V-1 Flying Bomb 2nd World War words of a survivor.

stevethebloggerStarred Page By stevetheblogger, 2nd Aug 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3g0ej30j/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

London 13th June 1944, the Bombing of London (the Blitz) was over (at a cost of over 40 million homes destroyed and 40,000 civilian deaths) and London was feeling some respite knowing that the invasion of Europe (D-Day) had already taken place and Hitters Nazi Germany was on the back foot but not to be known by them, a new horror lurked just around the corner. This is the story of just one survivor my Mum.

A false sense of safety.

The morning of the 13th June 1944 dawned bright and sunny, Londoner’s as usual carried on there daily routines amongst the ruins of London and generally felt relieved thinking for them that the War was nearly over. Unknown to them though a new devastating horror was just about to hit them, a new horror that would be so frightening no one would have thought possible, the “V-1 flying bomb” a bomb that just fell from the sky, with no warning except that is for the sound of silence. This is the story of just one of the survivors, my Mother Pat as she liked to be called.

Brief background information of Pat and the V-1 Bomb.

Pat is now the grand young age of 92, partially blind and unable to walk without aid but back in 1944 she was a young vibrant young lady who had already survived the horrific bombings of the London Blitz and had already lost her first husband (of two weeks), during the invasion of Italy. She had for the past 5 years stayed in London working for the WRVS (formerly the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service) set up in 1938 as a voluntary organization to help anyone in England, Scotland and Wales in need of help. She was based at a “WRVS”station quite close to the vicinity of Grove Road, Mile End in London, where the first V-1 Bomb was to descend on the 13th June, 1944 killing, eight civilians and destroying a whole block of houses. She herself had helped in digging out survivors and removing the dead to a local church comforting the deceased persons relatives.

The V-1 Bomb.

The V-1 Bomb also known as the “Buzz Bomb” or “Doodlebug”was an early pulse-jet-powered predecessor of the cruise missile used today. Developed by the German Luftwaffe it was seen by Hitler as his secret weapon to regain the upper-hand after the invasion of Europe, on the 6th June 1944 (D-Day)The first to be launched against the British mainland was on the 13th June 1944. At its peak there were more than 100 hundred launches everyday, for a total of 9.521 this only decreasing when the allies overran there launch sites in Europe. All in all they killed over 22,900 civilians. Military advisors have said that if Hitler had had these missiles earlier in the War, the outcome of the war would have been much different to what we know today.

Breakfast the morning of near death.

As described by my Mother
Five am as normal the first to be up were my Mother (Pat) and her Mother (Teresa). Teresa as usual was cooking breakfast for the whole family and after six years of war and strict rationing she had become adapt at stringing out one egg and a little flour mixed with sawdust to make it go further. Mum was also busy ironing and starching her dads detachable collar to make him look smart when he went to work (the starch by the way was made up of water and a little pinch of sugar from her own sugar ration her Dad never new this). With the arrival of her Father they all sat down to breakfast and listened to the large brown Marconi radio-set perched on the windowsill. The only other sound in the room was the ticking of a large grandfather clock standing in the corner, where it had been, for the last 30 years.

The News

After spending half the night in the air raid shelter at the bottom of there garden the news was not great. The large explosion they had felt in the night, one that had rattled the tin roof of there shelter, had in-fact, according to the news been a direct hit by a V1 Bomb on a house just one street away, one of nearly a hundred bombs that had fallen during the night. London was once again gripped with Blitz fever but life would still continued as normal. It was time for Mum to go to work, standing on the table was a metal tray filled with five steaming cups of tea these were for the group of five soldiers manning the anti aircraft gun, just outside of the house. Begging her Father goodbye was always hard as he was already mourning the death of one of his sons and a godson who had been killed while serving in Italy earlier on in the year. This morning however was harder than normal for he new something that my Mother did not and with tearful eyes he wished my Mother a speedy and safe return, she did not think that this was going to be the last time she would speak to him that day completely changing things for ever.

Good by to the soldiers. Nothing like a good old cup of tea

Mum then picked up the tray of steaming tea and with Grand-mum the two of them made there way to the front gate and the waiting soldiers. After laughing and speaking with them for a few minutes she tuned and started on her journey to work. This would be the last time she would ever speak to any of these four brave men again, she would though, see them in action later that day.

Tomorrow the journey to work and goodbye to a very good friend.

stevetheblogger.

