“I remember the day (that war was declared)...within half an hour of Chamberlain saying ‘we are now at war...’ the local siren went off and my mother, she went crazy. She got hold of me and said ‘Go down to the town hall and get a gas mask for your sister’, who’d just been born...she was shoved in it every time there was an air raid.
“They made me the door keeper of this telephone exchange and they gave me a rifle to guard it with, a bit of wood with a spike on the end. I’ve got to defend the telephone exchange against German paratroopers, who will knock on the door and ask if they can come in!
“I asked the SW1 if I could have the gun...It was an old German shotgun. He said ‘yeh you can have the gun, but there are no bullets for it’.
“When they started sending the doodle bugs over...well, I was in Crayford high street...and right on the corner was a pillbox...on the other side of the road there was a dispersal place for clothing and there were all these women queing up...I heard this (doodle bug) coming...I heard it coming and I heard it stop back there and I dived into the pillbox...Then suddenly the top of this building went up...and a big lump of coping stone, I saw it come down straight on this pram...
“You did get fatalistic...(but) it was the V2 if anything that was destroying the morale...there was no warning, nothing...I was lying in bed one night listening to my radio, then all of a sudden bricks and stones and that were all coming down...This V2 had dropped half a mile away, up by the school...The V2 was just horrible.