Family stories illuminate real events

The family tapes I am preparing to be digitized continue to yield unexpected treasures. I have several from visits between my mother and two of her aunts, who share wonderful details of their own lives and memories of the family matriarch, Nana. But one that I heard yesterday, probably from 1990, was an interview with a cousin, describing her experience as an ambulance attendant in 1944, when she was assigned to help survivors of a bombing at the Aldwych Theatre in west end London. Moved by her heartfelt description, I found official reports and photos as well as a novelist’s rendering of the horrific event.

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