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Kent's Doodlebug Summer

Remembering Kent's Doodlebug Summer

Remembering Kent's Doodlebug Summer

It's 75 years since doodlebugs began raining down Kent. In a series of special features, we talk to people who lived through the drama.

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'We survived...but I don't think the neighbours got out'

'We survived...but I don't think the neighbours got out'

For five-year-old Herbert Crack the Doodlebugs were more a source of excitement than terror.

'Uncle Reg dived for cover under the bed!'

'Uncle Reg dived for cover under the bed!'

Pat Miles, of Pilots Place, Gravesend, recalled how her family had a near miss when the doodlebugs first hit Gravesend.

'All you could see were bottoms sticking in the air'

'All you could see were bottoms sticking in the air'

Herne Bay resident June Mackenzie remembers having to take shelter beneath her desk during a maths exam when one of the bombers flew over Canterbury.

'I found an intact Doodlebug'

'I found an intact Doodlebug'

When a doodlebug hit the ground, it would blow into smithereens, all too often leaving a trail of destruction.

'The Doodlebug fell - and I ran for my life'

'The Doodlebug fell - and I ran for my life'

When the doodlebug stopped overhead, little Joy Muggridge ran for her life.

'If they got us they got us...if they didn't, they didn't'

'If they got us they got us...if they didn't, they didn't'

Patrick Wicker showed no fear when the doodlebugs soared over the Medway Towns.

'You would pray for it to keep going'

'You would pray for it to keep going'

In 1944, at the age of six and not being an evacuee, Brian Goodhew got used to watching the doodlebugs coming over at all times of the day.

'When night fell, everything changed'

'When night fell, everything changed'

Pitch black nights, sunny days in the garden and a potty in the night shelter is what Alan Bye remembers of the Doodlebug summer.

'Woman and child first? Not likely'

'Woman and child first? Not likely'

"A doodlebug gave me one of my least finest moments," recalls Alan Bignell, of Woodleas, Barming.

'The milkman scooped us up'

'The milkman scooped us up'

Helen Mill remembers having a ringside view of doodlebugs falling on London.

'The family next door just disappeared'

'The family next door just disappeared'

Malcolm Hodge was four when he saw a doodlebug which wrecked a street in Frindsbury.

'Dad told me bugs were taking soldiers home'

'Dad told me bugs were taking soldiers home'

As a happily naive seven-year-old, Wouldham resident David Doye had no idea about the bleak purpose of a V1s.

'Four people had been killed'

'Four people had been killed'

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

'I lay on the ground with my parents on top of me'

'I lay on the ground with my parents on top of me'

Graham Elliott was just three when he was caught up in a devastating explosion in Carrington Road, Dartford, which claimed 10 lives.

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