Tales from the UK Homefront

Iris Finsom Magid at the Atlanta History Center

Thousands of stories from World War II veterans have been recorded through the efforts of programs such as the Veterans History Project. Still they represent just a small number of the thousands of stories untold.

Recently, the Atlanta History Center shared one interesting tale, this, from Iris Fensom Magid. Iris tells of life in London during WWII. She lived through the Blitz and distinctly remembers the V-1 Buzz Bombs.

“You couldn’t hear them until you saw them … When the engine stopped, that’s when they would fall.”

Iris adds,

“the scariest thing was it wasn’t human.”

I’d not heard this viewpoint before, but I can imagine the distinct terror of a machine carrying the instruments of destruction, not unlike the horrors modern day science fiction envisions. How much better, I suppose, it might have been to have a human in the cockpit ordering the bombs dropped with all the potential for error than an unfeeling, unerring bit of nuts and bolts and wires.

Iris and her sister survived the bombing and both went on to marry one of the many “Yanks” that filled the city of London with their strange ways and high spirits. Iris’s husband, Lieutenant Magid, was a an American B-17 pilot. After the war the two made their home in Miami.

Watch the video in its entirety, as Iris tells of her borrowed wedding dress, and her difficulties navigating and adapting to an American way of life.: https://youtu.be/FkmjwZRKk0I

For more information on the Veterans History Project or perhaps having your own story told, contact the Atlanta History Center: https://www.atlantahistorycenter.com

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