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Poetry D Jour by Beryl McMullen coming December, 2010


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Author Topic: Birmingham War Years  (Read 11299 times)
Beryl McMullen
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« on: May 25, 2009, 12:29:24 AM »

 WAR AND PEACE

A Night Remembered

The night was cool the moon was high
Search lights crisscrossing against the sky...
Probing the stars with its ruthless beam
To catch the enemy within its gleam

Wailing air raid sirens began to sound
People stream to shelters underground
Evading adults I kept out of sight
So not to be stopped to watch the fight

Above the fires the sky an angry red
Making the heavens pink smoke overhead
Saw brilliant specks of flashing light
Anti aircraft shells exploding the night

The heavy drones of planes fill the skies
I shield with my hand to shade my eyes
See Heinkels Dornier's from the glow
Semi - illuminated in the street below

Watch a Hurricane climb for height
From out of nowhere to join the fight
A Heinkel with engine all aflame
Chased by Hurricane's perfect aim

Awaiting explosions hold my breath
Inevitably it came with certain death?
A burst of light smoke before mine eyes
Added to the destruction and demise

High in the heavens see with my eye
Long vapours trailing through the sky
At times through a gap - a star will glow
In whirls of dark smoke the fighters go

The warring sounds left a sombre pall
The barrage balloons still pink stand tall
One balloon drifts through a broken cloud
Then the all clear came strong and loud

The fighter boys were all so very brave
Need show a little of their courage they gave
It's not that I didn't feel any shame
For worrying my mom I am to blame

Beryl McMullen


Peace

Now the skies are empty
No longer cannons roar?
Or see spits and Hurris
Balancing up the score!

Memories are still vivid
Through all these many years
At times I reminisce
Shed a few silent tears

No glory in this war
Countless lives were lost
Not forget the price we paid
Its dreadful high human cost!

All who value freedom
Get down on bended knee
Thankful for our brave airmen
For defending our liberty!

Was the result all worth it?
Can one not honestly say?
In the heart of England
Live in peace for now anyway!

 Beryl McMullen  

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« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 07:12:04 PM by GINGERJOHN » Logged
John 2000
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 06:30:41 AM »

Never has so many owed so much to so few, these words are so true,
The people of today dont know what or care what it was like, and I think most of us old ens only remember little bits lights flashing, loud bangs,but no real picture of what went on in the dark days, but we all remember powderd egg and powderd milk, and boxs from America, being opend on the table and wondering what was inside, and some of us even remember the sadness of learning that some one who we did'nt really know will not be coming home an uncle or an aunt who's name we always remember, a little brother or little sister  sleeping in a cot, who will never wake up again, and the sound of your mother crying and the tears for days after, but the commradeship between the people around your home,we where like one big family, doors where never locked, the lady from next door, was always around your house for a cup of tea, fetching sacks of coal from up the road, with our 1 shilling we would go and bring it back, it seemed as if they only had one little cart that had a wobbly wheel, when we where a little older we would go around the streets knocking on doors asking for old newspapers, we would do this for days, because we could take them down the road to big yard where they would weigh it and give us pocket money, some days we where rich, till we bought our comics, sat on the wall and drank our vimto's...and now, through the mist of time we catch site of something in our mind, and think I remember that...J2








« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:38:28 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged

Sex is like air...it's not that important unless you arn't getting any....
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 10:43:41 AM »

I am a tad to Young for the war, but reading Beryls poem bring thoughts back to me from snatched conversations and then the showing of News clips, the dreadful time most folk must have suffered and yet although it must lie deep in there subconcious minds they stilll battle on through life with a stamina worthy of the English...Holly
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:38:58 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged
Sheila NZ
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 08:34:49 AM »

I remember Snow Hill Stn being bombed..
It Stays in my mind because that was the day I decided to run away from home............I remember so well putting a hair brush,cardigan,Rupert Bear book all in a small case....Those days we took 6d a week to School to buy savings stamps to help the War effort, I had about 10/- in mine.Cashed it
at a Post Office in what was Livery Street.......
Some of this is a bit vague after all these years, cant even remember why
I was  going, however I crossed the railway tracks by thick planks laid down
by the workers,heavy dust all over the place, bricks/glass/steel laying round
Anyway I got a ticket to Shrewsbury , on arriving I went into a shop and asked if I could work there.....
No one stopped me as a child to ask why I was travelling alone.......
This is just a memory now but I ended up at
the local Police Stn and went to sleep in a little room, someones home I should think,,Next real memory was Mum and Dad holding me very tight and
taking me to a car , it was a Police car and we got taken back to Brum..
 If I remember right I would be 11 at the time........Still dont know why I
 went ..............But that is just a personal memory.......
I do remember when I joined the WAAF my father said I had permission to
go and did,nt have to runaway...........
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:39:35 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 12:19:43 PM »

What did you do in the WAAF Jasper.?...Holly Smiley
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:40:17 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged
Beryl McMullen
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 12:33:17 PM »

Tell Your story Jasper when you get a chance - beryl
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:42:59 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged
Sheila NZ
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 01:49:40 AM »

 Hi Holly,
 sorry to say I was,nt in actually during the woar, I went in 1946..

