Florence Hunt

Recollections of the first day of the Blitz.

Florence Hunt has clear memories of the first day of the Blitz. On 7 September 1940, Florence was working overtime at the Siemens factory in Charlton. When the air raid siren sounded at about 4 o’clock, all staff went down to the shelter. Although the noise of the air raid was dampened by the shelter, it soon became clear that parts of the factory had been hit. Eventually, the all-clear sounded and Florence was sent home as no one was allowed back into the damaged building. Florence was eager to get back home to make sure that her family, living on Shooters Hill, was safe but had to walk all the way home as public transport was severely disrupted.

Luckily, on her return home Florence discovered that her parents were both safe. Her father had been working on the allotment whilst her mother had helped a neighbour with her children. Both had been very worried about Florence as they could see the fires near the river from the hill and knew that Siemens had been hit.

Florence recalls that on returning to work the following Monday she discovered that no workers were allowed inside the factory. However, spotted outside the factory by her boss, he enquired if she was willing to assist him in retrieving staff records from the damaged building which she agreed to. Although most records were found, Florence recalls that everything inside had been soaked in an attempt by the Fire Service to ensure that the fire caused by the bomb did not spread.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 08/09/2012.