APPENDIX LIST OF CONTENTS A B C D E F G H I The bombing of Feltham and District during World War II: The story of a missing records

recovery project. The bombing of Feltham and District during World War II: An introductory outline. Summary of bombing incidents and raids, by date. When and where bombs fell on Feltham and District during World War II (detail). List of bombing incidents in Feltham and District causing Serious damage to property, and/or fatalities, by date. List of fatalities in bombing raids on Feltham and District During World War II: names arranged by date of incident. The wartime bombing of England, 1939 – 1945: background notes from published sources; with a note on Evacuation from Feltham. Miscellaneous Wartime Newspaper Cuttings & Posters 3 7 8 9 16 18 21 24

Personal accounts of Feltham and District in wartime and memories of bombing incidentsduring World War II: 30 1. Ted Ashford Railway Terrace in wartime: bombs and incendiary bombs; the Ellington Road bombing, 1943; Mulberry Harbour construction work near Weybridge. 30 2. Les Bawn The Hanworth Close V1; air raid shelters; searchlights and local home defence posts; German PoW’s at Kempton Park; Ling’s trotting races. 34 3. Thomas Blanchfield A near miss: the bombing of a family home in Bedfont Lane, January 1941. 37 4. John Bullen The Hanworth Close V1; a German land mine explosion in Hanworth. 39 5. Edward (Mickey) Cartwight The day war broke out; a daylight air raid on Feltham; Anti-aircraft guns at Bedfont Recreation Ground. 41 6. Vera Matthews nee Clegg A lesson in the school air raid shelter. 43 7. Colin Clegg Mainly about pigs, rural life on the Grosvenor estate 44 8. Bill Cole The outbreak of war in the Elephant and Castle, SE1; Watching dog-fights over Kent and being machine-gunned at Dover: family day’s out in WWII; The Blitz in SE1, my family moves to Feltham after being bombed-out; Wartime in Feltham. 46 9. Gordon Drewett Swimming in the ARP emergency water tank; a bombing raid on Hanworth, 29-30th November 1940; Air raid shelters; The Hanworth Close V1 and a German land mine; Lord Haw Haw and the church clock; Ling’s trotting races. 61


10. Feltham Congregational Church, Minutes of Bomb damage to the church and to Victoria Road, 1944. 64 11. Chris Hanks Wartime in Feltham: memories of Guildford Avenue (Grosvenor Estate). 65 12 Sydney George Hill My mother’s work as a cook at Feltham’s British Restaurant and at General Aircraft; ‘Timber’ Woods, test pilot; Saturdays at the cinema and more dangerous amusements; flying bombs in Heston. 66 13 Barrie Lambert My early years in wartime Hanworth 70 14 Maureen Maxwell The Ellington Road bombing, 7/8th October 1943. 71 15 Eddie Menday Feltham during World War II. 72 16 David Olive An air raid in Hanworth, 29/30th November 1940; the bombing of Gresham Transformers, 24th March 1944; bomb collecting – a dangerous hobby; The Hanworth Close V1. 74 17 Robin Rendell The Northumberland Crescent V1; the Rendell family become evacuees – a train journey to Doncaster. 76 18 Sylvia Seaney Memories of a railwayman. 78 19 Ken Smith The Hanworth Close V1 and other air raid memories. 79 20 Dave Wiseman Feltham - The War Years; flying sweets, carrying incendiaries; the RASC railway line and the big gun; Balsa wood from fighters to models; pantry partition. 81





The Bombing of Feltham in World War II: The Story of a Missing Records Recovery Project by Members of the Feltham History Group (2006-07). Many local authorities are fortunate enough to have a record of where and when bombs fell during the Second World War. More than 60 years after the war ended these records remain in demand. During the last 20 years the staff of Hounslow Libraries’ Local Studies Service have dealt with requests for information from people whose current health problems and disabilities have their origins in injuries sustained on the ‘home front’ during the war and who are applying for a war pension or a disability allowance. Developers tracing the history of a redevelopment site often need to know its wartime history and to check that construction and demolition machinery will not encounter any unexploded bombs. Ordinary people, writing personal memoirs or family histories for their grandchildren and great grandchildren to read, contact local history librarians to refresh their memories about exactly where and when the bomb that fell in their street came down. For the former Borough of Brentford and Chiswick and for the Borough of Heston and Isleworth (including Hounslow and Cranford), Hounslow’s Local Collections include authoritative, dated lists of local bomb incidents that can be referred to. Unfortunately this has never been true for Feltham and district. Feltham Urban District Council was responsible for making reports to the Home Office Bomb Census and Intelligence Department. Middlesex County Council co-ordinated wartime civil defence in Feltham and responded with damage control and rescue teams when bombs fell. But neither Feltham district nor the County Council seem to have kept an easily searchable documentary record of what happened in Feltham, or where and when it happened. Two war damage registers have survived for Feltham and district. These record wartime damage to individual properties in Feltham. But there is no date of occurrence attached to any of the entries that record war damage. The record is a series of address based entries. These are listed in incident order but with no dates given. There is a brief description of the damage to an individual property, a simple “A – D” grading of the damage, and a note of the number of people who had to be re-housed as a result. Category “A” damage represents a building’s complete destruction by a bomb; category “B” damage represents a building so badly damaged that it could not be repaired and the demolition of the standing remains was necessary. Categories “C and D” indicates properties that were badly damaged but capable of being repaired; and damaged properties that still remained habitable, while necessary repairs were carried out.


