SAVED FROM THE V2, 20 JANUARY 1945.
On Saturday 20 January 1945 four of us had an amazing escape. Mother, Violet Marie Lansley, her two sons Paul (11) and Roger (6) and family friend Alan Clark (6 or 7) were in number 96 Gloucester Road, New Barnet, Herts. The three boys were gazing out of the kitchen window, watching the swirling snowflakes. Mother was upstairs, going through the three bedrooms, making the beds. The V2 was the latest weapon devised by German scientists. It was a high-powered rocket fired from the Low Countries. Unlike the ‘Buzz-bomb’ V1, it came without any warning: no sound could be heard and no sighting was possible. It was fired into the sky, and came straight down randomly on the London area. At 1.15 p.m. we three boys had turned away from the window – why, we have no way of determining, but all three had our backs to it when it blew in. Only a small cut on the back of one neck was suffered from the flying glass. Mother was changing the bed sheets, and realised that she had forgotten pillowcases for the back bedroom, so varied her routine and went to fetch them from the airing cupboard. It was at that moment that six-inch (or larger) shards of the window glass in the back bedroom, where she would have been, were blown across the room and embedded in the opposite wall. Plaster from the ceiling fell on Mother’s head – but like us boys, she escaped being shredded by flying glass. The V2 rocket had landed on the tarmac of Calton Road, less than a quarter of a mile away from our house, demolishing houses and killing 11 residents, including a Cub we knew whose name was Derek. He was outside the house, and was vaporised. 60 other people were injured. Why we four were spared is a mystery – but it looks suspiciously like Angelic intervention.
Paul and Roger Lansley.