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Gas Masks & Air Raid Shelters


I started school when I was four and left when I was fifteen years old.

Thurcroft School was a large building which was divided into three parts, Infants, Juniors and Seniors, all run as separate schools. The Seniors eventually became the Secondary Modern School. I don't remember much changing other than the name.

I was at school during the 1939-1946 World War, we were very isolated from the effects of the war until Germany began bombing Sheffield. We were issued with Gas Masks and had to carry them at all times, one day the Army came and brought a huge van and each class had to file into it wearing our gas masks the van was filled with gas and the man in charge took his mask off to show us what would happen if we did not wear them during an attack. Luckily we never had one. The School had several underground air raid shelters, but other than mock alarms they were never used. Air Raids were during the night we then spent the night in the cupboard under the stairs, how anyone thought we would be safe in there, I don't know. I had a younger sister and brother, Florence Mary and Terrance William, we all three slept under the stairs for weeks on end mum and dad came in too. It must have been a squash. After one raid in Sheffield, which had lots of steel works, my uncle Joe who lived with us found a shell casing I remember taking it to school where it was put on display.


Told by Vera Brockbank


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