Our Century

The lad who got Wolverhampton bombed

Arthur Walters
Born in 1930

Arthur Walters

"It was 1940. My sister Ena and I were on our way back home to Fellows Street, Wolverhampton from our aunt's home nearby. I was carrying my father's torch.

"I can see it now. It was metal with a big bullseye lens. My father used to leave it at home in case we needed to find our way to the air-raid shelter.

"I was only ten and it was magic having a torch like that because in those days even cycle lamps had a little shield over the lens, because of the blackout.

"We suddenly heard this heavy droning noise over the recreation ground. There was this one aircraft flying low and going towards Birmingham. I thought it was an RAF plane.

"We were both frightened and instinctively I shone my torch at it and was waving it about. The aircraft turned in a very short space, maybe just 300 or 400 yards, and came back towards us.

"I was still shining my torch and an ARP man shouted : Put that bloody light out!' That put the fear of God into us because we knew it was someone official. As we started the run the aircraft altered its tone to a roar. You could sense it coming closer.

"We got into a passageway. Suddenly there was an almighty explosion, a redness in the sky. It was as though all the houses were moving in this great blaze of colour.

"I am sure it was my fault. There is no other explanation. For nearly 60 years I never told anyone about it. I'm just so glad that no-one was hurt. I feel much better for talking about it."