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"My father, Charles G. Eggs, was killed in one of those useless street shelters, on Stevenson Street, on the night of 17 September 1940. I think quite a few were killed that night. I managed to get pretty well the full story when I visited my youngest uncle, Stanley, in 1972. Stan used to work at Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, had just joined the Navy, and was on his first leave. He and his girl friend were with my father. They were walking home from my father's work, Crosville Motor Company, where he was a driver. They were near Stevenson Street when the siren went, so they thought they would head for my grandmother's house, which was opposite the street shelter. Figuring that perhaps the grandparents would have gone to the shelter also, they decided to head directly for the shelter. Apparently there was a bit of a crowd at the entrance trying to get in, when the bomb hit. Stan had hold of my father, but had to let go due to his own back injury. There was no trace of Stan's girl friend. Grandmother's house lost te entire front, both were in the house at the time. Grandfather was trying to read the paper by a damped firelight, he got covered in soot from the chimney. Grandmother was gingerly coming down the stairs in the dark, and was blown right back up onto the landing. Neither were hurt, but the house was a loss.

"After my father was killed, mother went to work as a 'clippy' with the Crosville Motor Co., a job she really loved. In 1944 she married a Canadian, and to make a long story short, that is how I wound up in the wilds of Canada. That is another story.

"My school was Northway, up on Northway Road. One day in 1942, I think it was, I was in my class (Miss Nish's) when I was told to report to the Headmaster's office (Mr. Price), right away. I made my way to the office somewhat apprehensive, trying to think what I might have done wrong this time. When I was ushered in to the office I was confronted with the Headmaster, smiling - unusual, but a good sign - and several American Army Air Force chaps. In the corner of the office was a pile of toys, games, puzzles, etc. I was asked to select any item I wanted from that pile. As I found out later, these Americans, probably from Burtonwood Aerodrome, had wanted to do something for the children who had lost family members during the air raids. They must have had the items brought in from the USA.

"When our house was hit, I always thought it was a bomb, although a rather small one based on the results of others I had seen. Mother told me in one of our 'memories' conversations that it was in fact an anti-aircraft shell that did not explode, at least not until it hit the back wall of our living room. It would come under that quaint term 'friendly fire'. Made a right mess of the wall and the living room. Interestingly enough, when mother and my step-father returned to live in the UK in the 1980's, someone told mother that if you suffered damage during the war you were entitled to compensation. She applied and received a small amount of cash."

(formerly Eggs)
Amherstview, Ontario, Canada

June 2001

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