Yeovil at war

Yeovil at war

The wartime Yeovil recollections of Marjorie Lerwell


Marjorie was living in Kingsdon, near Ilchester during the war. When she and her husband had been married, a new house had been built for them, just up the road from the family farm where her two brothers in law and her sister in law were living. She remembers one particular day when her parents had been over and had just caught the bus back home to Yeovil. The farm lay close to Yeovilton airbase and under the flight path for Bristol and they were used to enemy aircraft flying overhead. This particular night, her husband and his two brothers realised that the planes were circling around rather than simply flying over. She was in her house with her two babies. She was bathing them when they first heard the planes. They were very frightened. She remembers the feeling that “it was coming to us”. Bombs started to fall and her husband threw himself under a wall, only for the wall to collapse on top of him. They rushed to Yeovil to try to find her parents. There was glass everywhere. She remembers frantically searching for her parents. Her father had been fire watching and was safe while her mother had waited at home for him. Marjorie’s sister in law insisted that she and her young family move back into the farmhouse for the rest of the war.

Two days later they found an unexploded bomb in a neighbouring field. The authorities came to detonate it. Marjorie remembers the noise as it went off and that all the windows in the farm were blown in!

Daylight raids became quite common and she remembers another that hit Yeovil on a Friday (as it was Market Day). She also remembers several soldiers, billeted at the Corn Exchange, being killed in an air raid.


Reproduced from the BBC's "WW2 People's War" under the 'fair dealing' terms.