Meet the People

The memories you will read on this website belong to the people below. They all lived in Bristol at some point during World War Two and have kindly agreed to share their experiences with us.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the larger photograph.

RhodaRhoda
I was 17 years old when war broke out and I lived in Eastville. During WWII I worked in a munitions factory and then I got married. I had two children. On 9th February 1945 I had a telegram telling me that my husband, a pilot, was missing believed killed. By the time the war ended I was a widow with two children.

Olive POlive P
I was 25 years old when war broke out. I lived in Southmead and had 2 daughters. I particularly remember the bombing and the sounds of the sirens. I also remember how friendly and concerned people were.

DorisDoris
I was 19 at the beginning of the war and I lived in Westbury-on-Trym. During WWII I got married. My husband went in to the Army. I was grateful when the war ended and grateful to be alive.

PeterPeter
I was at school when war broke out. I lived in Brislington. I joined the Army cadets, then the Home Guard and then I was conscripted into the Royal Signals. I was posted to India and then to Burma. I didn’t come back until 1947. I particularly remember standing by my front door and watching Bristol burn on the first night of the Blitz.

Olive COlive C
I was working in Mardon’s, a printing factory, when war began. A large part of the factory was destroyed by bombing in 1941. In 1940 I married my sailor. He was killed in March 1943 on a submarine taking part in the invasion of Sicily. I think of the war with great sadness. So many precious lives were taken but, when the war was over, we were proud that we could live again in peace and freedom.

TonyTony
I was eight years old when war began and I lived at Bishopworth. My father thought living so close to Whitchurch airfield was dangerous so he moved us into the city next to the docks! I can remember sheltering from the raids in the Clifton Docks Railway and being evacuated to North Devon.

MargaretMargaret
I was six years old when war was declared and I was on holiday in Weymouth. My father was a policeman. He had to return to Bristol straight away. I can remember going into air raid shelters on the way home from school because the sirens sounded. I was evacuated to Theale with my mother and brother. We stayed there for two years. I used to worry about my dad being in Bristol during the Blitz.

EsmeEsme
At the beginning of the war I was living in Southville. In March 1942 I joined the ATS (Auxilliary Territorial Service). I worked as a telephonist on Ack-Ack gunsites. One night in Bristol I plotted a plane from Lands End to Whitchurch. It had a VIP on board. It was Winston Churchill coming back from America.
I went to an all night party when VE day was announced. There was food , drink and dancing. I was demobbed in August 1945 and came back to live in Bristol.

MabelMabel
I had just come back from Switzerland when war was declared. We had been told to leave Switzerland with a few minutes notice. I can remember seeing hundreds of soldiers guarding the Siegfried Line.

During the war I had a daughter. She was just three weeks old when a German plane came over where we lived and was shot down. It crashed opposite our house.

I can remember queuing for food and dressing children in fancy dress costumes made from Blackout curtains.

At the end of the war we rode around Bristol on our bicycles with hundreds of other people and we sang, sang, sang.

JohnJohn
I had just left school at the beginning of the war, I was 14 years old. I joined the Home Guard and then, in 1942, I joined the RAF as a wireless operator and air gunner. I was sent to Scotland, Hong Kong, Palestine and Malta. I was still in the RAF at the end of the war.

TerryTerry
I was six years old when war broke out. I lived in Hotwells with my four brothers and sisters. I can remember having to go into the shelter underneath our school when the air raids happened. The air raids and bombing are my main memories of the war. People were always helpful to one another and rationing was always on our minds.

BobBob
I was only two months old at the beginning of the war. When I was nearly three I was evacuated to Chard, in Somerset, with my sister. Later on we were sent to Whitestaunton Manor and we stayed there until July 1944. When we came home I started school. I can remember only being allowed 2oz of sweets per week.

The producers of this website would also like to thank the following people for their contributions to Bristolblitzed.org.uk

  • Win G
  • Jeanne N
  • Mark H
  • Kenneth M
  • Peter S
  • Betty S
  • Donald W
  • Dorothy B
  • Raymond M
  • Jeanette T