World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                      Albert Hernshaw 

Letter from Mrs Churchill

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Albert Hernshaw
Location of story: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Louise Treloar of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Albert Hernshaw.

We used to hold parties in our back yard for other children. We’d charge 1d (less than ½p) to come in, and my mum used to do buns and cocoa. When I was 10, I got a letter from Mrs Churchill, thanking me for a donation of 4s and 6d (22½p)for the Russian struggle.

I was 14 when the war finished. I lived in Attercliffe with my mum, dad and one brother. There were two days when we were bombed. The first was a Thursday night. I remember hiding under the table in the house. The old lady from next door came through to go to our toilet. She wasn’t bothered about the shrapnel!

The second time was on a Sunday night. I slept through it, even though it was in the next road. There was a landmine 100 yards away from where we lived. One or two houses in the district got bombed, and a couple of people were killed. We could tell the different planes that came over just from the sounds. We didn’t see them at all – it was too dangerous to go out. We didn’t have any shelters – we just hid under the tables in the houses.

I wasn’t evacuated. The coach arrived in our street to evacuate us, and my mum said, “You’re not going.” I was all ready, with my pack and gas mask. I don’t think any of us went. We lived three doors from school, and life went on as normal. It was a friendly neighbourhood – you could leave your doors open all night. We used to go to different houses instead of school, and the teacher used to come and give lessons to some of us there. When the war finished, I was 14. I left school on the Friday, and started work on the Monday!