The Feltham War Damage Registers (Hounslow Library local Collection) There was a good chance that some research at The National Archives would enable us to recreate the missing chronology of bombing events for the Urban District of Feltham, including Bedfont and Hanworth. Three members of the Feltham History Group and a local JP whose work at Feltham Magistrates’ Court has aroused his interest in the history of the district, visited the National Archives at Kew on four successive Tuesdays in November 2006, to record whatever information we could find about the bombing of Feltham in the Second World War. The most useful primary source material that we found at The National Archives during our visits were a series of large maps, marked-up with a weekly cumulation of bomb incident plots. These maps often had several nightly overlays of bomb fall appended to them, each one a large and fragile sheet of tracing paper. We were interested in the Home Office Bombing Intelligence Departments’ plot sheets covering grid square 53/18 NE. Each of these large, six-inches to 1 mile scale, maps covers part of West Middlesex and Buckinghamshire. The corners of each Ordnance Survey map bracket the towns and villages of Iver, Southall, Staines and Feltham.


A tracing paper overlay for the night of 29th-30th November 1940. This was the night of Feltham’s heaviest bombing raid. The maps plotting bomb-fall were made up from returns that each Local Authority submitted to the Home Office Bomb Census and Intelligence Department. For part of the War, between February 1941 and May 1942; and between January 1943 and April 1944, the paper records for Feltham Urban District Council’s Bomb Census returns survive at the National Archives as part of HO 198/ 18-24 and HO 198/45. But there are not as many surviving hand-written Bomb Census records as there are plotted maps in the series HO 193. The large and fragile tracing paper overlays could not be copied and photography could not produce clear and detailed images of the map sheets that underlay them. So we made rough-andready copies of the evidence of bomb fall, marking-up copies of a simple street map of Feltham and district in the early 1960’s, published by Burrow and Company. There was no map that was perfect for the purpose of plotting the information gathered at the National Archive. The Burrows Pointer Map from the early 60’s was chosen, as it provided an uncomplicated and fairly simple outline to work on, and because there was not much to choose from, that might be preferred to it. The biggest disadvantage was, of course, the presence of post-war streets: but the amount of building that went on in Feltham in the second half of the 1930’s made the 1935 edition of the 6-inch map an equally (possibly even more) unsuitable choice. As a result references to some (post-war) streets are made for comprehension of location and do not necessarily indicate that the street exised in the years between 1939 and 1945. 5

This is the sort of data we came away with – a hand drawn, rough copy of the tracing showing Feltham’s share of the air raid on the night of 29th and 30th November 1940 (Feltham’s worst night of bombing during the war). In all, our small team made up more than 30 sheets like this, showing where bombs fell on individual nights, or over a particular week, during the war. Feltham History Group’s visits to The National Archives at Kew provided raw data to enable a basic record of what happened, where and when to be reconstructed. We were soon able to match our roughly drawn maps of bomb fall with the instances of category “A” and category “B” damage in the Feltham UDC war damage registers. Throughout the war, reports of bombing published in local newspapers avoided naming districts and streets affected by bombing; although they often printed detailed descriptions of the damage inflicted by Nazi raiders on ‘a London suburb’ or a ‘suburban area’. It was important to deny German intelligence evidence of the success of the Luftwaffe’s bombing. And equally important that our own local authorities should report incidents to the Home Office Bombing Intelligence Department, so that pooled information might reveal new developments, patterns and lessons learned locally that were widely applicable. Nevertheless, Hounslow’s local weekly newspaper, the Chronicle, provided valuable supplementary information to add to our researches at the The National Archives as well as a wealth of period detail. Since the Home Office Bombing Intelligence Department’s maps of bomb fall did not provide dates for incidents before early October 1940, it was in the local paper that we found an account of Feltham’s first Nazi bomb. This fell on Moss’ floral nursery at about midnight on the night of Saturday 24th/Sunday 25th August 1940. It was reported in the following Saturday’s weekly paper.





