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Plumstead Baths and a Tragic Birthday

I had a friend living next door, who was the same age as me. On October 8, 1940, it was his birthday, and we decided to commemorate it by going swimming in Plumstead Baths.

We arrived to find that a bomb had fallen on a shelter in Woolwich Arsenal, and it killed 200 people. They were using the baths for the mortuary, so we couldn’t go swimming. So we had to go back home then, and in the evening we had a big raid, so we went into the shelter.

A landmine landed on the fence between their shelter and our shelter, and my friend was killed and so was his mother. I was blinded, so I lost most of the sight in my left eye, but they operated and saved the sight in my right eye after the war.

'By Ellen Searle.

 

WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar'



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