Bernard Crowhurst

Photo:Bernard with his late wife at his retirement in 1997.

Bernard with his late wife at his retirement in 1997.

Bernard Crowhurst

Photo:Bernard Crowhurst in 1949. Bernard is standing on the left.

Bernard Crowhurst in 1949. Bernard is standing on the left.

Bernard Crowhurst

'The mirror wasn't even cracked'

Bernard Crowhurst talks about his memories of a night when bombs fell in the village.


Bernard Crowhurst talks about being evacuated to Axminster.

Recollections of childhood memories of wartime in Lane's End.

Childhood excitement

In 1939 Bernard Crowhurst was five years old and lived with his family. Although he cannot remember the day war was declared he has many wartime memories.

One day when he was walking home from school a doodlebug landed in some fields nearby. Fortunately no damage was caused and Bernard found what he thought was a pump from the explosive – it became his ‘prize possession on...(his) memorabilia shelf.’ Although he and his friends collected shrapnel and dismantled incendiary bombs to make money boxes this could be dangerous. When a school friend found what looked like a cigarette lighter, he lit the wick and it exploded, damaging his hand. Bernard was aware of such dangers but saw it as an adventure. One day he was playing in the woods with friends and found a canister of unexploded bombs. They did not tell the Wardens but disposed of them by lighting them or throwing them at trees.

Air raids and evacuation

Bernard has many memories of sheltering during raids. He helped his father dig the hole for the Anderson shelter and recalls a piece of shrapnel hitting the roof, which he later added to his collection. His father and Mr Gear from next door watched the raids outside whilst wearing their tin hats.

Towards the end of the war Bernard was evacuated. Although he liked his first billet with an elderly couple it was temporary and he was transferred. He did not like evacuation and did not understand why he was separated from his family who had been billeted to Cornwall. After a while he returned home.

Overall Bernard considers that he had a good childhood. Without the war he would not have had many of the experiences and memories which he has. As he was young he was not as aware of the consequences of war as his parents.


Interview with Bernard Crowhurst.
Interview with Bernard Crowhurst. (239k)
To read the full transcript of Bernard's interview please press the above link.

'The mirror wasn't even cracked'
'The mirror wasn't even cracked' (93k)
Transcript of audio clip with Bernard Crowhurst.

Evacuation (60k)
Transcript of audio clip with Bernard Crowhurst.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 27/02/2012.