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Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Monday, 6 September 2010 16:14 UK
Living through World War II in Surrey
Flying bomb damage in WWII
Flying bombs caused huge devastation across the South

70 years ago this week German forces began the bombing of Britain.

In the first month of the Blitz more than 5000 tons of high explosives were dropped on London and the surrounding counties.

As the war progressed the Germans began to use V-1s, flying bombs, or doodlebugs, which did immense damage and killed many people in the county.

We hear from some of the people directly affected, those who actually lived through World War II in Surrey.

The date of 7 September has been chosen for the commemoration as it is exactly 70 years to the day since Hitler's war offensive switched from military targets to the bombing of cities and industrial centres.


Eve Freaks

Whilst the men were mainly at war, it was left to the women to survive at home.

Many went to work in factories, including 20 year old Eve Freaks from Esher who cycled every day from her lodgings at Homewood House to work at the Brooklands Vickers aircraft factory in Weybridge.

On the 4th of September 1940, in broad daylight, the German Luftwaffe attacked the Vickers factory.

In the space of three minutes, 85 people were killed and more than 400 were injured.


Hazel Green

Hazel Green is 93 and moved to Walton on Thames in 1940 just before the Blitz.

She was a spirited young lady and refused to be cowed by the German air raids, instead using her musical and creative skills to help people take their minds off the bombing.

With her sister Peggy, she performed in every local hall possible, playing two piano duets and on one occasion three pianos!

One night, on returning from the pub with her husband, Hazel found the house next door had been demolished by a bomb. Her neighbours had been blown to the end of their garden, but escaped with cuts and bruises.

Hazel found a box of eggs in the rubble that had been in next door's larder, and not one had cracked.


Beryl Doman

Beryl Doman has lived in Walton on Thames all her life and was just 10 years old when war broke out.

She remembers finding the rationing being very difficult. "In those days you ate whatever there was, very little and very little fruit."

However, she loved queuing up for an orange when they became available in the shops and sharing her baby brother's orange juice.

They spent a lot of time in the shelters, singing to keep their spirits up and Beryl would always sing her favourite song, 'Tangerine'.


Marjorie Pollington

Marjorie Pollington moved to Walton in 1939.

During the war, she tried to keep her two pre-school age children safe, eventually sending them to her parents who owned a farm in Bracknell.

As she ran Pollingtons Newsagents, which still exists today, on Terrace Road in Walton, she would have to spend half her week at work, and half helping her mother with the children.

It was a 19 mile cycle ride from home to the farm, but as she was in her twenties it was considered safer for her to do this, than to travel on transport used by the troops.

Marjorie retired in 1982 and now at 95 years old, is a well known local figure.


Joan Mansfield

Joan Mansfield, who is 90 years old, still lives in the same house in Walton she lived in during the war.

Then, as a young mother, she watched the Canadian army trying to shoot down the V-1 bombs as they flew overhead.

One of these bombs, known as 'doodlebugs' landed nearby and blew the front of her house in. Joan and her baby were sheltering under the stairs and she says 'God was looking after us'.

The family ended up living in their garden's air raid shelter.


This Autumn, BBC Surrey will be supporting the Walton Heritage Day, held on the banks of the River Thames at Walton on Thames.

The theme of the town's annual heritage day this year is Walton at War.

In pictures: Surrey at War
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WW II bomb safely detonated
08 Jan 02 |  England



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