Southend was the perfect place for a summer vacation. It had a pier, a beautiful beach and the best part was, It was summer so no school. It was a nice day, the 17 of August and it was the morning, I had left the house at nine o'clock to deliver potatoes for mum. I brought a basket with me so it would be easier to carry. At around half past nine my friend Victor joined up with me at the marketplace.
“Hello! Do you want to meet up with James, Lena and Jessie this afternoon?”
He had very short black hair and always wore his bright yellow raincoat with his green froggy welly boots whether it was raining or not. He was delivering for his mum as well. He also had a basket just like mine. I liked Victor, he was always at the market or biking around town, or he was at his house playing with his toy soldiers. We hid our baskets behind the friendly old man, Alfred Lewis’s cabbage stand, and went to the playground. We played tag with James, Lena, and Jessie. Jessie is a very nice 17 year old and she wears her brothers hand me downs . Jessie is really a tomboy and she has a boyfriend, his name is George. Me and Lena always tease her and sing a song about ‘George and Jessie sitting in a tree’ It always got Jessie to pick me and Lena up and spin us around and she would giggle and say “stop that.” Lena and I have had so many silly moments together. When she was born I was seven and I got to hold her. I didn't remember it that much but the one thing I do remember is that Lena smelled like nutmeg when I held her. She always smiled when I made faces at her.
“Ow!” James said as I ran up the steps on the playground, I ran over to James “What happened?” I said. “I was running from Lena then I tripped and fell.” he said with tears welling up in his eyes. James was always the crybaby. We went to the closest shop and asked for a cloth or some sort of rag to clean the scrape on his knee, nobody had any clean rags until we got to the butchers and Mr. Watson had a rag that had not been used.
“So how did this happen?”
“We were all playing tag and he fell off the playground and scraped his leg on the wooden steps”
Mr.Watson looked very concerned and said, “Let me have a look at that.”
“Please tell me it’s not bad.” James said with a scared tone.
“I'm sorry James but it looks like you have around ten splinters inside your cut. I’ll take you to the hospital in my delivery lorry, everyone in the back!”
“Well that turned bad very quickly.” said Lena as we were speeding down the road “This is a very bumpy ride!” Lena said as she was rolling around in the back of the lorry. “Um, Mr.Watson my leg is-” “Almost there!” Mr.Watson said as we spun around a roundabout at breakneck speeds as me, Victor, James, and Lena all sat in the back of the big lorry with Jessie and Mr.Watson in the front. We got to the hospital, and the rag that Mr.Watson had given James had turned dark red, James’ face had gone pale and he had closed his dark brown eyes. Mr.Watson yelled out for help “Nurse! Nurse! Nurse!” Two nurses came out of the hospital with a trolley and carried James in. “Will he be okay?” I said, in a hopeful voice “Of course he will!” Mr.Watson said as his face turned red like a fire engine “He’ll be fine!” “Um, excuse me Mr.Watson, shouldn't you leave a telephone number and your information?” I said to him. “Oh yes I believe I should, thanks girls! And Victor!”
“One more thing!”
“What is it?”
“Do you know the time?”
“Yes” He checked his wrist watch “Half past one.”
As we all walked back to the playground we saw there were other kids on the swingset and monkey bars. We joined them on the bars and the playground. We asked them if they wanted to go to the pier, they said no but we went anyways. “First one to get to the pier gets to have the first sip of milk I had George leave for us!” Jessie said We all had a running race to see who could make it to the end of the pier first. We ran down from the playground on the hill into town. “This”, I thought “This is what I live for.” I sprinted down Pier Hill and then the smell of fish hit me, it smelled so good. While I was distracted by the smell of fish Jessie scampered by me with her arms pumping, I looked back to see Lena just barely overtaking Victor I looked forward and almost ran into someone.
“That's ok, have fun.”
Lena was gaining speed, she had been saving her energy so she could run by me and Victor. Jessie got to the back alley of the place where her boyfriend George had left the milk, she grabbed the huge glass and drunk almost half of it.The milk was dripping down her chin as she drunk, like little white tears from her face. Lena nearly ran into me as we turned the corner with Victor close behind i took a swig of the milk. After we all had a sip of the milk we went on the ferris wheel.
“Eww” Lena said as I threw up in the rubbish can. “Hey it was fun while it lasted.” I said “Yeah it was but it's not over yet!” Victor said as he ran to the beach. “Get your swimming costumes!”
“Ok see you soon!”
I ran home to mum to get my suit.
“Did you deliver the milk for me?” my mum asked
“I will after I go swimming with my friends!”
“Fine. But right after, deliver the milk I asked you to deliver.”
I got my tight old swimsuit on and ran to the beach, the pavement hurt my feet when I ran on it and the sting of the hot sand in my toes hurt even worse. I saw Victor in the ocean running around splashing about, I made a wild dash for the water, it would save me from my burning feet. The cold water ran through my toes as Victor ran up to me
“I was thinking we could dig in the sand and try to find coins or other cool things like that what do you think?”
We ended up digging around until the sun was going down and the sky was a pink and orange, we ended up just finding some bottle caps a 6 pence coin and a penny coin. We walked back to Alfred’s cabbage stand and picked up our baskets and started delivering our goods. As I finished my final order a metallic scream filled the air, the air raid sirens started going off and I had to find the closest air raid shelter. I started running and I saw Alfred Lewis yelling at me “Come on Dorothy!” I was just 40 feet away when the bomb fell just in front of me and a puff of red and orange and I was gone.
In 1917, August 17th at 5:22 over 20 German bombers flew over the town of Southend, England and dropped around 40 bombs on the small town. 32 were found dead and 43 injured among those dead were Dorothy Evelyn Rice a 14 year old, Jessie Camilla Galloway a 17 year old, James Grant a 10 year old, Lena Gooding a 7 year old, Victor William Sullivan a 10 year old and Alfred Lewis a 74 year old. More than 30 houses were damaged, the raid was over in 10 minutes. 451 days after the raid on Southend, the Armistice of the 11th of November 1918 was put into force at 11a.m.