Aberdeen during WWII – Unknown story, shared by Helgi

I remember when I was a kid, my mother “BABS” telling me many times about how terrifying it was in Aberdeen during WWII.  She told me how scared they were at school as well as at home.  She mentioned how all the kids cheered, when they learned that the school had been bombed during the night, as that meant that they wouldn’t have to go to school, as some of the teachers were still imprinted with Victorian values (i.e. spare the stick  and spoil the child), however, the cheers soon ceased, when they learned that one of their much loved teachers who loved dancing, lost her legs in the raid, due to having been trapped under rubble.

This is a stark reminder of the sacrifices NHS and teaching staff make, by being on the front-line fighting COVID-19.  The difference being, you can see a Heinkel or Junkers come, but you cannot see COVID-19.

But British have always managed to keep a stiff upper lip and keep on.  This was shown, when one night a bomb fell on the house next door to where my mother lived in Aberdeen, and the blast blew in the walls and the lights went out.  Air raid wardens quickly arrived on the scene and carried everyone to safety, who were only wearing their nighties and pyjamas.  They were taken to a local church and given hot chocolate or tea and sandwiches.  The Red Cross responded immediately and gave them clothes. – This is why, upon my mother’s death back in 2013, I upheld her tradition, and everything that the relatives did not want, was given to the Red Cross and Salvation Army, who are always there at the time of need, even during house fires, which I myself experienced in 2008 The Salvation Army showed up with a large lorry with a mobile café.

That same night as my mum’s house got bombed, other houses in the street were also affected, but the Barbershop at the end of the street escaped, though the shops next to it got demolished.  They kept the British Stiff Upper Lip, and put a sign in the window saying: “WE HAD A CLOSE SHAVE, HOW ABOUT YOU?”

The same kind of humour is present today, and together we shall overcome.

Stay safe.

Helgi

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