Interview with Ronald Roffey


Interview with Ronald Roffey


Ronald was born in Charlton, south-east London. He went to Charlton Junior School and was nine when war was declared. He remembered being fitted for a gas mask at his school. His aunt who lived in Torquay found a private billet for him and his mother in Barton, near Torquay. His mother returned to London and in September 1940; during the Blitz Ronald took a train journey back to London, meeting his mother at Paddington station. On their way back to Charlton the sky was red and all of the north bank of the Thames was alight. Ronald’s father worked for Siemens. He was also a fire warden and on one occasion the family had to evacuate their house when an unexploded bomb was found next to their garden. They went to stay with grandmother’s sister in her flat near Charlton lido. Ronald went back to Torquay before returning to London when the V-1s and V-2s were being dropped. At eleven he went to Woolwich Central School. He remembers a bomb falling on a pub behind the school. All of the school windows were broken but fortunately the children were in the playground and no one was hurt. Ronald joined the Boy Scouts and Holy Trinity Church choir. After he was confirmed at 12, he became a server. There was one occasion when an incendiary bomb fell on the church, lodging in the spire and it was his father who climbed up and put out the fire. Ronald left school at 17 and went to work in London. There he met his future wife Joan and they married in 1953. When Ronald was about 20 he heard that his cousin Richard, who flew in Bomber Command, had been reported missing, presumed dead.



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00:41:06 audio recording





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Andrew Cowley, “Interview with Ronald Roffey,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 19, 2021,

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