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Tours War
Chapter 1: Crimean War - Colin Gilchrist
Chapter 2: World War I - Cecil Thomas Withers
Chapter 3: World War II - The recordings of Olive Withers (nee Gilchrist)
Chapter 4: World War I - The Medal Record of Albert Williams
Chapter 3: World War II - The recordings of Olive Withers (nee Gilchrist)
Olive was an Air Raid Warden during WW II. In 1940 she was 43 years old and a mother of 4. After the war she recorded many of her experiences. Here are just two of them:
Sunday, November 26 1940: '... The fire blitz on Bristol started at 5.45pm., when a huge flare was dropped over Town. Then the bombs started to fall and Dad and I would count 1 to 10, then a pause followed by the slow crumple of some large building to the Earth. For 6hrs it went on; the drone of planes, crash of bombs and gunfire. Once we heard the sound of fire engines speeding along Gloucester Road. We were constantly on the watch, and although bombs were dropped around Pigsty Hill nothing got this far. When the all-clear sounded at about 11.30pm we took the children up to bed after we let them look out at the city burning ...'
Olive Withers (nee Gilchrist), Air Raid Warden WWII
A WW II post card that Olive and Cecil kept
Wednesday, September 25 1940: '... Back at the Post news was coming in that a Filton shelter had received a direct hit; all the people in one at Patchway had been killed by blast, being over-full; the underground hospital had received a direct hit and a party of soldiers marching up the hill all killed. 250 tons of bombs were dropped in one and a half minutes. Dad got home around 2pm, looking very shaken and tired, and how thankful we were to see each other. His father came up during the afternoon and Elsie later. When Allan came home from school he started saying: 'Did Dad get through?' and then as he saw him said: 'I see he did' I wish I had seen how upset he was, but we were all very shaken and I was trying to make everything as normal as possible. That night we all stayed in the shelter ... '