As the bombs stirred the ground and the shrapnel clattered down the road we fought a quiet battle of cunning for the bedclothes. Feet touched faces, arms swung across chests, elbows elbowed; snores bubbled and spluttered to be silenced by ostensibly accidental blows; fragments of wild dream-talk escaped from the depths of our private lives. Enmity was closer to the surface during those caged nights than at any other time in our well-mannered lives.
The next morning I had to walk from Freedom Fields to our bungalow in Granby Barracks in Devonport, and it took me three and a half hours. I was walking over the top of houses and things, and the flames were meeting over the streets, and people were crying ‘Oh my sons gone, my daughters gone’. It was just terrible to hear it. You would just try and comfort them some way or another. When I got home, low and behold Mummy’s bungalow was flat.