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Ria’s Story of the Second World War

I used to carry the cot into the shelter, also the insurance policies and three babies bottles wrapped in blankets.


I was born in Coronation Street; I’m a proper Geordie.  I have a son and daughter.  My son was born during the Battle of Britain, my daughter was born in 1947 when my husband came back.  They were both born in the Jubilee and it was absolutely super.

Ian was only one year four months old when my husband went to war, like thousands of others.  Ian was at school when my husband came back and he’d never seen him for all those years.  My husband said you’ve had to bring him up and I said I want to have another one for you to bring up.  Well, he came home in 1946 and our daughter was born in 1947.  There was 6½ years between them.

During the air raids I was never nervous, I only had the one child to look after.  My neighbour had three children to get into the shelter.  I used to carry the cot in, also the insurance policies and three babies’ bottles wrapped in blankets because I always thought that the Germans would have come down, and he would scream his head off if he hadn’t had his bottle.

One time we were nearly ten hours in the shelter.  Where I lived in Balkwell Avenue, we were bombed three times, I’ll never forget that all those hours.  We were near the Tyne and the shipping.  Once the raid was over, I never thought about what was going to happen the next night, I put it right out of my mind altogether, but when they bombed Balkwell Avenue, my front door was put out, the windows were out too, but we were alive and that’s all that mattered.

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