Boston Bay, Jamaica - 20th August 1944, 8:02am EST
Amelia Jackson left her home at 7:30am to walk down the Boston strip to her job, working as a banana picker for her friend’s father’s banana company.
Amelia had left school at the age of 16 where she had studied Home Economics in the school, taught by a middle-aged white British woman, born in Bristol, United Kingdom.
As was the case with many women, the war had meant they were increasingly valuable assets within the workforce as part of the British Empire who were fighting Nazi Germany and Japan following the Italian surrender in 1943.
Rationing had become common in Great Britain as food supplies were shortened in an attempt to break national morale by the Axis Powers, meaning fruit and coconuts from Jamaica and the Caribbean were even more valuable to the regional economy due to the great need for the products.
Amelia picked up her friend Brianna as they both headed to work on the same route. Brianna was certainly the loudmouth out of the pair, constantly attracting male attention as a result of her straightforwardness.
Coming down to the opening of Boston Beach, where they would meet the team, they both noticed that the wind was very strong today and that was really taking away from the hot day that it otherwise was going to be on the northeast side of Jamaica.
Amelia and Brianna began work at 8:00 on the dot, starting to make their way through the grassy areas where the banana trees were. Again, they noticed that the wind was really picking up as the leaves of the normally high-up trees were actually swiping the top of their heads.
It was then that the girls were picked up off their feet by the largest blast of wind that nature could conjure up.
Tree trunks were snapping in two, as if they were merely twigs. The wooden houses that made up the high majority of buildings on the coast were being torn apart board-by-board and flung through the air at dangerous velocities. Brianna hit her head against a tree trunk, knocking her unconscious for a minute as the wind whistled violently above.
Amelia dived for cover, lying prone on the floor with her arms wrapped around a bottom of a coconut tree that had already been destroyed by the wind.
An hour passed by in what seemed like seconds for Amelia as she realised that she was hanging onto her position for her dear life. Amelia had no clue about Brianna’s ongoing condition throughout but she could not stop worrying.
Shortly after an hour had passed, the winds - which had now been interpreted as a hurricane by those that experienced it - had begun a lull. It provided time for those affected to assess the commercial and human damage caused in that one hour.
Walking cautiously past her usual workplace, Amelia quickly realised that her job was in serious doubt. The hurricane had taken down almost every single tree, with fruit scattered across the ground everywhere she looked.
As she walked further, past her place of work and into the populated areas of her town, she noticed the effect this had on a human level. There were babies heard crying, people laying on the roads with cuts on every limb, overturned vehicles with glass smashed all over. Amelia hadn’t seen a dead body but with a scene like this, there was bound to be somewhere. She prayed that she was not going to be the person to stumble across them.
Whilst Amelia was walking, she was paying attention to the tragedy surrounding her, but her main goal was to locate Brianna.
Underneath a destructed building, Amelia saw a pair of legs stuck underneath the wood. The feet had the exact same sandals that Brianna had worn to work that morning.
As Amelia approached the body, she said a prayer out loud, begging it not to be her friend she uncovered. She knelt on top of the wooden mess, throwing the heap of wooden planks away before she could see the face of this particular victim before bursting into tears and screaming for help. Brianna was only a year older than her.