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First Impressions of London

Heroes Remember

First Impressions of London

The first thing I remember was trying to sleep at night and we could hear the bombing of London and it was, “boom ...boom!”, you know, like that, “boom!” and these were these bombs going off. And you see the glows, you know, you could see the glow, I don't know I guess 40 miles. I don't know just exactly how far. They were all equipped and trying to equip everybody with respirators, the civilians, I am talking about the civilian population. They even had them for babies in carriages. We had our respirators. We went over with our respirators and you didn't go anywhere without it. You know you had your respirator and your steel helmet in England everywhere you went, you danced with it on. Now of course we knew what was happening in London, not only London. I was in Birmingham the night they bombed Coventry. I stood out in the backyard of my uncle's home. We seen it going in and you know the waves going in and the waves going in and the flares and the fires and we stood out in the backyard and so it wasn't only London. It was everywhere, Manchester, Liverpool, you know, they were all getting it at the same time. I was in Birmingham visiting and I was up in a top deck of a bus with my cousin, one of my cousins. And the Austin Plant was making military, I think they were making Bren guns and stuff like that, I don't think they were making tanks or anything like that and German planes came over and I'll tell ya what they were, they were FW190's, carrying bombs. And they bombed the, they stopped the bus. We were right outside the Austin Plant and they dropped direct hits they were right over you, three or four hundred feet up, and I stopped the bus and we were all supposed to get off the bus and go down to a shelter, but I never went in a shelter. And here they are, you know, these German planes right over in broad day light, bombing the Austin Plant.

Mr. Poolton shares his memories of arrival in London and the sights and sounds of bombs and flares going off!

John (Jack) Poolton

John (Jack) Abernethy Poolton was born in Toronto, Ontario on January 9, 1918. He was one of seven children. His father farmed 100 acres near Kapuskasing, Ontario. Mr. Poolton enlisted in the Royal Regiment of Canada and provides vivid, clear details of the allied landing at Dieppe, France on August 19, 1942.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John (Jack) Poolton
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Regiment of Canada

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