Monday, 27 April 2009

Watching the First Air Raid on Croydon Airport

August, 1940, Hathaway Road, Croydon. A nice summery day. A lazy sort of drone sound in the air.

"Ooh look" says Dad "They're dropping leaflets!"

He's pointing to the sky and I see a few blackish spots fluttering downwards. Quite small looking things; nothing special.

Seconds later I hear the thump, crump, crump thump as the "leaflets" hit the ground. Dad yanks my arm almost out of its socket as he whisks me indoors. They're bombing the Airport.

Oh well, no leaflets to read then. Never mind, there's always tomorrow.

This is my very first memory of the Nazi attempts to obliterate my town, my family and the rest of us. I was five-and-a-half at the time. Would I ever have a 6th birthday? Well, yes ... and quite a few more to boot.

Oddly enough, those early years were quite an exciting time for me and my two younger brothers. Eventually I would have two more brothers, but right now there's just me, Philip, Geoffrey, and baby John.

More to follow.....


A human kind of human said...

Hi Phillip, I have just started reading your blog for the firt time and I have this feeling that I am going to spend many hours enjoying it. I still have a very great curiosity about Britain and all thing Brittish. We have shared such a long history and it seems that your blog will teach me a lot.

PhilipH said...

Hi, nice to meet you (and your little grey moggie!).
Regards, Phil

Terry Coleman said...

Hi Philip
A very interesting article for me to read. I'm an old Croydon hand, born Sept 1940, Windmill Rd. Just round the corner from Hathaway Rd. It's a small world.
Kind regards

PhilipH said...

Hi Terry, Nice to meet you, via the blogosphere.
Did you go to Elmwood Rd School by any chance? My Headmaster was Mr. Thatcher, a firm and very fair chap. Need more of his ilk today!

Terry Coleman said...

Hi Philip
Oh yes. I lived half way down Windmill Rd and used to go to Elmwood Rd School with the bang'ole lads who passed my house along from Wilford and Forster Roads, they were a bit boisterous but good lads, Mr Thatcher kept order and the stick was never far away.Mr Pearson was science master and deputy head if I remember correctly.
Happy days and yes I think a tad more discipline wouldn't come amiss today.

Snowbrush said...

I didn’t realize that you had been blogging so long. I don’t even remember when I started, but it was quite some time ago.

I guess you must have seen leaflets fall before, because when I was that age, I wouldn’t have had a clue what might be coming out the sky.

GB123 said...

Elmwood school. As well as Thatcher and Pearson, anyone remember Lloyd, Brown, Ryman or Ms Windess? Anyone go to St Michael,s Infants School under Miss Simpson?