Painful reminder of war-time air raids

PUBLISHED: 09:47 13 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:08 26 October 2009

Pete Gower… caned for watching planes from outside school, but once he got home he had better view of the war, and could even see London ablaze

Pete Gower… caned for watching planes from outside school, but once he got home he had better view of the war, and could even see London ablaze

REMINISCING about the war brings back painful memories – quite literally – for one man who used to get the cane for watching air raids. Pete Gower used to watch the war aircraft whilst at school, much to the dissatisfaction of his Codicote School headmast

REMINISCING about the war brings back painful memories - quite literally - for one man who used to get the cane for watching air raids.

Pete Gower used to watch the war aircraft whilst at school, much to the dissatisfaction of his Codicote School headmaster.

He told the WHT: "Before school me and my mates used to wait outside the shop on the high street where they used to bring out sweets.

"It must have been 1940. While we were there sometimes we used to see the planes come flying over us in the skies.

"Then we all went off to school where the headmaster would tell us all to get indoors. But if the planes were still flying above then we would stay outside and watch them.

"Because we used to disobey him we all used to get the cane," the 78-year-old recalled. "One of the boys got it in front of everyone while we were still outside, but the rest of us got it when we were back inside."

Once school was over though, Pete could watch the sight of the air raids in the comfort of his own home in Codicote High Street, where he still lives now, but in a different house.

His home, then, had a slight viewing advantage over others.

He continued: "At night I used to watch the fires in London, because you could see them from my house. We had a prime position because our house was at the top of the hill.

"Then in the mornings I would go into the fields to see if I could find any pieces of bombs which had been dropped by any of the planes the night before. but I never managed to find anything big.


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