Thursday, 3 September 2015

Blitz stories nu 1 ........ “No chips tonight, they’ve bombed the chippy”

German bomber over Poland, 1939
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Manchester Blitz the stories of what happened those two nights of bombing just before the Christmas of 1940 will come back out of the shadows.

Many have been lost plenty more tucked away and forgotten and of course there are today fewer people left to speak directly of what happened.

Not that these two nights were the only raids stretching out across pretty much the entire war.

Now the professional historian will turn to the official records dig into the newspaper accounts and with the assistance of the bomb makes try to describe the impact and the destruction of the raids.

After the Raid, 1940
But I want to explore the experiences of the people living directly underneath the path of those German bombers.  Their stories are not always earth shattering but in their way they give a sense of what our parents and grandparents endured.

Like the man who responded to a recent story on the German plane that was shot down and crashed in Hazel Grove.

His was one of the simpler responses and just contained the line “that they got our chippy.”

He was 5 at the time and living in Beswick “when a Navy man home from the Navy for a week came down the street to say the chip shop had been hit.”

And that is pretty much it, but that in a way makes the memory all the more powerful and reminds us this was the level at which the Blitz impacted on people.

The story was passed onto me by David Harrop who is presently mounting a new exhibition at the Remembrance Lodge in southern Cemetery on the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.

Pictures; the Heinkel He 111 over Poland, September 1939 from the German Federal Archive featured in  Heinkel He 111 Wickipedia
 and a page from After the Raid, Issued in 1940 from the collection of David Harrop.

No comments:

Post a Comment