World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                       Beatty Czerwinski 

Days Gone By - the Sheffield Blitz

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Beatty Czerwinski (nee Garrett)
Location of story: Sheffield, Yorkshire
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Norman Wigley of the BBC Radio Sheffield Action Desk on behalf of Mrs Beatty Czerwinski.

When the blitz came to Sheffield, I was 10 years old. We lived in Hannover St. Sheffield, near the bottom of Ecclesall Rd. We lived in a big house that had been converted into flats.

When the sirens went on Thursday night (12 December 1940), it was about 7.00 to 7.30 pm. We had had lots of false alarms before, but could tell this was a real raid – we could hear lots of bangs. My brother came home and said it was a purple alert (the highest level), so we went into the shelter which was part of the house and was reinforced.

For about an hour we could hear lots of bombing and could hear screaming. We then heard that most of the street was on fire and we had to leave the shelter and come into the street – everything was ablaze. We were taken by the Home Guard to the bottom of Hannover St., and just down Ecclesall Rd., there was a shelter under a furniture store but this was flooded. We went back up Ecclesall Rd. to a shelter near the Star Picture House.

The morale in the shelter was great. Everyone was singing. I had no shoes on – just a coat over my nightgown and I was freezing – it was a clear, crisp, frosty night.

The all-clear sounded about 4.30 am., but we had nowhere to go because we discovered our flat had been totally blitzed. We found accommodation with a friend on Clarence St. We could only stay until Sunday because a time bomb had been found at Viner's Cutlery Works nearby. We went to my auntie's at Havelock St. and we had just got settled when there was a further big raid on Sunday night, which luckily missed the city centre.

We then found rooms somewhere until the Council found us a place at Parson Cross.