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Heroes Remember

The V-bombs were like a robot plane. They were loaded with, I think it had a ton of TNT in the nose, and they, they were timed so they'd go over and, wherever they'd go over London you see and then as soon as they'd run out of fuel, they'd crash or sometimes they didn't crash right away, the wind would catch them, they'd go. But they, they looked like, we opened the black house looked out and saw them a couple of times, just peek out, you know. Cause, they were like a big silver plane, but they shot a flame, flame out of the tail. They looked like a dragon going through the sky to me. But anyway they flew, they landed all around us but if they went over your barracks, excuse me, you could feel them. The whole barracks would vibrate from them just passing over. And then they'd land with a thump and the big noise you see. Interviewer: You'd be scared at that time. Well, you weren't scared no, it was funny, you were scared when you heard the motor cut because you didn't know if it was going to land on you or not. But when, everybody said the same thing, you'd, it was a tense silence you know, while you're waiting to hear it land. And you hear, there's a ka- boom and you say, "There she goes." But sometimes they'd come one after another at night. When there, when it was bad weather they came over more because, they'd come in the daytime too. In the morning usually when we were having breakfast, they'd come. I remember that big Tommy Haudry we used to call her, she was an ambulance driver. She never seemed afraid of anything. And she was, we were standing there at breakfast and the siren had gone and the friggin' motor had cut and I looked at Tommy and she's smiling there reading the paper, then I look and she's got it upside down. So I guess... Interviewer: She' scared... Yeah, but she wasn't, she wasn't gonna show it.

Mrs. Gilkes describes V-bombs, and recalls seeing them during attacks on London.

Margaret Gilkes

Mrs. Gilkes was born in Strathmore, Alberta on February 8, 1917 - the youngest of five children. Mrs. Gilkes joined the Canadian Women's Army Corp during the Second World War, and served as a motor transport driver. A role that was increasingly filled by women as the war progressed, in order to make more men available for service in battle. She spent the majority of her service in England, transporting troops and supplies. Postwar, Mrs. Gilkes became a policewoman, serving in the Alberta area for 15 years. Since her retirement, she has authored two books; Soldier Girl and Ladies of the Night, which depict her life during wartime and postwar service.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Margaret Gilkes
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC)

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