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Agnes Morris's story


Agnes Morris's story

 

We lived at 16 Morpeth street and had a Morrison shelter in our house. On the night of the tube disaster my mum and dad, aunts Ivy and Beattie and me all got into the shelter, a steel cage in the scullery kitchen. We felt like animals in a cage.

My brother George Morris was out on his bike that night. When he came home he told us that there had been an accident down the tube at the Salmon & Ball pub. Incidentally he managed the Salmon & Ball during the late sixties and early seventies. Lots of people had died and he had been helping to fetch them up. He said they had to put the bodies anywhere they could, churches, hospitals, on the pavements, and in Barmy Park behind the tube station.

The story going round afterwards was that somebody shouted 'Bombs' causing a panic, a woman carrying a baby fell down and everyone else fell on top of her. People couldn't get in or out as there was only a small door open.

My dad's sister Lydia Sinnock who lived at 6 Morpeth street used to go down the tube every night to avoid the bombings.

The next day when people didn’t return home their relatives started searching for them, in some cases finding the victims was made more difficult because there was nothing to identify them. Their belongings had been stolen. My aunt Lyd used to take all of valuables such as jewellery, money, ration book etc down the tube with her. It took two days to find her, she was in St Johns church but had no identification on her. All of her jewellery including a heavy gold sovereign necklace that you can see in the picture, a bracelet, and half sovereign watch were missing. On her face was the mark of a heel of a mans shoe where shed been trodden on. The looters had a good day.

My pal lost two children, Joan & Tony Spicer. They lived in Bonwell street.

There wasn't any bombs dropped on Bethnal Green that night. The only thing that did go off was the gun that used to go up and down the railway from Hackney to Liverpool Street. This is what they thought was a bomb. This is the night the docks was set alight.

The number of funerals was terrible, 10-12 a day, going to Manor Park cemetery. 173 lives lost and not a bomb dropped on Bethnal Green.

My aunt Lydia was aged 62 and was a wonderful lady.