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peter todayPETER'S STORY

Peter is 95 and lives in Fulham.

He was unable to visit St. Mary's school, but sent us his story for the project:

"This tale features my Father and Mother and is a typical example of the fear and stress so many people suffered at that time - also possibly the spirit of optimism and humour which saw us through.

peter compering concert
Peter, far left, compere of the 3 Army Troops
Workshop Concert.

My parents lived in Leamore Street, Hammersmith, right next to the low railway bridge carrying the District Line - an ideal basis for an Air Raid Shelter.

For many nights in late 1940, London had been on the receiving end of the Luftwaffe's mounting fury.   On this occasion, Hammersmith and the general West London area were the main targets.   concert programmeMy parents and older sister Babs had quickly moved into the shelter, in response to the stomach churning wail of the warning siren - a sound which still has the power to sicken, even if only heard on a wartime film on television.

In the shelter, as the bombing intensified, the scene became one of panic and pandemonium with babies crying, older children and their mothers wailing and drunks of both sexes singing and behaving as drunks do.

It was at this point that my Mother's stoical courage began to falter and my Father came to her rescue.   He put his arm around her, kissed her gently and said "Never mind, old girl, keep your chin up.   Remember what Churchill said - this is our finest hour".

Those words did the trick and she soon found herself laughing and crying at the same time"

peter relaxing on a boat
Peter relaxing on a boat trip in the 60s.

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