Silence. From the underground a stream of people came to be greeted by silence. A silence so loud it
was indescribable. Where homes were rubble was all that remained. Nothing left but silence, no glory
in war. Just deadly silence.
As long as I live that silence will remain.
One night in the life of a child, any child of war, any country. I was a little cockney sparrow- mum, dad
and a brother. My brother and I were taken to the underground every night for whilst after work my
parents were required to fire watch, this, at the height of the blitz. Never ending bombing. Parents
popping in to see we were OK. Remembering the wonderful WVS ladies. Oh that cocoa, sweet, sweet
cocoa. A biscuit, a sweet, something to eat, all sharing what little they had. A piano playing. I think
Charlie Kunz came and played a few tunes but there was always someone to play piano or spoons
and sometimes a comb with some paper to help ease the unhappiness of being away from my mum
The rare times we came out of the underground, we were in a different world, all there was rubble, our
home gone, silence. No words, just people stunned in silence, so loud it was indescribable. Nothing
left but silence, no glory in war, just silence, deadly silence.
No evacuation. Was told we were to go to Canada. Arrived at docks, dad changed his mind. If we
were to die, we would all die together. So we stayed all together. My wonderful parents, what those
days and nights did to them I will never know.
Dad was given the job of digging out people who had died in bombings- oh how he cried. Mum had to
work in a chemical factory. My admiration for those two knows no bounds. They were only two of
many London people where everyone was a friend, where strangers, no matter what the situation
gave each and everyone everything they had without any thought. A spirit hard to define. I am proud
to be a Londoner.
What a strange life I have had. Born in 1933 at 99 Sydney Street where at 100 Churchill tried to catch
a Russian spy, Peter the Painter, twenty years earlier. Being a bit of a run down area and dad an Irish
Guardsman, he found fleas in the room and decided to clean the room up with petrol. I guessed we
moved very quick after that.
Then the war came. Today, yesterday, tomorrow. One night in the life of a child, any child of war, any
country. No glory in war, just silence, deadly silence.