As a little boy, lying in his bed, my father would hear the planes overhead. On their way in. Then, in the small hours of the morning, heading back to Germany. This was in England, in Kent, a few miles south and east of London. My father was born in 1934, which meant he was five when the Second World War broke out. Kent was called Bomb Alley by the British, because it was the English county that German warplanes would fly over on their way to London.
It was not uncommon, in those years, that if a bomber missed its target or had bombs left over, it would simply drop them anywhere on the return trip. One day, a stray bomb landed in my grandparents’ back garden. It didn’t explode. It just sat there, half buried in the ground and If you were a five year old boy, a bomb sitting in your backyard is an extraordinary experience.