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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Hazel Flavell's Story

by Lancshomeguard

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Hazel Flavell
Location of story: 
Beswick, Manchester
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
22 September 2005

This story has been submitted by Margaret Payne of the Lancashire Home Guard on behalf of Hazel Flavell and has been added to the site with her permission.

As a three year old child, I remember being wakened up — my Gran used to say, “Come on, Hazel, Hitler’s coming”, and then we had to go to the air-raid shelter. The air-raid shelter was like a big wire cage (possibly made of steel) that you had to enter. There was a bed, flasks of tea and Gran’s Lancashire Parkin always went with us!

I had lost my mum at childbirth, so my Gran brought me up until I was nine year’s old. I remember my Gran combing my long hair into plaits ready for school, when she heard a loud whistling sound (she thought it was the milkman as he used to whistle!). The whistling seemed to stop and then my Gran threw me into our air-raid shelter following me in and closed the steel partition.

After the all-clear we soon realized that the street behind ours had been hit by the doodle-bug bombs and had destroyed possibly four streets. My aunt went out later in the day to see what damage had been done, and I remember seeing a massive crater where the houses had once stood. I have vague memories of a lady in a wheelchair sitting outside the only house that was standing, but apparently the blast had killed the lady — apparently with no mark of injury on her body.

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