Leeds nostalgia: memories of bomb damage in Leeds

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Terrence Doolan, 83, from Farnley, contacted Times Past after viewing last week’s picture of bomb damage in Leeds.

Although he remembers viewing some of the bomb damaged streets following air raids in 1941, he did not recognise the picture we published (and have published again this week). And, as it turns out, his keen eye was indeed correct and upon checking our archive, it appears the picture ran with the wrong caption. The image does show the aftermath of an air raid but it says ‘location unknown’.

Speaking to Times Past, Terrence said: “I can remember as a child going round some of the streets with my granddad, William. I would have been about 10. I remember Domestic Street being bombed in March 1941. There was also someone killed in one of the houses on Spence Lane and I remember New Farnley Forge being bombed fairly regularly but I cannot remember any in Farnley itself.”

Terrence has other memories from the war years and was glad to share them with us.

“I can remember when the Italian POWs were here and one of them used to come and sing to us in New Farnley Park. They used to be just walking around with brown or green suits on.

“I remember the ack ack guns on Post Hill. I recall going in the NAAFI there to buy sweets as a child, as a treat.”

Terrence joined up for National Service in 1953 and later joined the Parachute Regiment, before leaving to work as a joiner and shopfitter before retiring.

His father, James William Doolan - who was known as Mick - came right through the war, serving with the 51st Royal Tank Regiment but his step brother Frankie Eton, was killed in Normandy on June 27, 1944, aged just 19.

He added: “I also remember the Messerschmitt 109 being brought to City Square. People were encouraged to bring aluminium pots and pans to throw at it, as much to get their anger out as anything.”

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