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Doodlebugs Over Brighton

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posted on 2024-06-05, 18:59 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

We were having lunch in the kitchen when we heard the droning noise. My father said "That's a Doodlebug! Quick outside. We raced out of the front door just in time to see the Doodlebug skirting the seashore but heading towards the town. It was being chased by two aircraft (my father said there were Spitfires, and to me, at 5 years old they're exciting to watch). Just as we returned to the kitchen there was a big explosion.

"I hope they tipped it into the sea and not on the town", said my dad.

I never saw another Doodlebug but I heard one It was at night and I was curled up between my mother and father in the improvised 'shelter bed 'downstairs. In fact, the bed was upside down and on top of the upright legs, my father had placed mattresses and pillows right up to the ceiling. This was his idea of a shelter.

As the Doodlebug passed over our house, my father started counting and said "Any moment now" I held my breath waiting for the explosion. But we heard it far away from our house.

Soon after there was the all-clear siren and I crawled into my own bed alongside that of my parents. Our curtains were always drawn at night and during the odd air raid, I could remember watching the searchlights flash across our windows and onto our walls and ceiling. I think the year must have been 1944.


Person the story/items relate to

John and Eileen Maxwell-Cook

Person who shared the story/items

Paul Maxwell-Cook

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

My parents

Type of submission

Shared online via the Their Finest Hour project website.

Record ID