Response zone

The exhibition 'Spirit of the Blitz: Liverpool in the Second World War' only told part of the story. During the exhibition many people shared their memories and stories about their own experiences of the war in our response zone. Read their memories below.

If you lived in Bootle during the Second World War then the Museum of Liverpool would like to hear from you. Find out more about the Bootle in the Blitz display on the website or in the Museum of Liverpool's History Detectives gallery.

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Ronald Jones  -  08/12/2004

I was eight yrs old when World War 2 began. We lived in the Anfield district of Liverpool, which was subject to a lot of air raid bombing. Our house was destroyed during one raid. No one was hurt but my Mother decided it was time we were evacuated. Our family consisterd of 4 girls and 3 boys, my Mother and my Dad who was away at sea in the Merchant Navy. My older brother was evacuated to N Wales, my younger brother and the 4 girls went with my Mother to Blackpool, i was sent to Aberystwyth in Wales. After some 18 months my Mother collected me and brought me back to Liverpool. My Dad was a stoker on the Empress Of Britain - a passenger liner being used as a troop ship. It was sunk at sea by a U-Boat and German aircraft. My Dad was one of the crew rescued by tugs and taken to Scotland. He was taken to the notorious Barlinnie gaol which was being used as a rescue centre{he used to tell us he had been in Britains toughest prison having committed no crime}. He was medically examined and sent home on compassionate leave. Whilst on leave my Dad took work in the ship repair in Liverpool docks. After finishing work one day my Dad was stopped by a policeman at the dock gates and asked for his identity papers{during the war everyone had to carry identification papers}. He explained he had none that he had lost everything at sea. He was not believed and arrested. He was taken to Pall Mall the next day and inducted into the army. In the meantime the police had notified my Mother where Dad was - she protested to the police to no avail. My Mother was advised by the seamans mission to go to the authorites which she did, and my Dad was released. My Dad used to bet people that he had been in the british army but had never wore the uniform or been on parade. My Dad was in the army for only one day, and i have his army pay book to proove it. His army number-14255y88. My Dad never held any grudges, he loved this country. Ronald Jones.

Mo  -  06/12/2004

Memories of war stories
Hi all. My mum was 13 when the war started. She had a strict upbringing. This was her opportunity to go a bit wayward! She remembers her dad bringing home people who needed a bed for the night, especially US service people. Mum lived in the Dingle district. Dances were attended by herself and her parents! This would never happen today. She always remembered fondly this time even with the danger etc because people were sharing and not isolated within their comunities. I love to hear of peoples experiences. Thankyou for reading..

Maureen  -  06/12/2004

A family at war
Liverpool Echo ran a story on my husband´s family. Fitzsimmons (five brothers)in various sevices in the war. Any one remember this? Any info on what date the story ran? Fitzsimmons family with Italian connections.

Joan Clark  -  04/12/2004

Sprit of the Blitz Exhib.
Have just returned with my mother from visiting the Blitz Exhibition. My parents lived in Aigburth during the war - my father (an engineer) volunteered for the subs but was sent to Rootes to ´do his bit´ He was also in the Auxilliary Fire Service. The exhibition brought back many memories to my mother especially the May Blitz. My mother told me that one morning when she got up after a terrible nights bombing, all the ground & houses were covered in a fine dust That was after the night that the town centre was hit. As a post war baby(born 1945) I found the exhibition very interesting & moving. Well done to everyone involved in putting it together. I do hope that at some point in the future you will put it on again. The information and the memories of the ´ordinary´ people of Liverpool should not be forgotten.

ANDY  -  02/11/2004

Bedford Place Bootle
Trying to find out any details of Bedford Place, Bootle before, during or after the May blitz 1941. Great Grandfather John Essler lived in number 20.

Denise Beesley  -  01/11/2004

Letter from 1940
My partner came across a letter to his Grandmother, from her sister, written on 27th September, 1940 from Kingsville Road, Bebbington. The content is truely inspiring, telling of a bombing raid in which the street got bombed and the rallying round of neighbours putting out the fires. Two small excerpts that show the spirit of the people are "It struck me as kind of funny going out of the front door with a cup of tea in one hand and a plate with a piece of mother´s pie and jam tart on it in the other, with the planes flying overhead and the gunfire banging away" and on surveying the devestation of her house, "Mrs - was quite cheerful and said she would be doing her Christmas cleaning a bit earlier than usual". The film ´Rebecca´ was on at the local cinema, and despite sitting through it with a delayed action bomb, it was reviewed by the writer as "a very beautiful film, a masterpiece in fact". This letter made a fascinating read!

Lola Ward  -  31/10/2004

Meccano Factory Binns Rd
Does anybody have any recollections of the Meccano factory in Binns Rd? My mother, Lola Ward, worked there during the war making bomb releases. She is now 84 and would like to hear from anyone who also worked there.

JIMMY MELIA  -  20/9/2004

Does anyone have memories of the munitions factory at Kirkby ?