Home   Kent   News   Article

Kent's Doodlebug Summer: Harry Pierce interview

Harry Pierce and his family had a lucky escape when a doodlebug plunged into a nearby street.

The 11-year-old used to live in Jacksons Avenue, Rochester, with his father Harry, mother Jean and sister Jeanne.

Now aged 86, Mr Pierce lives in Ashmead Close, Lordswood, but still remembers the fateful night when a doodlebug struck.

KMG USE ONLY COPYRIGHT: Kent Photo Archive War and Peace Collection SUBMITTED BY: Roger Smoothy 01622 765594Slug; GRAFTON MMCaption: Devastation after the Grafton Avenue V1.Copyright: Kent Photo Archive War and Peace Collection Roger Smoothy01622 765594Category: Heritage and History.V1 Flying bomb damage Grafton Ave. Rochester November 11th 1944. FM2528691 (10434947)
KMG USE ONLY COPYRIGHT: Kent Photo Archive War and Peace Collection SUBMITTED BY: Roger Smoothy 01622 765594Slug; GRAFTON MMCaption: Devastation after the Grafton Avenue V1.Copyright: Kent Photo Archive War and Peace Collection Roger Smoothy01622 765594Category: Heritage and History.V1 Flying bomb damage Grafton Ave. Rochester November 11th 1944. FM2528691 (10434947)

He said: "It was around 8pm when the siren went off, and we all ran down the garden into our shelter. "

The family huddled together as the bomb flew over.

Mr Pierce said: "All of a sudden we could hear this noise, I thought it sounded like a motorbike.

"Then it came crashing down.

"My dad said, 'go on Harry, have a look'."

Harry Pierce of Lordswood with his sister Jeanne aged about 10?.Picture: Chris Davey. (9234731)
Harry Pierce of Lordswood with his sister Jeanne aged about 10?.Picture: Chris Davey. (9234731)

Little Harry poked his head outside just in time to glimpse the tail of the doodlebug falling.

Then he felt his mother grab him and yank him back in the shelter to safety.

Mr Pierce said: "This massive bang went off and I thought blimey."

The windows of his family home had been shattered and the door was blown off in the blast.

Mr Pierce said: "The road next to us is Grafton Avenue and that is where the bomb landed.

"We didn't know at the time, but when my dad came back from work he said it looked dreadful.

"There was debris everywhere.

Harry Pierce of Lordswood.Picture: Chris Davey. (9234683)
Harry Pierce of Lordswood.Picture: Chris Davey. (9234683)

"When I went to school the next day, it was all anyone was talking about.

"One boy said he had old shrapnel scattered round from that blast.

"Four people had been killed, so that was a very sad time for us all

"I only knew one person who died, she was from the church nearby and she played the organ.

"People from the council came ever so quickly to clean up all the mess.

"That was the first time I had heard of a doodlebug so I wasn't scared.
"It was like a big adventure to me.

"But after that doodlebug hit, I was terrified for the next time the siren would go off."


More by this author


Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More