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John Follon's Story

Reproduced from the Bath Chronicle, August 5th 2002.


John Follon was 11 years old when it [the blitz] happened. We met up in Kingsmead Square, which looks very different from when John was a lad.

He recalls: "I was living around here, in Kingsmead Terrace."

When the bombs started to fall on the first night of the raids, a Saturday, John and his family retreated to the cellar.

"Then there was a loud explosion somewhere outside," he remembers, "I never did find out what it was - and the chimney stack came down through the house."

"We were choking with dust down in the cellar, and when the all clear sounded, we came out and went to a bomb shelter."

"Getting there was quite a thing, though. Telegraph wires were lying all over the roads, the pavements were deep in broken glass from all the buildings, and people were running about looking for relatives."

The authorities anticipated another raid, so vans were laid on all around Bath, driving people out of the city.

John and his family were taken to Cold Ashton that night - spending a couple of nights in a chicken house - until they could return home on the Monday.

John and his family returned on the Monday to find that their house, number 24, had been irreparably damaged. He didn't have to look far, though, to see how much worse it could have been.

"Number 26 was completely blown away" he recalls, "and it seems that six people had died at number 25."


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