Saturday, 25 August 2012

First Day of the Blitz, London bombed!

First Day of the Blitz, 07/07/1940 My lovely Mum's 22nd Birthday!

Well a bit of a way to celebrate her birthday! Especially as she had my brother who was only about five months old with her at the time, along with her sister, Mum whilst her Dad was out doing his duty as a police officer. Her brothers of course were either enlisted or waiting for call up. The bombing started in late afternoon/early evening and the bombers had turned around and were on their way home by about a quarter to six. 965 enemy aircraft took part on this day, not all of them bombers of course, fighters and other escorts were involved, but within the space of about an hour, London's docklands and the East End were ablaze. The London Fire Brigade classified a fire requiring 30 pumps as a "Major" fire, yet in the early evening of the 7th September, the Fire Brigade were tackling nine fires which were officially rated as "Conflagrations", in that they required more than 100 pumps each. The largest was the Surrey Docks, where the fire was too large to classify, and it was arbitrarily rated as a 300 appliance fire.

Just after eight in the evening, the next wave of 318 bombers began to pour down tons of incendiaries, 306 civilians died in the bombing, and 1337 more were seriously injured in the City, with 142 more killed in the suburbs. An enormous pall of smoke hung over the capital, and the fires burned on.

Thankfully, my Mother and brother survived, as did the rest of her family. They had another close brush with death though, and if it were not for the quick thinking of another, neither they nor I would be here. But that is a story for another time. Surviving all that and eventually being bombed out of their home, unfortunately, my Mum died far too young just over a quarter of a century ago. Happy birthday on the 7th Mum, I just wish you could have had many more of them. May your soul fly in Heaven.


  1. I also had the great pleasure of knowing this fine lady and can honestly say that she was a great inspiration to all who knew her, had a wicked sense of humour and loved by all her family. She always gave love in abundance and wasn't afraid to give a good telling off to whoever deserved it. I still miss her after all these years and will never forget the love and the kindness she gave to me.

  2. Thank you Max. I "talk" with her in my quiet times, usually when I am alone and in the country, with none of the modern day distractions, when my mind and her soul can communicate with each other.
    I miss her more each year that passes, because I am only just beginning to realise the difficulties and problems that she had in her lifetime, which she overcame with dignity and pure guts.

  3. Looking on the lighter side of the 40's aerial activities,I was working in the office of a large music store in Brighton. This was situated on the seafront, and on the top storey of the building. German planes would finish their business on this side of the channel, then make their way back to base, dropping any left over bombs in the channel as they went.One day, while several of us were having some lunch on the flat roof,a plane zoomed over our heads, showering machine-gun bullets all around. We were really petrified, and scuttled down to the basement two stairs at a time. Now we had a lady boss who seemed very strict, and we were all in awe of her. But she had a kind heart, and kept a supply of cocoa and rich tea biscuits which then, were like gold dust,and proved a very welcome treat.