I have lived in this wonderful house since I was twelve years old, it is beautiful, magical, it is full of memories, and now it’s time I told my memories, my secrets, I wish I could tell you exactly where I am, but I can’t give you the address as I am still here you know! I can give you my name, Bernice, or Berni to everyone else except my ma and pa! I was born mid July 1940, a year into WW2 to two very happy parents glad to be together at this awful time, even in London love bloomed as bombs fell!
I must have memories of what happened just before my twelfth birthday, but something so awful happened my mind is blank! There was the war which had ended in 1945, I was five then, we had seen the sky painted red by the bombs that landed on our beloved city of London. Papa hadn’t had to enlist, he was needed in his job in London and being forty-two just a year too old when the second call up of older men came, which mama and I were very pleased about!
The awful thing that changed our path of life irrevocably was my mother Ruth; she died, and aged only thirty-two? She died on October 8th 1952 in the Harrow and Wealdstone railway crash, 112 people died, and more than twice that were injured. We were living overlooking the line, in a crowded railway cottage we shared with another family, and mother was coming home from working her night shift in the market, she had alighted and was on the platform at 08:19 when the trains collided, three trains, it took several days to find her… papa and I stayed there at the station for two days until they found her…