u3a - Battle of Britain and the Blitz stories - Valerie Moore

Submitted by Valerie Moore - Saltburn & District u3a


On 14th November 1940 Coventry was attacked by 500 Luftwaffe bombers in the single most concentrated attack in WW2 on a British city. The raid went on for 11 hours destroying over 4000 homes. Coventry was poorly defended and not one bomber was shot down. During the Battle of Britain, between August and November, there were 17 raids on the city. Lots of houses had Anderson shelters in the garden but ours didn't. I was 3 years old at the start of the blitz but I can remember being put to bed on a mattress on the floor of the "bogey hole" under the stairs - in amongst the gas pipes and meter. My Dad knew someone with a car and I can also remember being taken more than once to a farm in Kenilworth and sleeping in a barn.

After the November raids my Mum and Dad decided we'd be better off staying with my Uncle who lived in a village, Dunchurch, 12 miles from Coventry. We stayed with him until March 1941 and they then decided to move back to their house. On 8th April 1941 Coventry was bombed again and this time our house was so badly damaged it was uninhabitable. Back we went to Dunchurch where we lived first of all in rooms above the Green Man public house, then lodged with a family in the village and eventually in a rented cottage until the end of the war. I don't remember feeling frightened, luckily I think I was too young to appreciate the enormity of what was happening and how close we were to death. However I don't know how my parents who were both only 26 were able to cope, but they did, just like everyone else at that time.