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Mary's story

Holes in the wall

Photograph of young Mary This happened on the occasion of a Daylight Raid by a single German plane, and as I made my way across the road towards the Warden's Post I heard the rattle of machine gun fire and saw across the roofs of houses a little distant an enemy aircraft machine gunning the Siddeley Aircraft Engine Factory.

I must now add to this my late Husband's description of what occurred inside the Siddeley Test House that day. His job then was to report on the engines of crashed aircraft, and at that precise moment he was running an engine on the Test Bed (ear plugs in ears, of course, so nothing could be heard above the engine noise - communication with others being by signs and 'mouthing' words), when suddenly he saw a line of holes appearing in the wall! He nudged the foreman in charge, and mouthed "what's that?", pointing to the wall - The immediate answer was "Good God! An Air Raid!" and throwing off all switches they 'legged it' to the shelter!

Incidentally, I had been married to him for years, and the War nearly forgotten, before he told me this amusing tale.

Mary Bills (nee Richardson)
July 1997

Mary has written another story about this period :

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