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Little Blighter

Welcome to Ilford in wartime – Little Blighter’s World



Author : Darren


As late as 1937, nineteen years after the Armistice in 1918, ex-soldiers were still begging and busking in the streets of Ilford and Barking. Today the sight of people talking on their mobile phones recalls sad memories of the shell-shocked victims of the Great War, talking to themselves in the street while covering one of their ears …

The shops quickly ran out of torch batteries, due to the huge demand brought on by the blackout, with number eight size for pocket torches in demand most of all. Little Blighter soon discovered a little extra life could be coaxed from a flat battery by heating in the gas oven for about thirty minutes, but seldom more than twice.

Sounds of another rocket exploding close by drew him to his front door. Looking out in that direction he saw smoke rise above the Ilford Broadway and felt anxious about his Mum working at the Hope Inn. Running with others up the Ilford Lane as far as Albert Road, he was stopped by Policemen who would not let anyone go further. Amid the confusion he heard a man say ‘It’s the Hope!’

A Policeman listened as Little Blighter told him his Mum worked in the Hope, but the Officer was not allowed to let any one through the cordon, instead he told Little Blighter to go back home and wait indoors. How long he sat waiting, he had no idea, but that did not matter when his Mum eventually walked in shaken, but uninjured, to put the kettle on. His Mum was in need of a cup of tea, as the rocket had fallen just behind the Hippodrome next door to the Hope; the shock came out a few days later when some of her hair began to fall out.

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Additional information

Weight 0.27 kg
Dimensions 0.00 × 0.00 × 0.00 cm