SMHS Meeting: Childhood memories of wartime London

19 Aug 2015

In August, Ray Broomfield joined us to share his memories of the 1940s in North London. Born in 1935, he lived in a house on the perimeter of Hendon aerodrome, attending the nearby Oliver Goldsmith School.

He recalled when, on his first day of school, his sister marched him to the halfway point between home and school. She said that if the air raid siren sounded when he was yet to reach that point, he was to turn and run home, but if he had passed that point he was to run on to school for shelter.

In September 1940, Ray and his sister were set to be evacuated to America or Canada but when news of the attack on the SS City of Benares, carrying child evacuees, reached home he saw out the war in England.

Ray showed us some of his collection of various gas masks, helmets and wireless sets. He described that his father wore a trench-coat and would often return home to empty something out of his pocket, maybe some eggs or tea. Ray said if his father had carried these in a package he may have been stopped and the item confiscated so the coat was a great way of evading discovery.

Proceeds of Ray's talks benefit The Alzheimer's Society.

Follow us!

Social Media Follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook!

Contact us


For just £10 per year, you can join SMHS and be involved in our projects!

Membership details

Next meeting     [More]

7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Function Room of the
Royal Oak Public House,
Station Street, Lewes,
East Sussex.

Latest SMHS News

SMHS meeting: Show and Tell
21 Dec 2016

Mid Sussex RED launch event
11 Nov 2016

SMHS meeting: Hellfire Corner
19 Oct 2016

SMHS meeting: "1066 and all that"
21 Sep 2016

SMHS meeting: Operation Pedestal
17 Aug 2016

Return to top

This website is Copyright © 2017 Sussex Military History Society