University of Oxford
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Derek Sheppard's Shell Casing and Wartime Memories

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 16:39 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor's sister, who was 18 years old, was in the ATS, based in Guildford, Surrey, and brought back part of an anti-aircraft shell.

The anti-aircraft shell was fired at the Germans from the English coast. It was owned by their great aunt, and was a gift from one of her patients. The hospital brought troops in from the beaches and treated them. It is dated 1945 on the bottom.

The contributor was 9/10 years old. He remembers that planes in Worcester would follow the river. They were low bombers, one plane to a specific target. A plane came down to about 40-50ft, and dropped a bomb on Aleco Engineering. It was brought down later in Kent. The Germans used the Severn Estuary as navigation into the Midlands. They knew they were in Worcester as there was soot in the river. They could see fires burning in Coventry from Worcester. There was an aircraft recognition chart in school; everyone could recognise planes.

A pipeline was built from Diglis alongside the Severn; it was a network all through the county to send aviation fuel through. There were factories big in gun building in Worcester, like the Blackpole ammunition factory.

Perdiswell was a training camp for Royal Airforce. One pilot tried to make an emergency landing and hit Guiford Bridge. The contributor also remembered Croome, Top Secret Intelligence, and prisoners being sent to the Isle of Wight.

There were air raid shelters made of brick in the middle of the road. They held 75-100 people at most in every street. The wardens hut was built of thick steel, lined with sandbags, and had its own telephone line to report anything.


Item list and details

Shell case

Person the story/items relate to

Derek Sheppard

Person who shared the story/items

Derek Sheppard

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

He is the contributor.

Type of submission

Shared at RGS Worcester Perrins Hall, Worcestershire on 16 June 2023.

Record ID

92640 | WOR011