wall seeing the fire and explosions, then a slight delay before the 'crump' of the explosions was heard up the valley.

Joan and Ray Williams; Swansea

My mother (Joan) was a little girl living in Townhill. She vividly remembers having to take shelter in a neighbours, Mrs Eaton's Anderson Shelter during the air raids. It smelled of earth and damp canvas, while they huddled together and the ladies made tea on a paraffin stove.

She remembers the shaking and explosions, especially the bombs that exploded on Gwynedd Avenue that destroyed a row of houses, killing the occupants. She also remembers her father, Len , pouring sand over the incendiary bombs that had landed in their garden and bomb shrapnel that had smahed windows and was lying on the floor of the bedroom.

My father, Ray, was from Llanelli and remembers the noise of bombers and the glow over Swansea in the distance. He remembers coming into High Street with his Uncle Hubert and seeing bodies lined up under canvas not far from the station. Later in the war (May/June 1944) my mother recalls standing on Pantycelin Rd, Townhill, looking down on Swansea Bay full of ships, a lot towing bargess (The Mulberry Harbour?) and then within a night or two all of them having disappeared. her aunty turning to her mother and saying "Elsie, I think something big is up!" - it was the start of the Normandy invasion.

Elsie (my grandmother) was nervous for some time after, as she was concerned for my grandfather,Len, who was serving with the Welsh Guards at the time and would eventually fight in Normandy.

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