Many of the evacuees that I have interviewed since 2008 have told me about the
air raids that they endured on the British mainland.
Today’s post marks the anniversary of the horrific Coventry Blitz which took place
on 14 and 15 November 1940
The Alexandre family had been evacuated from Guernsey to England in June 1940
just days before German forces occupied their island. I interviewed their daughter
Anne, who described their experiences in Coventry during the Blitz.
‘My family were initially evacuated to Stockport but we soon moved to Coventry
because there was plenty of work there for my Dad, and we were assured it was
‘safe as houses’.
Just a few months later, my brother and I were walking along the street, on our
way back from the chip shop. Suddenly a German aircraft appeared overhead
and began to machine gun the street! I could see the stones flying out of the wall and
all the bullets – he was flying so low that I could see him grinning. My brother and I
dived into a garden to escape the bullets, and were very upset that we had crushed our
chips in the process!
Later, my family were all at home when another raid began – all these bombs were
coming down thicker and faster, that was the worst night of the Coventry Blitz.
Suddenly there was a very close bomb and the conservatory doors blew in.
My family moved from Coventry, and eventually ended up back in Stockport where
my father, Jim, joined the Essential Works Department, building airfields.’
To find out more facts about the Coventry Blitz, go to:
To find out more about the Guernsey Evacuation to England, go to:
Anne is pictured below with her mother and two friends – this image was taken in
Guernsey just before the evacuation to England
My new book, Britain’s Wartime Evacuees, was published on December 12, 2016 (stories from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar)
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