Kees's story

Air raids at School

Photograph of young Kees We regularly had air-raid drills at school. The principal sounded the siren: a big, red cylinder with a crank on it to emit the warning sounds. Our game of hide-and-seek began as soon as we heard the first shrill cries of the red contraption. We tried to save ourselves in various ways, depending on the severity of the anticipated attack. Minor attacks meant we should hide under our desks. If a very dangerous attack was at hand, we had to sit plastered against the inside walls of the school corridor.

The principal cleverly explained that the bombs that fell upon a house or a school would blow the walls outwards. This is why we had to sit along the inside walls. I never understood why the inside wall wouldn't fall on our heads as it exploded outwards.

These games were rather amusing. We knew that no bombing raid was imminent, but it transformed the school into a playground.

Kees Vanderheyden
Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Canada
12th March, 1997

Kees has written other stories about his childhood:

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