I recall my mother weeping and me holding her hand saying, 'Never mind, at least we are all alright.
We returned to North London and stayed with an aunt until my father got another home for us, in which my mother soon settled - albeit with very little furniture and very little in the way of clothes. Nevertheless, you still counted your blessings. The air raids continued ferociously for seven months. London was not the only city targeted - Liverpool took heavy damage and Coventry was all but destroyed - but the Blitz on London, and in particular the docks, was the longest sustained bombardment.
The East Enders really took a beating with Whitechapel, St George's, Wapping and Limehouse being prime targets, as these were the areas around which the ships unloaded.
There were two miles of river patrolled by fire fighting boats that were often on fire themselves. During those seven months high explosive bombs 1 fell on the area of Stepney alone. Acts of extraordinary bravery earned some policemen, ARP wardens, fire fighters and members of the public the George Cross.
Whether right or not, it has been said that if the two miles of river and surrounding buildings had been paralysed, Britain would have been defeated. The end of saw life returning to some sense of normality, and then my father was called up into the Royal Navy. Very soon he was sent abroad and we did not see him again until My mother went to work full time and I myself had a job in the City. One day in I came home to find my mother weeping again and to hear that her second brother had been killed in action in Italy.
Then in her eldest brother was sent to Singapore, was captured by the Japanese and died in one of their camps. For ours and most other families, the war was a very sad time. Eventually my sisters and young brother returned from evacuation, and apart from my father we were all together again.
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In we were beginning to think that all could be well again soon, and believing that the war was drawing to an end, but there were new horrors ahead for us. These were the buzz bombs which were launched from French soil and landed indiscriminately, anywhere, with no warning. Thirty-six 2 of these buzz bombs landed on Stepney alone.
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Worse was to come. Later that year a deadlier weapon, the V2 was unleashed. When its engine stopped, it dropped like a stone, killing people and wreaking destruction where it landed. By this time everything was rationed. Mothers would queue for hours at butchers and bakers.
Some previously common foodstuffs such as bananas disappeared completely from sale. On a given day after the war all children were given a banana, this day became known as 'banana day'.
However amongst my many sad memories I recall a very happy one. On answering the phone early one morning it was an early morning alarm call for my sister the operator said 'the war is over'. Thus began the slow return to a normal happy life, my father returning home, my mother's remaining brother returning from the PoW camp, and life beginning to be lived properly again.
The end of the war was to bring a sense of joy to everybody.
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Find out how you can use this. These messages were added to this story by site members between June and January It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors. My grndparents used to live in grange road in the eastend off london and were bombed out and had to move to shepperton in middx,my mother was only 4 at the time.
I am trying to find out if i can estblish the rough time of when the bombing would have occured.
My grandad worked in the docks,I beleive they were the albert docks ,and his name was william marshall born in limehouse,his wife ,mabel dixon ,born in silvsertowm. Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC.
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Find out more about page archiving. The run-up to war Before describing the events of that day and the next seven months, it would be well to examine the period leading up to this. Life in the East End My memory of that Sunday morning is very clear, but to put that memory and those to follow into context I must first tell you a little of life in Wapping Island where I lived with my parents, my two sisters and my small brother, who was just five years old when war broke out. At war with Germany Prior to that Sunday in September my sisters and brother had been evacuated, initially to Brighton and then to Cornwall.
Life starts changing Men were recruited into the armed forces, sandbags began to appear outside large buildings, barrage balloons appeared in the sky and the government started to distribute Anderson shelters. The full force of the Blitz Wapping Island was only accessible by bridge. However, a German tank thrust forced the British to retreat to the French seaport of Dunkirk. With the British force nearly surrounded, Hitler had a chance to crush his opponents. But Britain's Royal Air Force held off German bombers long enough to allow a flotilla of yachts, ferries, and fishing boat to evacuate , allied troops across the English Channel.
British forces had been driven from the continent. Worse yet, they had been forced to leave their weapons and tanks behind. Britain turned to the United States for help. President Roosevelt responded to the Dunkirk disaster by ordering U. This time, French resistance lasted two weeks. Germany began its assault on France on June 5; a German troop entered Paris on June 14; and on June 22, a new French government, made up of pro-German sympathizers, was set up at Vichy. In just six weeks, Germany had conquered most of continental Europe. Next, Hitler sought to occupy Britain. Convinced that Britain would negotiate with him in order to keep control of its empire , Hitler decided against an immediate invasion.
Churchill, however, refused to bargain. Defiantly, he told his people that he would resist any German assault: "We shall fight on the beaches First, he unleashed German submarines against British shipping. Then, in July, he sent his air force, the Luftwaffe, to destroy Britain from the air. At the time the assault began, the Royal Air Force RAF had just serviceable planes, while Germany had 2, bombers and fighters ready for action.
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Throughout July and August, the Luftwaffe attacked airfields and radar stationed on Britain's southern and eastern coast. Next, in September Hitler shifted strategy and began to bomb civilian targets in London. These air raids, known as the blitz, continued through the fall and winter. Seller Inventory BBS Book Description Coda Books Ltd, New Book.
Shipped from UK. Established seller since Seller Inventory IQ Seller Inventory LIE Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. Seller Inventory ING Ships with Tracking Number! Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory n. Bob Carruthers. Publisher: Archive Media Publishing Ltd , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.
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