Today, BBC News remembers the shelter ordinary people used during the bombing of London. War is a terrible thing, which I won't talk about. At the time, I lived safe and free in South Australia.
February 25, 1940: With the Second World War in full flow on this day in 1940, the Anderson air raid shelter was make public across Britain to protect civilians from the constant bombing. Constructed from corrugated iron and covered with earth, the first 'Andersons' appeared in Islington, North London. Two-point-five million shelters were used in Britain during the conflict. Click here to see old Pathe wartime footage about the shelter.
My husband lived with his mother in Inslington during this time while his father was away fighting. At about four years old, with a younger brother, he was sent away to live with strangers like all the other children in London. At the assembly point, they wore name tickets pinned to their shirts or around their necks like Paddington Bear.
However, little B didn't meet a good fete. His host family often locked them in a cupboard for hours when they were naughty. He still has nightmares about being confined in a dark space.
His mother took them back to London, where they survived despite close buildings vanishing into rubble overnight. He tells me stories of playing on bomb sites. On one occasion, he and his friends took turns to slide down an unexploded bomb until a warden found them and sent them away.
Little B didn't live in a house with a garden big enough for an Anderson shelter. The family rented one floor of a large converted Victorian building. They used the underground train stations during air raids. When the siren wailed everyone would gather supplies and head for their closest entrance. Little B spent a lot of time underground—often sleeping there. Sometimes, his mother would rush outside and return with food—at great risk to herself.
Big B is a self-reliant man who takes care of me, shops, cleans, plans the meals and cooks without complaint. I put that down to his survival skills. He's still strong, fit and filled with enthusiasm after living for 74 years.