Joan Jackson lived on Raffles Road, Birkenhead with her parents and younger sister when war was declared in 1939. She has very kindly shared her memories of the Blitz with us…
“We had numerous bombing raids over Merseyside, but the first one I remember was in 1940 around Christmas. I would have been 16 years old at the time. One day, after tea my mother had decided to ice and decorate some christmas cakes (she was a confectioner), when suddenly the air raid siren started to wail. We all made our way to the air raid shelter in the back garden. My parents had made it quite comfortable with a mattress on bricks, cups and saucers, biscuits, candles, torches and games… it had to be relatively comfortable as you never knew how long you’d have to spend in there!
As the war progressed we used the shelter more often and when the raids became more frequent we spent most nights in there. In early 1942 a huge raid was in progress and our road received a direct hit which destroyed several houses and seriously damaged many others, including ours. I remember my little sister was very distressed. It sounds silly now, but I distinctly recall saying to her, “Don’t cry Barbara, it’s only a bomb!”
The damage to our house proved beyond repair and the family was forced to split up. My parents went to Holt and I moved to Upton where I started my training to become a nurse.“