World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                        Kathleen Ainley 

Going Home during the Sheffield Blitz

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Kathleen Ainley
Location of story: Sheffield
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Roger Marsh of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Kathleen Ainley.

Going Home during the Sheffield Blitz

Kathleen Ainley
One Thursday night I had gone with my friends to the Sheffield Empire Theatre to see Henry Hall. We went to the first house at 8pm but my father was not very happy about me going.
The sirens were going as we came out of the theatre and we walked down to the tram stop outside C & A. We nearly went into the shelter below Marples pub but the tram came and so we got on and set off home.
We could hear the anti-aircraft guns firing from Manor Top (there was a battery up on the top of the hill. We could hear the groan of the planes approaching. It was very frightening.
My father was waiting for me at the tram stop and he immediately took me into the air raid shelter. The tram driver was scared to go on but the conductor said “Let’s go to Handsworth, it’ll be safer over there’ this is what they did and they stayed there.
I stayed in the shelter all night with my mother, brother and sister. I kept popping out to see what was happening but I soon went back into the shelter. My father had gone to work; he was a signalman on the railway at Brightside.
Sunday was the next big bombing raid and the planes concentrated on the steel works at Attercliffe and Brightside. My dad went out of his signal box and took shelter under a bridge for cover. A landmine went off right next to him and deafened him; he never regained his hearing properly. A young lad who was sheltering with my dad was really scared, because his home had been blown up on the Thursday attack.
The last bomb dropped that night, landed in the schoolyard near our home. We had heard the whistling of the bomb and all thought that we had had it; all the lights went off, we were all very scared. Later I climbed out of the shelter and it was a very bright night with the entire east end of Sheffield aglow – on fire!