War time memories of your mother and father.
My mother was very young during the war, but she can still remember one event at the end of the war. It was 1945 on May 8th, my mother’s birthday, and all the area was celebrating. There had been a huge bonfire built on some waste ground, and to her it seemed like everyone was celebrating her birthday. It was, of course, V.E. Day.
Another of her recollections from during the war is that a piece of shrapnel came flying into a bedroom. Luckily no one was in there at the time.
He was born just before the war in a terrace in the centre of Middlesbrough. One of his earliest memories is of an air-raid siren on top of the Co-op. Whenever the siren went off he and his mother went into a cupboard under the stairs and they had to site in there until the all-clear was sounded.
It was some time during the war that air-raid shelters were built for his street. There were three of them in his street, and whenever the siren went for an air-raid, the houses near one shelter had to use that one. My father enjoyed going into these shelters because each time he went in, he would get a hot drink.
His father manned a searchlight and my father can remember watching the lights searching the sky for planes. On one occasion an enemy bomber was spotted and it was followed and fired at, but the flak never reached the plane and just exploded high up. My father can remember seeing the flashes of the exploding flak.
In the street next to him there was a giant water tank, which the firemen could fix their hoses to, and extinguish any fires around.
His uncle lived in Acklam, near the Thornaby aerodrome, and on occasions my father would stay at his uncle’s house and watch the squadrons of planes taking off and landing. To my father the noises from the planes was deafening, but he enjoyed watching them.
On V.E. Day he was at his uncle Bob’s and to celebrate, a huge bonfire was built. When he returned home (sometime after) there was a street party, and all the houses in the area were decorated, and even the old age pensioners, who couldn’t decorate their own houses, had other people willing enough to decorate it for them.
(c) M. Robert Gibson
First written 1977-05-31
Don’t forget, it was written by a schoolboy.
It is published here for purely selfish vanity reasons.