Carrying on as bombs fell

The article about the landmine which fell in City Road, Tividale, brought back memories for me of my late father, Fred Hunter, of Tividale. He was the leader of the Heary Rescue Squad detailed to attend the incident.

The article about the landmine which fell in City Road, Tividale, brought back memories for me of my late father, Fred Hunter, of Tividale. He was the leader of the Heary Rescue Squad detailed to attend the incident.

I remember him telling me how the pair of semi-detached houses it fell upon were completely obliterated and that they never found any of the people who were sheltering in them.

Other houses close by were also very badly damaged and there were several fatalities.

One poor lady's body had been blown up a tree, which my father had to climb to bring her body down.

The damage to the property extended as far away as Dudley Road, Tividale, where my family lived. All the back windows of their house were blown out and the back bedroom ceiling was badly cracked.

Another bad incident was at The Boat Inn in Tividale when an anti-aircraft shell, fired from the guns at Rowley, fell down the chimney and exploded on the fire during a wedding reception. This involved the Potinger family of Tividale, still well-known in the area for their transport business. I believe the bride was killed and the bridegroom lost a leg, as did a bridesmaid (although I am open to correction of these details).

An uncle of mine, Billy Smith, also of Dudley Road, received a letter of commendation from King George VI for his part in the rescue operation on that dreadful night.

My mother worked at Little's in Netherton making soldiers' boots as her war-work. She often talked about going to work in the winter after bombing raids and finding the machines covered in snow after the skylights had been blown out. She said they just swept off the snow and carried on.

The wonderful history of the Black Country, often rooted in the grim struggle for survival, both in war and peace, should never be forgotten.

Mrs Isobel Byrne, Oakham Road, Dudley.