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Memories of Bootle in the Blitz

Here, some of our visitors share their memories and thoughts about the Blitz. 

When the blitz was happening my great grandmother had to celebrate her 21st birthday in a air raid shelter, when she was home on leave!

I had to live through it and it was scary not knowing what might happen.

RIP to all the people that has died in wartime Bootle.

We only had 2 ounces of sweets a week.
My Great Grandma ran out of the house when they were dropping bombs and shoutEd "Why don't you come down here and fight like men!!!!!!!!!"

My great grandad was a policeman and he use to pull people out of the bombed buildings RIP Grandad Burns. xx

My grandad's favourite pub was destroyed by a big bomb.

My nan was a bomb watcher in Bootle in WW2, when Bootle Matchworks went up

My mum lived in Henry Street and she chose not to be evacuated and stayed in Bootle when the bombs dropped.
Cathy Cooper

My grandad was a baby and had a massive gas mask, I remember seeing it in the attick it scared me at first but my grandad said it saved his life!
Helena Mulhern 

I was evacuated when I was a girl and my husband was bombed out of every house he lived in.
Teresa Molloy

I grew up on Marsh Lane in the 70s and some of the bomb damage was still there then. Thankfully my family were lucky.

I got sent away from my mum and dad with my sister. I was only a baby.
Elise Lawrence

My Great Grandad James was a fireman in Bootle during the war.
Joe Holmes

My aunt was evacuated to Wales and when she came home she could only speak Welsh and had to learn English again

My grandad lived at 66 Keats Street Bootle and his house got bombed.
Jim Bibby

My grandad was a war baby and he was put in a care home as a child because his parents were killed in the war

I was in the war I was only a child I am 78 now and I can remember the devastation of seeing the amount of damage to to houses and shops I luckily survived threw it.
John Heron

My Mother of 91 would talk about going to the air raid shelter and returning home to a flatened street.

My father was evacuated from Vorkes Crescent Bootle to Wales in the war he lost both his parents.
Chris Fennessy

My grandma told me she had to hide my mum under the table when she was a baby.

I was a boy during the May Blitz and I remember the sadness on women´s faces when that telegram came. My Mam got one and she went out in the street crying. We all thought that my old man had died but he´d been wounded and the telegram was telling Mam he was being sent home. At home he helped our ARP warden. Unfortunately we lost my Father in the Blitz - he just never came home one night after Bootle had taken some beating.
James Tylor

I was born in May 1940, a real Blitz baby. One night after visiting my grandmother, my mother decided to go home despite the blackout and started off. She had a great deal of difficulty pushing my pram in the darkness and at one point found herself pushing really hard and getting nowhere so she gave up and went and stayed the night at Gran´s. Next day when she retraced her steps she found the place where she had been stopped. The pram wheel marks showed that she had been trying to push me into a new bomb crater which was quite deep. Thank goodness I´m still here to tell the tale.
M Farrell

I was born in Bootle and came to the USA in 1960 with my Mum and Dad and brother. As kids we would sit around the kitchen table and listen intently as my Mum told stories of the Blitz and what it was like to be in Bootle at the time. She was one of eight kids and she often wondered how my Nan managed to hold everything together during that time. They were bombed out of a house on Benedict Street and had blast damage to their next house on Wadham Road (where some of her sisters still live). My Dad was from Huyton and was evacuated to a farm with his brothers. The war for him was far different than it was for Mum. I am proud to have inherited the strength of spirit that is such a great part of the character of the people of Bootle, Liverpool, and England herself.
Steve Burke (USA)

Memories of Bootle. I remember as a youngster of about 8 years old, each night the air raid warning sounding. My mother & I would go under the stairs & stay there, sometimes till morning. Each bomb that came screaming down seemed to get louder & louder. We both were very nervous in the May-blitz 1941 - it got very bad. My father was on ARP duty all of the war. He came home one morning, it was about the 5th of May, and told my mother & I we had to go to Longview, Huyton to his brother´s house as it was much safer. But he had to stay in Bootle on duty. We lived in Oliver St. We had an ariel-torpedo at the top of the street & 3 landmines at the bottom on Stanley Rd. My father had reported in about the 3 landmines but only 2 had gone off, and at the ARP post they said he must be wrong - it was only 2 that fell. So that was that until 2 or 3 days later a soldier came home on leave. He put his key in the door only to find a landmine hanging behind the front door by its parachute. Lucky for him & the rest of the streets it did not go off. The police evacuated about 5 side streets along Stanley Rd until the bomb crew came & dismantled the bomb. They put barrage balloons all along the docks & the ones on the ships in the docks were like sharks with sharp fins. Some days Jerry came over in the daylight & machined gunned the balloons. Then our planes intercepted them. On the days that a warning did not sound all the kids watched the dogfights in the sky over the docks which were about 1.5 miles away. All the family ended up at Dad´s brother’s house in Huyton. About 10 of us or more. My Dad´s sister´s husband came home on leave from the Merchant Navy. He joined us all. Next day he went back home to see his side of the family. He went out in the morning with black hair & came back with a white line over his head. He had found most of his family dead, & had spent about 4 hours sorting limbs out of the debris. About 4 or 5 houses got a direct hit in the street. (NOT THE GOOD OLD DAYS)
Harold Harwick