Bombs dropped in the ward of: Hillingdon East
Total number of bombs dropped from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941 in Hillingdon East:
- High Explosive Bomb
Number of bombs dropped during the week of 7th October 1940 to 14th of October:
Number of bombs dropped during the first 24h of the Blitz:
No bombs were registered in this area
Memories in Hillingdon East
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Contributed originally by Denisebrujis (BBC WW2 People's War)
It’s a morning in June, 1944 at Uxbridge Base west of London. Everyone is underground because the work they do out there is top secret. It is the Air Force Signal Control Centre. These headquarters were principally meant to test the operation of weapons when landings were taking place at the port of Dieppe, in France.
Renee Shalom is on duty. She is constantly watching Allied movements on screen and on controls. She works in the telex, and her boss is off today so she is in charge of anything that might be needed.
All of a sudden, a group of high-ranking officers comes in, all wearing uniforms with many important medals. They say they must send a coded message and it must be sent very carefully and with no mistakes. Renee is nervous but she sends the message, apparently without any problems.
The following day she finds out what she had sent - it was the communication instructing British troops of the launching of D-Day.
My mother was born in Manchester and came from an orthodox Jewish family of nine children. She was the first child to volunteer in the Air Force, quite courageous in that context and at that time.
Denise Chrem Shalom de Brujis - Maryland, US
Contributed originally by cambslibs (BBC WW2 People's War)
Not a lot happened during 1939 or Spring 1940, but as we moved into early summer the air raids were much more frequent and lasted much longer. By now rationing was introduced and for some goods was to last until the early 1950s. As we moved into September, the Battle of Britain was at its height. We lived almost entirely in our Anderson Air Raid Shelter. We'd all helped to build this: it was about 9ft by 5ft and we had dug down about 6ft to start building. We had steps down into it, a porch at the entrance, hooks for clothes and shelves for radio,a clock, thermos flasks and food tins,books and puzzles. We were issued with bunks, and had a light, running off a car battery. With blankets, pillows and hot water bottles we slept quite cosily.
My father joined the Home Guard and I learned how to put out incendiary bombs and use a stirrup pump. I became a fire watcher at the laundry where I still worked.
We longed for dull foggy days, but the skies were clear and the raiders came relentlessly. We watched fighters take off from Heston airport and counted them as they returned much later: so many missing.
We had our first taste of the bombing in October 1940. We no longer listened for air raid sirens and all clear signals. Sometimes raids lasted all day or all night. We automatically went straight to the shelter on returning home from work and stayed there until morning.
On October 21st we awakened about 4 a.m. hearing a terrible bang. The whole shelter shuddered. We realised that a bomb had been dropped close by. We couldn't see anything because it was too dark, so went back to sleep. Shortly afterwards, there was a banging on the shelter door and an air raid warden flashed his torch inside. He told us a large bomb had landed on a house opposite ours, bringing the house down and killing the old gentleman who lived there alone. It had not exploded and the whole area had to be evacuated. We were given 5 minutes to collect a case full of things and leave. The assembly point was the Mission Hall opposite the laundry where I worked. My brother and sister were so frightened. My father was making arrangements to get my grandfather moved;he was bedridden and slept in a downstairs room reinforced with iron girders. He was whisked away by ambulance and never returned home again. We were a sorry lot trailing down the road with our neighbours, some with coats over nightclothes, carrying young children, some with dogs and cats and birdcages. Old and young, we were a dejected lot until someone started to sing: "There's a long, long trail a-winding"
On arrival at the Church Hall, we had to sign in,giving name, address and number in family. We each got 2 blankets and a palliasse, found a space in the hall and made up our beds. We were all there for 4 days. The WVS were wonderful and provided us with breakfast of porridge, toast and marmalade at another church for anyone who wanted to go. We couldn't cook anything as the gas ring only had 2 burners, but we made endless tea and lived off fish and chips. We didn't get much sleep as people were coming and going day and night, working different shifts. We were also very conscious that we were in a wooden building with a tin roof-not much protection. We weren't allowed back into the house for anything but my father managed to sneak over the back fence, feed the chickens and bring us clean clothing. Eventually we were told that it was safe to return: the bomb was not set on a time fuse, so would not now explode. It was left till after the war when a huge crane lifted it out. Had it gone off,we were told, the whole street would have gone up as well.
The raids continued throught the winter and as water seeped into the shelter we returned to sleep in the house. Daytime raids were upsetting during working hours. A look out post linked to Hesto Airport was set up on the roof of our laundry. If the airport siren went, we knew to head for the deep shelter. Once there we knitted for the forces: gloves, mittens, scarves helmets and long sea boot stockings with wool etc provided by the WVS.
The autumn brought the first terrible onslaught on London and the surrounding areas and this continued well into 1942. Night after night: they were indescribable. We returned to shelter life. We concreted the floor to keep out the water.That winter was one of the worst for Southall and Heston as the bombers were aiming all the time at the airport. We spent the days clearing glass and broken items in the house. The safetymen inspected the damage and declared our house unsafe, but as we had nowhere else to go, we were allowed to stay, provided we slept in the shelter and did not use the upstairs at all. We had no electricity or gas and my father fixed up a camping stove and an open fire on bricks. We seemd to be the only family with even these facilities for cooking. There were no doors on the house, but my father nailed a tarpaulin over the roof and men came in the afternoon and nailed canvas over the open windows. A few days later, gas and electricity were on again. One thing that sickened all of us were the looters, stealing whatever they could from people who had lost so much.