 I did 6 weeks learning how to march in time with other left footed folk
 and best of all get a trade to be used in later life............

I trained first as a Teleprinter Operator...looking back that was in a way
like the Stonehenge of Computers,  however I got bord so remustered
and Trained as a Telephonist.............Went in at 11 stone almost as round
as I was high, after a few months I was down to 9st9lb. Very fit and
very happy, made lots of friends,travelled round the British Isles,
I did 3 years 6months, only left cos my Mum was ill and I got an early
discharge............ I would recommend any teenager to try it,I did me
a power of good.....................Oh dont I rattle on Huh
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:41:07 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 08:50:50 AM »

Rattle on Jasper, It's good to talk, so they say, I think when we are ready for work unless we are dedicated to one particular subject, one has to test the water and find what suits them. If you are not happy at work then you don't work well plus it gives you a taste of life in the real world...Holly
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:41:46 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged
Sleepless in Strathalbyn
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2009, 09:00:56 AM »

I remember those very sad days...evacuated to Birmingham,never seen my mother for such a long time..seemed like years.Went back to Essex after the war but was taken by my father back to Birmingham where my sister and I were adopted.I remember this as if it was yesterday. Brenda
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:42:23 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged
Sheila NZ
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2009, 09:11:40 AM »

Hi Brenda, do you mean to tell me some stupid idiot sent you to Birmingham as an evacuee, Lord above he wanted his head read........B,ham was a very hard
hit city and suburbs and most people sent their kids away not sent them to there.  Good job you survived
I actually lived in West Bromwich but we had some bad raids cos even now
there are a lot of foundries there, engineering works etc.My father worked
at a firm in Gt.Bridge he was a floor manager at Braithwaites and worked  for
a while with Donald Bailey who got knighted after the was, naw not me Dad
Donald..bwt if you did,nt kniow D.V invented the Bailey Bridge which was
worth its weightin gold for crossing rivers etc during the invasion

Once again I,m rabbiting on  sorreee
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:43:47 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged

Beryl McMullen
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2009, 02:40:01 PM »

Brenda To be evacutated to Birmingham - when we as children were being evacuated out boggles my mind -

The only place i know which seemed to escape most of the bombs was The Handsworth Wood area - which ran from the top of our street - but who was to know that -

 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:44:40 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged
Beryl McMullen
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2009, 07:15:02 PM »


Barrage Balloon over Aston Hall


The government used Barrage balloons to try to protect our cities from being bombed
Barrage balloons were put up to force the German planes to fly higher so their bombing would be less accurate. The Barrage balloons were tethered by steel cables strong enough to destroy any aircraft which flew into them. Preventing German planes from flying low so they could see their targets in attacks over Birmingham. . .
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Sheila NZ
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 02:35:44 AM »



I remember the balloons well Beryl, we had two teams within yoohoo of us.

the girls (mainly) used to come to our shop for odds and ends..

One team was stationed at Birds End and the other at Stone Cross...

 There was another one I remember at Harborne.........
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Glory
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2009, 07:45:12 PM »

Brenda To be evacutated to Birmingham - when we as children were being evacuated out boggles my mind -

The only place i know which seemed to escape most of the bombs was The Handsworth Wood area - which ran from the top of our street - but who was to know that -

 
Hi Beryl
                     I lived in Kingstanding during 2nd war and in early years some children  were evacuated from area,but towards end of war the raids on "Brum"were finished and we had children living in the road that had been evacuated from London to get them away from the V1 & V2 bombs.
                                                             Glory
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 11:45:38 PM by Beryl McMullen » Logged
Glory
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2009, 08:31:42 AM »

Being old enough to remember the war years indicates I'm too old to be conversant with computers & forums etc.but my pride and interest in "Brum"(even though I haven't lived there for over forty years) promts me to try to become involved with this forum.
     As a kid,on a regular basis during the war, I used to get the Outer Circle (No.11) bus from Perry Barr to visit relations in Winson Green.Two things from these trips stand out in my mind.One being the amount of destruction caused in Rookery Road in one night of the blitz and the second was when a barrage balloon had broken adrift became partially deflated and had settled on houses in Rookery Road,near its junction with Soho Rd.
                                       Glory
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 03:19:22 PM by Glory » Logged
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