World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                      Jim Midgely


Sleeping Beauty

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Jim Midgely, Annie Midgely (Mum) and Tom Midgely
Location of story: Kingston-upon-Hull
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘BBC Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Jim Midgely,.
Around 1941 – 42, my family lived in the Witham area. It was my brother’s first week at work, having left school at 15. Friday was payday. In the evening, he went out with his pals and got well wrecked (drunk?). He came home about 11 p.m. and went to bed where he fell into a deep sleep!!

During the night, the air raid sirens sounded. Mum rounded up the 4 younger children but she could not wake Tom up. There were bombs dropping all around. Mum took the four children to the air raid shelter and came out when the ‘all clear’ was given. The HOUSE WAS GONE!! However, the bedroom floor was still sticking out of the next door’s wall. The bed was still in place with Tom Midgely still fast asleep, covered in tiles and muck, totally unharmed and with his flat cap still on.

A bomb had hit the front of the house sucking in the front wall. It ricocheted off the Yorklist Range cast iron fireplace and took out the back wall. It landed in the street killing several people. Mum eventually had 8 children and they all survived the war.