Credits. Many Phone calls to my Mother over the space of 6 months. Wikipedia for some of the dates and photographs.Google images and there contributors for whom I am really thankful.

Tags

2Nd World War, D Day, The Londo Blitz, V-1 Flying Bomb, V1 Bomb, Womens Royal Voluntary Service

Meet the author

author avatar stevetheblogger
Stevetheblogger Is a full time freelance writer Originally from the UK he now lives in Quebec City, Canada with his French Canadian Wife. stevetheblogger is also for hire

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
2nd Aug 2012 (#)

fantabulous Steve...just marvellous...good old mum for sure...
we had a bomb crater in our front garden in coventry just missed our house by 6 inches! i guess i survived to write all me junk here on wiki!!!!!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
2nd Aug 2012 (#)

This is a winner hands down. Great star page Steve.

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author avatar stevetheblogger
2nd Aug 2012 (#)

Coming from you two they are comments that mean to much. I have just read through the article and I have to admit I tend to write as it comes out full stops and other sorts of abbreviation seem to disappear, and Cn my Aunt used to live in Coventry and went through that.
Many thanks once again and Mark many thanks for moderating and the star. Most appreciated.
Best Wishes
Steve

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
3rd Aug 2012 (#)

Brilliant to get such history down for others to read. It is something many of us cannot fathom living through, especially those in the USA who were rather untouched when we compare with what England went through.

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author avatar stevetheblogger
3rd Aug 2012 (#)

Mark Many thanks my friend for your kind comment. I think you will find that most Brits remember lets remember when England was close to defeat after Dunkirk on there own It was America who sent them arms. Most of the UK's arms had been left on the beaches of Dunkirk.
Many Thanks Mark
Best Wishes
Steve

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author avatar Denise O
3rd Aug 2012 (#)

What a wonderfully written page my friend, great information and lovely formatting. How proud you must be of your mum, as we all should be. Having been raised in the military, as my dad spent 21 years U.S. Air force and him being in during the end of Korea and all of VN, I must admit that even though I saw many of hero's, not all of them were enlisted in the military, it was their wives that I witnessed doing things that made me in awe of them. Especially when we lived in Guam and Siagon fell, I saw women doing miraculous things, as us kids were the errand go getters during this awful time, as scared, bloody and sadly dying people were being hoisted off of planes, ships and helicopters. I now live next to a big post we have here in America called Ft. Benning (our guy just won the gold for skeet shooting is from Ft. Benning) and I always make it a point to shake ones hand that is in military and thank them for their service, if they are with their family I thank them 'all', I feel they too play a very important part of it all and should be rewarded for their sacrifices. Well done Steve, your mum has a wonderful son. The star is a given, congrats. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
4th Aug 2012 (#)

What your mother's generation went through will make them look forward to each day of peace with relish and grateful thanks. It takes only one mad man to make us go at each other's throats like born enemies! Let us be ever aware of the consequences. These phases of history should never ne repeated as it proves nothing except for us to be warned of the consequences. And to think we are having much more potent weapons now! Thanks Steve for a share that makes us pause and think - siva

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author avatar stevetheblogger
4th Aug 2012 (#)

Siva Many thanks for your very Kind comment. The story that I am telling I had never heard before my Mum Kept it all to herself. It just seemed time for her to talk about it. Maybe it was her way to let mankind know that this should never happen again. I am afraid though that we have not yet learnt our lesson.
Best Wishes
Steve

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
5th Aug 2012 (#)

Dear Steve, my father was a doctor attached to the British army during World War ll and was posted at the war front. He never wanted to talk about what he went through and he is no more now! Just too painful even to recollect, let alone talk about it, maybe! siva

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author avatar M G Singh
5th Aug 2012 (#)

Its a great post Steve. Good show!

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
10th Aug 2012 (#)

I remember the warden flashing his torch down our shelter. I can't imagine how my mother felt with three small children, the youngest, too young to wear a gas mask, lay in a coffin-shaped container to protect her.
Thank you, Steve. A wonderful page, bringing back so many memories. Bless you, Ivyevelyn.

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author avatar A K Rao
14th Aug 2012 (#)

May God bless the 92 years old very adorable 'Pat' because of whom we could get such a marvellous first hand information about the 1944's incidence of World War II ! Great pice of work dear Steve! Thanks a lot for sharing!

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