World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                       Dorothy Bower 

The Blitz December 12, 1940

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Dorothy Bower, Jean Bower, Mr. & Mrs. Richardson,
Location of story: Sheffield (Pitsmoor)
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Dorothy Bower.
On Blitz night, 12th of December 1940, my sister and I were alone in my sister’s house in Kilton Street, Pitsmoor Sheffield 3. Mr. Richardson, who was my friend’s dad, had a brick shelter in his yard. As we were trying to get across the road to get to our own house in Andover Street, only about two minutes’ walk away, my mum and sister had gone to the Coliseum Cinema, also a few minutes’ walk away. We were told to stay where we were and wait for them to pick us up, in case of any air raids, but we had never had one until then. So I thought it was best to go home, across the road.

But by the time we had gotten half way across, the raid really got going and the planes were trying to drop bombs on the railway and works at the bottom of Norfolk Bridge. ESC and Browns were two of the works. My other sister worked at ESC and she was at work that night.

So, there we were, running to get home and it was absolutely pitch dark in the street. The Richardsons saw us and took us into their Brick Shelter. Half way through the raid, we were all singing, but a bomb or land mine dropped in the street below us. Mr. Richardson flew in the air on a wave from the blast, and landed on his back in the yard outside. Later, Mrs. Richardson dashed into the house to make some tea. When she saw her lovely home made bread, black and covered in brick dust, her language was too disgusting to print and I couldn’t spell it anyway. My dad thought we had been killed by the bomb that was dropped at the bottom of the street. It was the only time I ever saw him cry.