Now there was a new threat- incendiary bombs. These were not very big but on landing they burst into flames. Fire watching became essential; buckets and flowerpots filled with wet earth or sand were best: as they landed we quickly turned the pots on top of them. The main danger was that they landed on roofs and caught fire before they could be reached.
Winter 1942 and through to summer 1943 there was not a lot of activity. The summer of 1944 brought the flying bombs, V1s or doodlebugs as they were known. They were small in comparison to an aeroplane and were pilotless, just an engine and a bomb. Some travelled further than others but not many reached further than North London. Kent bore the brunt, but a lot of the country there is open and they fell in open fields. They could be heard and seen so clearly. We watched and listened for the engine stopping, then just lay flat wherever we were. Most evenings were spent in the shelter.
My fiance stationed overseas sent me a parcel for my 21st birthday which arrived on August 29th. I decided to leave opening it until after work. I was never to know what was in that parcel: during the day we knew that a V1 had come down near to my home and my foreman sent me home to see if everything was o.k.. The nearer I got to home, the worse the damage. There were ambulances and fire engines and I was really frightened. I knew my mother was at home as well as my brother, who was on school holidays. I can remember saying over and over as I got nearer: "Be in the shelter! Be in the shelter!" I arrived to find a heap of rubble: 12 houses were down in all. I checked the shelters and they were not there. I helped our next door neighbour out of her shelter, with her little nephew. Her husband, who worked nights had been in the house in bed. There was nothing I could do but stand, watch and wait.
The warden came and told me my brother was safe but injured. He'd climbed out himself and was on the way to hospital. My mother and the dog were still buried in the rubble and the teams were waitng for lifting gear to get the beams off of her. They lifted the beam clear and found our puppy lying across her legs whimpering. My sister and father arrived home not knowing that there had been a bomb and collapsed in a state of shock. By the time they got her out, she was unconscious as the doctor had given her an injection. She and my father were whisked away in the ambulance,leaving me and my sister, who was still weeping.
I clambered over the rubble and rescued family documents and dad's Home Guard rifle and ammunition. Friends took us in and found out where Mum and my brother were. Wally was in Southall and Mum and Dad in Hillingdon, which was six miles away. Wally was not badly hurt but very shocked and worried about Mum. To this day he still has a piece of glass in his chest. Mum was a different story: the doctor asked to see me and told me she was desperately ill. Her body was a mass of glass splinters and she had a deep wound to her lower body. He didn't think she would last the night.
In the meantime friends and neighbours had worked hard to slavage what they could, but already looters had broken into the garden shed and all dad's tools had gone and all the chickens had been taken. The oddest things survived: the mantle clock, a bottle of milk, mum and dad's wedding china, but so much had already been taken.
The house was definitely unsafe and a fire had started. 2 of our neighbours had been killed and more injured. I couldn't sleep for worrying about the future.
My mum became known as the human pincushion, she was so pitted with glass. She survived against all the odds, but to the end of her life in 1967 she still had glass working towards the surface. I made an appointment to see the Air Raid Distress Officer for I needed new ration books and clothing coupons for all the family. They were very helpful and local friends and neighbours did what they could. I also started badgering the housing department to find us somewhere to live. I didn't have much luck as raids were continuing and more people were made homeless. Houses were in short supply and I saw one or 2 unlikely flats. Eventually I was offered the ground floor of a large detached house which I accepted. We had no curtains, bedding, very little furniture and only a few household items we had salvaged. Once again I visited the Air Raid Distress Organisation asking for help. I was given coupons for curtains bedding and blankets and dockets for furniture and lino. They also had a large warehouse of utility household goods for people in our situation: crockery and cutlery and some furniture for the sum of £25. It was not much but a start. The American red Cross were also very helpful giving us kitchen equipment, rugs and quilts. We also got a cheque for £150 from the Lord Mayor of London's distress fund as dad had paid into this regularly, never thinking he would need it. We also got a box of linens from the Kings Hall Sisterhood friends. I made curtains and we scrubbed out the flat all ready to move in and for Mum to come home from hospital.
It was a horrible house really despite our best efforts. Rats were a constant pest and we had to have the pest control officer. We were also plagued by ants, spiders and crickets.
The flying bomb terror had subsided but we did get a few V2s. The nearest one landed on the Smiths Crisp factory at Osterley killing hundreds.
So into 1945. Mum needed more operations and I heard that my fiance was missing believed killed in Burma. Whatever else could happen to us?
The war ended in May. We pulled down the blackout and turned on all the lights!!Dad was looking into the possibility of getting our house rebuilt and we spent many evenings making an inventory of all we had lost for the insurance company. That June we paid the final instalment on the original mortgage, but there was nothing there! My fiance was pronounced officially dead in November. Our house in Regina Road was rebuilt in 1946 and we moved back in November of that year. We as a family considered ourselves fortunate compared with many. We were together again in our own home and although Mum was to carry the scars and weakness to the end, she was able to resume family life.
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