Brian Flook's Story


I live in Bermuda. "When war was declared" as everybody used to say,

I was about seven years old. My Mum, Dad and brother Peter and I lived in

Morden, Surrey. (Near Wimbledon) The first thing I remember is

probably about 1940. Mum & Dad wanted to get my brother and me

out of London. My grandfather lived in Cardiff, South Wales.

He was a plumber. My grandad rode from Cardiff to Morden on his

motorcycle and sidecar. The sidecar was a long open wooden box.

Something like a coffin. It contained his plumber tools. He took my

brother and me from Morden to Cardiff in this sidecar. Of course,

we were wrapped in blankets. As we were young, Peter and I thought

it was fun who the hell was Adolph Hitler anyway.

I stayed in Cardiff for a couple of months during the phony war then

Peter and I returned to Morden. Then the London Blitz started.

Adolph tried to get us again. The evacuation of kids from London

then began. Peter and I with the name tags and boxes of sandwiches

(like you all) were sent to Leicester. Of course, I did not know what

the hell I was doing as I was so young. I do remember my Mum in

tears, but I was not scared. We arrived in Leicester and along with

dozens of other children were sent to a large hall. There various lovely

people were sort of picking which London evacuees they would take.

I remember a young couple coming up to Peter and me, and they said

they could only take one. Peter aged about 10 said, "my Mum said

my bother and I must be together." The couple, Mr. and Mrs. Kerslake

said OK and took us both. From then on Peter was my hero.

I cannot remember how long we stayed with the Kerslakes, but they

were wonderful people and were very good to us. Eventually, Mum

Dad came to collect us and we all went back home to Morden.

There were still air raids, usually at night. Numerous times I was woken

up at night and had to go into our Anderson shelter in the garden.

Then we went through a period when my father decided the safest place

was under the staircase in the house. So Mum made up a bed under the

staircase for Peter and me. Years later when I looked into that cupboard,

I wondered how we fitted in there.

The most vivid memory I have of the war period was standing in our garden

in Morden one morning. I heard the sound of airplanes. A German ME 109

came over at tree top level being chased by an RAF Hawker Hurricane.

They were so low I can remember seeing the shape of the German pilot

and mud on the bottom of the plane. The Hurricane was firing its machine

guns at the ME 109. My Dad rushed out and dragged me inside as he did so

I heard the sound of some thing falling in the garden. Later we went outside and

found a .303 bullet which must have come from the Hurricane. My father,

a carpenter, made a wooden base for it and we kept it in the family for years.

I still have it with me in Bermuda. As I write, I am looking at it. I remember

going through the period of "Doodle Bugs". We soon learned that when the

engine stopped it was best to go inside. It was strange, like a lot of kids in

that era, I was never scared. We treated it all like a game. We didn't realize

people all over the worked were going through terrible times.

Finally the war was over. We began to get sweets and bananas again, marvellous!

When I was 18 years old, I did my National Service. I spent 3 years in the

Royal Military Police, went to Egypt and Cyprus. I was in Cyprus during

the Eoka Trouble and the Suez Crisis. They were busy times.

When I came home, I joined the Metropolitan Police for 2 years. I served

in Fulham, South London. In 1959 I saw an advert about Police Officers

being required for the Island of Bermuda in the middle of the Atlantic.

I joined up and have worked and lived in Bermuda ever since.

I married Jenny in 1969 and we have 2 grown sons. Of course,

I am retired from the police now but I keep busy.

Updated 4/19/01