The Wallis's ~ The Complete Story
finance both projects and one of us had to leave. I did not want to leave St. Georgeís for I was very happy there but I knew I could not keep up and would soon be called to task for not making the grade so I said I would be gallant and make the sacrifice! Although in a way, I had no choice! Jo continued with his degree and I returned to the Salvatorians in Wealdstone.
Matters were worse for Dad for at this time the indiscriminate bombing which started in our area a bomb had dropped and landed in the road in front of the house next door, itís blast blew most of our roof off and all the windows blew out. The local authorities came in quickly and replaced the glass and started to relay the tiles but exactly a week later the same thing happened again. This time we had to be content with poor quality glass. Which let in the light but through which we could not see.
This second bomb cracked up some of the inside walls of our house door were blown in. At the time of these raids we were sleeping in the dinning room, which Dad had reinforced with corrugated steel sheets mounted against the ceiling-using heavy supported with timbers. We would sleep on mattresses laid on the floor side by side across the floor. When the blast of such a bomb entered the room these mattresses must have lifted with us in them together with our bedding in place high enough for loads of broken window glass, broken bricks and other debris to find itís way underneath us.
When the house was being cleaned up we found the glass would tear and cut the mattresses the carpets everything was spoilt, more damage was done than we thought at first sight.
Dad was still very nervous and he now decided that this strengthened room was not safe enough so he bought an Anderson shelter, which we all helped to assemble and set up in the front garden under the two over hanging oak trees. The idea was that the oak trees would give a type of umbrella protection each side with the house acting as a screen for the entrance. When completed concrete all hand mixed and over a foot thick was poured over the top of the shelter, which was followed with garden, soil another two-foot thick. We all slept out there at night or when a raid came our way. However with the last years of the war we had the Flying Bombs and V2 Rockets arriving and when Dad experienced a near miss he decided he would not risk our own reinforced shelter. We all had to march down to the local recreation ground where the large public shelter with bunk beds was available. We had to carry down all our bedding and night requirements every night and bring them all back the following morning.
In 1944 I returned to the Salvadorian College, in Wealdstone for just two terms during which I took the school certificate and managed to scrape through. With a pass
Dad had always had a dread of any of his sons going into the forces. He had managed to get my elder brother John, now a qualified Quantity Surveyor, into a reserved occupation. He had a civilian post in the Admiralty although it entailed working in Malta and Hong Kong as was explained earlier.
Jo was settled in Reading University studying for his degree. In Agriculture I was sixteen and could be called up anytime so Dad got me to take up an indentured Apprenticeship which would keep me in a reserved occupation for another four years.
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