WWII evacuee's unbelievable story of escaping London

8 May 2020, 15:45 | Updated: 8 May 2020, 16:01

By Fiona Jones

This evacuee caller told LBC the unbelievable story of escaping London after his home was bombed to pieces - and then being shot at by a fighter plane in a countryside cottage.

Brian was 6 years old on the day he started his journey to safety - he remembered seeing Wizard of Oz at the cinema and then in the evening his mother took him to the attic to show him the air raid in East London.

"We could see the flames burning on the docks," he recounted.

An air raid siren sounded over Holloway so his family went into the Anderson shelter in the garden and a few minutes later, and a bomb landed right outside their shelter, blowing apart the back of their house in the process.

"It twisted it so we had to be dug out," he said.

The family managed to get to a brick air raid shelter which was, tragically, lined up with bodies.

Bomb damage at Monument at City of London after a German air raid
Bomb damage at Monument at City of London after a German air raid. Picture: PA

"We had nowhere to go so we were taken to Holloway Road station and we slept on the platform for three weeks," Brian said; after this his mum, his sister and himself were sent to Norfolk, which he thought as a boy was a "great adventure."

His father had had the toxic mustard gas in the First World War so could not go into the forces, but stayed in London to be a fire watcher alongside Brian's brother.

In Norfolk Brian, his mum and his sister were able to stay in a little cottage, with Brian's older brother coming to visit them a few times throughout the war.

As the countryside cottage was near the American air base, that was unfortunately also "shot up." He recounted that his mum was sitting in the garden when she saw a ME 109 German plane shooting down on to the aerodrome.

The pilot turned round and begun shooting at the cottage, but luckily no one was injured.

LBC's Shelagh Fogarty, in disbelief, said, "So you've come all the way from bombing raids in London to Norfolk and a German fighter plane found you and shot at you in your own blooming garden?!"