Brenda McColl

Recollections of the Blitz and evacuation to High Wycombe.

'We were plunged into an inferno'

Although Brenda McColl was only a young child during the early years of the war, she has vivid memories of the first day of the Blitz. Whilst out walking with her parents on a sunny day in September 1940, chaos suddenly erupted around them. Brenda recalls:

‘...we were plunged into an inferno! Noise of heavy bombers droning, explosions like volcanoes, the sky turning black, livid red, billowing smoke – I thought the sky was falling in – the noise was deafening – my Mum screaming. My Dad scooped me up in his arms and dragged my mum by the hand – we ran over Greyhound Bridge ... and turned into the Old Kent Road towards home. Dad ran fast and I can still feel the rough serge material of his ARP uniform as I bounced up and down in his arms, poor mum trying to keep up’.

Evacuation to High Wycombe

Owing to the heavy air raids in the local area, Brenda and her mother, along with her extended family, left London to relocate to High Wycombe. Initially, the family struggled to find a billet, ‘It wasn’t a happy experience; Nan and Mum holding my hand, knocked on several doors and were turned away, other family members had the same luck’. Eventually, a billet was found with a local family in a three bedroom council house.  The family were made to feel so welcome that ‘we didn’t feel like ... evacuees or refugees anymore’.

The family stayed in High Wycombe for the duration of the war.

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This page was added by Malin Lundin on 18/08/2012.

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