My granddaughter was studying recent history at school, a year or two back and the course of her studies were embracing the events of the Second World War; Classroom activities included an exhibition of War time photos and relics, that might be gathered together and I was incumbent on relatives etc, familiar with the era, to see what they might have in the loft! I was able to contribute a Tin hat (steel helmet in modern day parlance) and a gas mask, both inherited from my Father who was a stalwart member of the A. R. P at that time. More about the A. R. P later.
I was also asked to provide a brief account of my re-collections of the period, which, no doubt, would be included in any essays on the subject to complete her studies.
I later realised that I was 5 years of age in 1939 and 11 years when the conflict finally ended in 1945, there was also the 'benefit' of living in Croydon, for most of the duration, I might have a great deal more to recall than this brief summary for the classroom, on two sheets of paper.
I began to realise that memories, long forgotten, buried in time, were coming to the fore and if she was writing an essay. I might be able to write a book.
In those early days my home town was near enough centre stage to much of the aerial action during the Battle of Britain and the ongoing conflict, above our heads, over the years.
The area endured endless overflying of enemy raiders, attacking targets near and far, night and day, and was at the receiving end of attacks from V 1 and V 2 capons during the later stages of the War; it was also an area to witness the responding hordes of Allied bombers as they over flew us, from bases far inland, reaching out to targets in the Nazi heartland. I set about writing this account in earnest.