These stories are through a child’s eyes…
Maureen used to go on a steam train occasionally to go to her grandmothers for a holiday. A fighter plane followed the train and sprayed it with bullets and the children were pushed under the seats quickly. The train driver managed to drive the train into a tunnel. They were covered in bits of glass from the broken windows…it was terrifying. They waited and waited until the driver thought it was safe to come out of the tunnel. Some died that day.
Maureen and her family shared an air-raid shelter with her neighbours. The air raid warning siren would sound and they would have to get out of their warm beds and run to the shelter, where they had to stay until they heard the all-clear, usually near daybreak. It was hard to sleep in the shelter as they could hear bombs dropping around. One time a bomb exploded a few streets away and the blast forced soil and bricks over the shelter burying the shelter and everyone inside. The air-raid warden found them and send for help. They carried Maureen out all covered in soil and crying…
The PIGEONS return
Maureen’s neighbours kept racing pigeons and when the war started he gave them to the army to send messages. One day there was lots of excitement as the pigeon which had been sent to France and returned with a message. The neighbour had to go to the phone box to call the police. Two policemen collected the pigeon and its owner. The pigeon was given to the army to remove the message attached to its feet and eventually returned home.
ARP Fire watching
Maureen ‘s father worked in a munitions factory during the day and was a home guard at night. One evening, as he sat on a roof fire watching, he looked over the road at a pub on the corner where some people were in the doorway, as they were trying to get to a shelter. In a moment they had disappeared – the pub had gone and so had they. Maureen just remembers her dad saw some awful things but he would not share them with a little girl.