| It Has Been A Rough Year |
I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome. I wish ...
| The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins |
The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.
http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp ot.com/2008/03/an other-2-prayer-re quest-answered.ht ml
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Alan's Story > Chapters > 20. Alan's War. 20.
| Date Range: 01/01/1945 To 05/08/1945 ||
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I wanted to start off by saying what an honour it is to be placing my scribbles amoungst the pages of such well known and talented artists as Richard Ozanne.
The war was beginning to follow us down the twisting country lanes from London. One of the mothers was writing on the board ignoring the noise that we were making to interfere with any lessons planned when Betty Martin got up and pulled the teachers sleeve that the air raid siren was going off. We were supposed to get up from our desks and push them all over to be side by side on the window wall and get down under them and cover our heads and faces in case there was bombing. Now as we pushed the desks in organised chaos there was an almighty CRUMP. It wasn't a crash, it wasn't really a sound of sorts as we were making enough noise, but it was a sound that you could feel. Not a noise but a feeling.
Something had landed and we stood staring at teacher exposed at the blackboard from our prone position on the floor under the desks.
German fighter bombers were again attacking our fighter bases that were not far away from us, and some days we would stop and look up to see our fighter planes defending our country against the invaders. Teachers would always make us go back inside the building if looking up we could see aircraft overhead. They were worried that bits falling off would seek us out. We were getting quite adept at identifying our fighter and bomber planes. We now had posters with the silhouttes of the English and German aircraft. The window of view upwards out in the playground was constricted by the roof of classroom block and the washrooms. If we did stare up into the blue then we did it from the shelter of the roof overhang, just in case.
There had been a day when we were out there in the dinner break when a droning sound started to fill the air around us. It rolled over the fields from the sea covering the ground and leaping the hedges like a fog-a fog of sound. It sounded like lots and lots of tanks and lorries driving along the roads around the school and we ran to the school gate to see what was coming along the road but there was nothing. It was getting louder and now everyone was out of the school and the air was shaking with the noise. It was terrifying and now the blue cloudless sky was filling with dark silhouttes from the posters. There seemed to be hundreds of bombers, filling the sky with black shapes, the sound of them droning overhead filling up our small window on the ground with the feelings of death and destruction. Some children sank to the ground and covered their heads, others ran to teacher or just stood and screamed. I covered my ears but the sound was in the ground and worked it's way up my legs and through my body. I was holding someone and they were holding someone. The sound seemd to go on forever and Miss Armitage and one of the mothers gave up shouting because we couldn't hear them and just pushed us inside. The drone faded but some children were taken home when a parent arrived and they were still crying.
A policeman came into the school and we found out later that a piece of an airplanes fuselage had dug a hole in the hedge on the field across from the school, but they were not able to say from what it came.
The radio was reporting new happenings of importance every day and Uncle John became an unofficial BBC commentator by reprting the news that we had already heard earlier, over again as we sat down at tea. He left for work at about five thirty in the morning and usually came home about four or five in the afternoon. He would then listen to the six o clock and repeat it, not relising that we had already, with mum amd aunt, heard it at four. We would be making doorstep sandwiches from bread that mum had made that morning or toasting slices on the fire as we listened that they are now bombing cities all over Britain and that the casualties are terrible.
Uncle reports that when the planes went over that two of the warehouses were bombed and almost destroyed at the depot.
The telephone rings in the hall and it is our dad. He says that although the bombing appears to be getting worse, he is all right, as he is now working down in the Underground tunnel at Ilford where they have moved most of his factory and if it looks like it is going to be bad then he sleeps down there if he wants to.
"There is a lot of damage in Ilford and Forest Gate, mostly because of where they have been coming in to bomb the Docks. They bombed the High Street and a double decker bus drove into the crater."
"Forget the house and come down here." Mum said. She sounded like she was going to cry. Aunt Edna moved to her side and Chris put his arms around her. I stood in the doorway to the kitchen and Unle John had his hands on my shoulders, which was unusual. We could hear the tinny crackle of dad's voice on the phone and I wanted to hug him so much.
"I'm okay and so is the house. I'm staying down the tunnel all the time now that there are raids every day, but the factory is taking a bashing. It's almost like they know what we are making. The house is still the same and there is no more damage."
"When is he able to come down?" Auntie whispered.
"Edna wants to know if you are thinking of coming down. Is it safe to travel?"