Sunday, November 12

The Sunday Quote

“In 1944 Parliament had decided to sit in Church House opposite Westminster School. I was walking from Dean’s Yard to Westminster Station when a doodlebug came over. The doodlebugs would cut out and then come backwards and drop. I was terrified but I did not want to show it. Would I run? No fear! Nobody else was running – I wasn’t going to run. If a single person had thrown himself down into the gutter, I’d have followed but of course no-one did. Not one; we’re British."

Ellen Harris – Reuter’s Wartime Correspondent in the Houses of Parliament
Source – Imperial War Museum Sound Archive

Historical Notes –
1. On the 13th June 1944 Nazi Germany launched the first V-1 Bomb, nicknamed ‘doodlebugs’. They were small jet powered pilotless planes packed with a ton of explosives that detonated on impact. The V stood for Vergeltunswaffe (Reprisal Weapons). The deployment of these weapons brought a new terror and mass destruction to the civilian population of Britain.

2. The House of Commons was forced to relocate to Church House opposite the Houses of Parliament following extensive damage, courtesy of the Luftwaffe. Fifty five years later the Congress for Democracy sat a number of occasions over a period of five years to successfully repel a latter-day treat to British democracy, the euro.

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