One summer night we had gone to bed, us children, and bed was a mattress on the floor in an area of the flat that had no windows, so no glass, and mother was looking out the front door. The sirens had sounded and we heard that noise of a doodle bug and it stopped. Mother came running in saying this is ours!!! Then there was a loud bang but it wasn’t us as apparently, from an onlooker it had spiraled down right above us then shot off to Hazelbourne road. In the morning I walked up that road on my way to school and large area of it was flat. The little row of shops was gone and nothing was standing just a few outside walls of houses. All the way up that road there were shelters built in the road and sometimes coming home you would be told to get in the shelter by a warden but you used to skip from one to the other until close to home.
I had been home sick from school and mum said I should go back but I pleaded with her saying its Friday so just this day then back on Monday. She agreed but only if I got on with doing chores.
My bed was parallel to the window and I was making it when for some reason and I don’t know why I ducked low and there was an almighty bang and in came the window frame and laid on my bed and the window sill I got myself up had a couple of cuts and went towards the front of the flat to find the front door blown and other window frames too. I decided to find my mum and went out to borrow a penny for the bus fair. Of course I was in shock but outside was people with injuries facial cuts and I asked Mrs. Porter for a penny and she was cut around the face and didn’t seem to understand so I went to Mrs Aaron and she obliged. It seemed that a V2 had dropped about a hundred yards away on a small hotel.
I went to get a bus to go to where mother was working meanwhile she had heard we had copped it so our paths crossed. They told me she had gone and gave me another penny to get home. I walked in the front door and there was mother kneeling in the debris crying. She had asked if anyone had seen me and no one seemed to know I knelt down with mother and we both cried.
One summers day clear blue skies, aircraft dog fighting, watching the puffs of smoke when they fired their guns and cheering when one went down with one kid shouting it was a Messerschmitt then no it wasn’t it was…. And so it went on. After air raids I used to go in the streets picking up shrapnel and sometimes it was too hot
A man opposite wanted to collect an incendiary that had dropped sand had been put on it to smother it and he guarded it until it was cool enough to pick up. Of course now we know how very dangerous it was.
Of course traveling around wasn’t always easy as if there was an air raid warning generally the traffic kept moving well what else could it do if the bus stopped where did you run?
Dad decided one evening that we would go for a walk over Clapham Common t the Rose & Crown so “we” could have a drink. Of course my sister and I stood outside and gradually it got dark and then time to walk home. We had a torch because of course it was blackout. Dad was sure where we were walking until mother said her heels were sinking into soft ground. Turning on the torch for a minute we saw we were just a few feet from the edge of a water filled bomb crater.
The war ended eventually and men came home, some ex prisoners of war came home and there was lots of rejoicing but it was tempered by those husbands, sons and brothers whose bodies lay in a foreign land.