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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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A Boy in Melton Mowbray

by actexplorer

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Ray Lucas
Location of story: 
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
21 July 2004

At the start of the war I was only ten years old or so.
I remember that as boys we didn't really understand what the war was about and to us bombs dropping was exciting.
In 1940 when I was eleven years old and attending the Melton Boys School, we were asked to volunteer to fill sand bags. I was also in the ambulance cadets.
I remember a bomb dropping nearby one Monday morning, around Easter time. It was pouring with rain. I looked out of my window and saw a plane dive across the town. There was a small crack in my window pane and when the bomb fell, although I did not hear the explosion, the crack got much bigger from the impact.
I remember a bomb dropping in the brook close to the cheese factory. The explosion uprooted a tree and blew it over a row of houses and it landed on a house in Brook Street. My mother told me to go and see if my grandparents were alright as they lived nearby. I caught the bus, but when it got to Thorpe End, the Air Raid people would not let us go any further, until I told them that I was checking up on my grandma.
My uncle had a bowling green at the bottom of his garden which he tended. When the bomb dropped his biggest concern was the damage it might have done to the green!
Some bombs were dropped near to the Holwell works. It was about five p.m. and I was in the fields nearby. A bomber came over towards Asfordby. I saw the bomb drop(I was told later it was a parchute mine). It missed the works by miles and exploded in some fields.
My future wife had been playing close by. Fortunately she was behind some trees when the bomb went off. She was unhurt, but the toy pram she was playing with was crushed.
I remember one Saturday morning at about six a.m.; some workmen were coming down Asfordby Hill when a bomber dropped a stick of bombs. A number of people were killed including a little girl (I think here name was Iona).
When I started work, I went to the Boulton and Paul works in the town as an apprentice carpenter. We were making the front end of Horsa gliders like the ones used in the D-Day landings.

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