Shelter from the shrapnel

From: Jack Scandrett Seven Sisters Road

Friday, 8th June 2018, 10:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:32 pm
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What can one do in a telephone box? When I read this headline in the Herald I immediately thought of the evening in 1940 when my girlfriend and I dived into a telephone box outside the Mayday hospital in Croydon.

Joyce was a trainee nurse, we had spent an evening together walking. When we reached the hospital gate the air raid warning sounded and we suddenly heard shrapnel falling around us. The telephone box roof was our nearest cover but we realised being surrounded by glass was a danger. At a quiet moment we dashed across the road to a purpose built shelter. Having entered the shelter we were not allowed to leave before the ‘all clear’ siren sounded, this was not until 5am the following day. Joyce returned to her duty and I cycled back home in Balham and had to explain to my parents where I had spent the night.

Joyce and I married in 1942, she was a ward sister when she retired. Sadly she died in 2003 age 82. We moved to Willingdon in 1986. I’m now 96.