Bombed out and Homeless

By Mrs Doreen B. Dransfield (nee Reed)


Many people were killed in the London Blitz , but my family consisting of my Mother and Father my sister Olive and myself , were enjoying a round of cards ( “Can you go” I think it was )   along with our neighbours, Mr and Mrs Cheesley from the ground floor flat , Jack a friend of the family and his friend Charlie. (Jack’s wife Doris was away in Wales).

Our flat was on the first floor of a house in Harvist Road, Kensal Rise which had a back view overlooking the Main London, Midland and Scottish Railway’s main line to the North. And we were not far from Willesden Junction, making the area a certain target for enemy bombers.

The warning wail of the air raid siren had already sounded but there was no panic and we carried on playing cards, but when we heard the thud of a bomb not too far away followed by a nearer one, upon which I ran to open the door to go down the stairs. (We sometimes sheltered under the stairs in the Cheesley’s flat).

Before I had reached the door however, the third bomb was a direct hit on the front of our House, bringing half the house down and killing out two budgies which were in a cage in the front room.

As we were all in the back we were safe but were unable to climb down as the stairs had gone. I was 10 years old at the time.

Eventually wardens came along and helped us all down safely and a policeman accompanied us along to the school which I attended at the end of Harvist Road, where we were given temporary accommodation for the night. But we felt filthy with the dust covering our clothes, and we had to face the fact that our home had gone along with all our furniture and other possessions.

The next day the problem of our clothes was dealt with when we made our way to the local Memorial Hall, and sister Marshall of the Church Army, helped to kit us out with some clean clothes, and some good friends – the Good ways came to our aid by letting us return to live in their house in Carlton Vale, not far away the same house that we had shared with them before we moved to Harvist Road.

We stayed there for some time and certainly over Christmas.

I should add that the Caretaker of Harvist Road School who had opened up the school to provide us with the overnight accommodation had informed my teacher of our plight so I was allowed time off school for a while.

After staying with the Good ways at Carlton Vale for a while, some friend gave us the use of their lower flat at the house in Mostyn Gardens near Kensal Rise, until better times allowed us to have our own home once again.

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