MAVIS BUNYAN in a letter written two hours after saying goodbye to her husband:



Reach PLC (UK)


It was awful seeing you as just a number amongst all those boys, knowing you had to go and there was nothing we could do about it. To them just a number, but to me, my whole life and happiness. I just feel right now that I can’t face it. I know I will get by though. It is awful to think of the months without you.” ABOVE A service in the shattered remains of Norwich Cathedral in 1943, which was attacked as part of the Baedeker Raids in retaliation for the RAF’s bombing of Lubeck and other cities. These Allied attacks shocked Nazi leaders, so Norwich was targeted, along with cities such as Bath and York, to rain down terror on the population ABOVE It was Christine Pierce’s 10th birthday on July 17, 1944, but unfortunately the family’s home in Hammersmith, London, was blown up by a V1 flying bomb three weeks earlier. And yet the Pierce family was determined to make a fuss of Christine and held this celebration on the ruins of their home, with paper hats and cards on what was once their mantelpiece. Her father recorded his thoughts of the day in a diary she only discovered in 1980, one year after his death. Mr Pierce’s diary entry for the day reads: ‘Dear Christine. Today is your 10th birthday and what a day you have had. We held your party on the old bomb site of our home and the Daily Mirror reporter came down and took photos of it. We are waiting for the paper to come out. Everybody had a wonderful time. You had 17 cards and lots of money presents. Also you were a very good girl and very helpful. The flybombs are still coming over. Good Bye. Love Daddy.’