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After The War In Burnt Oak

A Memory of Burnt Oak

Being conceived at the end of the war I don't have memories of it of course, but my late brother, my mum and sister had lots. The only street party I remember was the Queen's one in Mostyn Road where we all got a cup with the Queen's head on it. I regret losing that. But I still have the little ed book with all the pageantry in it.
My parents and siblings used to tell of dog fights during the Battle of Britain, over London where we lived, Cavendish Road in Balham I think it was. I was born in Clapham hospital overlooking the common. Mum said it had thick snow that day, December 1946. After that the bombs came and our family home was reduced along with the rest in the street by a stick of fire bombs. My dad was in the ARP at the time, driving ambulances in the blitz. He never said much about it but Mum said he used to come home on leave and be sick and then sleep. He did recount the time he crossed a bridge in the ambulance over the Thames just before a bomb hit it and he saw in the mirrors a double decker go down the hole. He came back to the bombed street looking for Mum and the kids and was told they where in a bomb shelter. Lucky they didn't stay under the iron table that time. Strangely and like many other stories, a few things survived the bomb that did the house in such as glass objects.
Mum's mum had a flat and she handed the keys to Mum and said she was off to Kent, out of the way. Mum stayed in London as Dad was there and all they had was what they stood up in.
Prior to the blitz Mum was, being pregnant with my sister, sent to Weston super Mare and stayed at that big hospital there near sand bay during the birth. But the Germans bombed this area as well as Bristol and so Mum decided it was just as safe back in London so back she went.  Ken, my brother was born in the early years of the war as well. After the blitz Dad went to Germany in the last stages of the war, to mend damaged tanks as he by then had been called up into the Royal Engineers and did an intensive mechanics course, to be his trade for the rest of his life.
After the war and about a year after I was born, we moved to the new estate at Burnt Oak, 44 Mostyn Road to be precise and I lived there until going to South Africa for a tenner only returning in 1976. Burnt Oak had quite a few bomb sites as I recall and we used to play in a lot of old places near Hendon aerodrome.
Most of the people in the new estate came from bombed out homes in London.

A memory shared by Fred East , on Nov 7th, 2008.

Comments & feedback

Mon May 11th 2015, at 7:12 pm

dmy commented:

Hi Fred,
I used to live at 50
Mostyn Road. I was Doreen Leeming (Now Yate) and have any happy memories of those years and dashing to the shelter when the siren went.

Tue Nov 24th 2015, at 7:37 pm

fred.east commented:

Hi Doreen. I remember the Leemings well. I used to climb the ash trees outside and Mrs Leeming used to tell me off. But boys, you know.
Best days of my life

Sun Apr 17th 2016, at 6:39 pm

Teresa Keech commented:

Just read your comments Doreen to Fred.I feel Fred was too young for me to know but when I read your name Doreen it hit me,did you have a sister Pat Leeming?I remember her I think she was friends with Joyce Carnell about no.28.I lived at 62 and I was friends with Irene Dombrandt that lived at 48.Teresa nee O'Sullivan

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