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Day teen Harry witnessed horrors of Luftwaffe raid.

Byline: Compiled by Paul Delplanque REMEMBER WHEN By Lee Maddison

REDCAR teenager Harry Foster knew the drill when he heard a siren during the war years, and it saved his life when the Luftwaffe visited the seaside town on the evening of October 21, 1941.

"I was 13," Harry recalled 12 years ago.

"We lived in Arundel Street. That night turned out be the most dramatic night of my young life. I will never forget it."

Harry, his mother and baby brother Roderick were woken by the siren and found themselves sitting in the Morrison shelter in their front room.

His dad was on firewatch duty, so they waited, alone, listening.

"There was a tremendous explosion. The windows in the room blew in and debris showered the shelter.

"Mum screamed, I jumped and Roderick cried. We all held onto each other. I'm sure we all expected to die. Then the noise ended, as quickly as it had begun. It was an eerie silence too. Very strange."

There was a sound of boots crunching in the debris, and a voice, and the flash of a torch light and it was Harry's dad, James.

"I heard mum and dad whispering in the darkness and I knew by the sound of their voices that something serious had happened."

Harry's father, an invoice clerk at Dorman Long in Warrenby, had to leave, and the teenager's curiosity got the better of him.

"I crept out of the shelter and into the street.

"I soon found out what had happened. On Queen Street the house of the Macintyre family was a smouldering ruin.

"I found out later that the family had survived but were in hospital.

"Three bombs had been dropped in total. Apart from the Queen Street bomb, a villa near to our own house had been hit but there was worse.

"Where before had stood the Zetland Club, on Coatham Road, was a great heap of rubble, with a dust cloud hanging in the air. And the silence. I will never forget that."

Harry didn't know it but 15 people died that night in the Zetland Club, including the mayor.

And Harry didn't know that as a young lad, standing watching the rescue attempt, he was witness to one of the worst nights in Redcar's history.


Harry Foster pictured in 2000, far right, and the beach amusements in Redcar in wartime. Despite the barbed wire, the seaside town was still popular, and a target for the Luftwaffe on October 21, 1941
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2014
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