World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                            Janet Boam 

Fish and Chip Supper

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Tony Morley
Location of story: Shiregreen Lane, Sheffield
Background to story: Civilian


"Fish and Chip Supper"

Janet Boam


Tony Morley was 9 and living in Shiregreen Lane when the following incident, which he remembers vividly, took place.

The year was 1944, the sirens had sounded and all had taken their places in the Anderson Shelter in the back yard. Two doors on from where Tony lived, was a fish and chip shop. The owner also took her place in the shelter and was grumbling that when the sirens sounded, she had had a shop full of customers awaiting the fish and chips which were cooking in the pans
As the sirens sounded the customers vanished, so she turned off the pans leaving all the fish and chips, and headed for the shelter. On hearing this, Tony and his friend ran out of the shelter intent on rescuing the fish and chips. He remembers looking up and seeing a German plane just above the houses - it was lit up by a searchlight and he could see the markings clearly. They ran into the shop, which was in darkness, and managed to find the scoop to get the fish and chips out of the pans.

Looking around for something to put them in, they remembered that one of the neighbours had a large tin bath hanging on a nail in the wall, in the yard outside. Wasting no time, they fetched it into the shop and proceeded to empty the chips and fish into it.

When all the fish and chips were in the bath, they set off back towards the shelter.
They had just passed the row of dustbins in the yard, when there was an almighty crash behind them.

They made it to the shelter and hungry mouths soon devoured the fish and ships from the bath.

The next day, on emerging from the shelter, they saw a huge hole in one of the dustbins. It had been hit by a piece of shrapnel which must have missed them by inches!



                           Lewis Boam 

“Fire-Watchers’ Fire”.

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Lewis E Boam, 18, Firshill Gardens, Sheffield S4 7BU.
Location of story: Firshill & Pitsmoor Road History Group
Background to story: Civilian Force


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Julie Turner of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Lewis Boam.

Lewis E Boam, 18, Firshill Gardens, Sheffield S4 7BU.

Firshill & Pitsmoor Road History Group.

“Fire-Watchers’ Fire”.

A few days before the incident which I will relate to you took place, I had a dream which was to come uncannily true. I dreamed that I found a woman’s head in a Typhoo Tea Box.

At this time I was engaged in fire-watching duties at the Brightside & Carbrook Co-op Chemists in Infirmary Road. My co fire-watcher was an elderly gentleman by the name of McClennan. One night he had stoked up the fire and we settled down for the night. He was reading the ‘Weekly News’ and I sat opposite dozing. When I awoke I smelled burning soot and tried to alert McClennan to this fact. However I had great difficulty, as he appeared to be asleep with he eyes open. Just as he came to his senses there was a frantic banging on the backyard gate which led into Gilpin Lane. It was four steelworkers who had seen that our chimney was on fire and had come to warn us. When we looked up there were flames shooting out of the chimney pot. At this point McClennan vanished only to reappear when the fire was out.

The four workmen and myself decided we would tackle the fire and proceeded to find the equipment needed. We found the stirrup pump didn’t work and the bottom fell out of the bucket. I ran on the road to Westminster Bank and borrowed their stirrup pump and we managed to find another bucket which didn’t leak. By this time three of the workmen had gone on their way leaving the one remaining and myself to tackle the fire which we eventually did. At this point McClennan re-appeared. We decided to check the upstairs rooms to make sure nothing was burning up there as in some old buildings one chimney ran into another.

McClennan lent me his torch. I went up first and he followed. The upper rooms hadn’t been used for years and were very dusty and full of junk. We went into one room which was lit by moonlight streaming through the window. In a pool of moonlight on the floor was a Typhoo Tea box and in it was the head of a woman with long blonde hair. I stopped dead in my tracks recalling with horror my dream. However on closer inspection it was nothing more sinister than the head of a dummy which must have been used in window displays. I must admit that at first it gave me a nasty fright.

McClennan’s reaction was to grunt and say “come on, let’s go”, at which he went back downstairs and proceeded to stoke up the fire again. Really we were lucky because if the A.R.P. had spotted the fire we would have been in big trouble.