APPENDIX B The Bombing of Feltham and District During World War II: An Introductory Outline. The bombing of Feltham and district during World War II can be divided up into the following periods: 1. Raids between the night of 24th/25th August and the 7th October 1940: 20 HE bombs on or very close to Feltham Urban District. 2. The Big Blitz period, between 7th October 1940 and 28th July 1941: 22 night bombing raids, including the district’s heaviest raid on the night of 29/30th November 1940; and 19 bombs dropped by daylight raiders between the 8th October and 21st December 1940. 3. Night bombing, 7th/8th October 1943: 1 bombing raid, including the Ellington Road incident. 4. The Little Blitz period of night bombing, from 4th January 1944 to 24th March 1944: 5 bombing raids. 5. V1 Flying Bombs, June – August 1944: 4 incidents. These attacks, together, resulted in a total of 42 civilian fatalities. Feltham’s first experience of bombing occurred on the same night that London was attacked for the first time, almost by accident, by a raid that had strayed from its industrial targets along the Thames estuary. This provoked Britain’s first raid on Berlin the following night. Hitler’s call for vengeance upon the cities of Britain began a change of direction in German bombing from airfields and industrial targets that enabled Britain to defend itself against invasion, to night bombing raids against London and other cities and towns. Black Saturday, the 7th September, began an intense period of bombardment for London that continued without respite until the end of 1940 and did not end until May 1941. German bombers returned to Feltham on 10th October 1940 and bombs were dropped on the district on 12 further nights during October, November and December 1940. Eight raids in Feltham between January and May 1941 were followed by an isolated raid in late July. Germany had invaded Russia on 22nd June and the Luftwaffe’s priorities were shifting eastwards. The long lull in the German assault on Britain lasted for a little over two years. By late 1943 the Luftwaffe was again making occasional hit-and-run raids on Britain. These could have tragic consequences on the ground, as the Ellington Road incident shows. At this time British intelligence was also receiving news of Germany’s newly developed ‘Vweapons’ and believed that their use against London was imminent. The government made plans for Feltham and other communities on the southern edge of London, to have their barrage balloon defences increased to meet this new threat. The V1’s and V2’s were not ready for use until late June and September 1944. But German bombing was stepped-up between January and April 1944 – The Little Blitz. Feltham found itself on the fringe of four raids between January and March 1944 and received 25 high explosive bombs and hundreds of incendiaries on the night of 24th/25th February. NOTE: This outline text appears in the main text on page 17 and is duplicated here for convenience of access to background information.





APPENDIX C Summary of Bombing Incidents and Raids by Date Date Bombing before the night of 6/7th Oct 1940 Bombing by day during period 8th Oct - 21st Dec1940 Night of 10/11th Oct 1940 Number of Bombs 14 H.E. Bombs Document Reference Number (The National Archives) HO 193/12

19 H.E. Bombs HO 193/14 13 H.E. Bombs & 6 clusters of incendiary bombs HO 193/1 Night of 26/27th Oct 1940 2 H.E. Bombs HO 193/2 Night of 4/5th Nov 1940 25 H.E. Bombs HO 193/4 Night of 5/6th Nov 1940 16 H.E. Bombs HO 193/4 Night of 6/7th Nov 1940 4 H.E. Bombs & 3 clusters of incendiary bombs HO 193/4 Night of 8/9th Nov 1940 5 H.E. Bombs HO 193/4 Night of 10/11th Nov 1940 2 H.E. Bombs HO 193/4 Night of 12/13th Nov 1940 2 H.E. Bombs HO 193/5 Night of 16/17th Nov 1940 2 H.E. Bombs HO 193/5 Night of 17/18th Nov 1940 3 H.E. Bombs HO 193/5 Night of 29/30th Nov 1940 76 H.E. Bombs & 15 areas of incendiary bombing HO 193/7 Night of 8/9th Dec 1940 2 H.E Bombs and 3 clusters of incendiary bombs HO 193/8 Night of 5/6th Jan 1941 2 H.E. Bombs HO 193/16 Night of 9/10th Jan 1941 1 H.E. Bomb HO 193/16 Night of 19/20th Jan 1941 1 H.E. Bomb HO 193/17 Night of 15/16th Feb 1941 3 H.E. Bombs & a large area of incendiary bombing at Hounslow Heath on F.U.D. boundary HO 193/20 Night of 9/10th Mar 1941 6 H.E. Bombs & 1 cluster of incendiaries HO 193/25 Night of 18/19th Mar 1941 3 H.E. Bombs HO 193/25 Night of 19/20th April 1941 4 H.E. Bombs HO 193/27 Night of 10/11th May 1941 4 H.E. Bombs and 2 clusters of incendiaries HO 193/28 Night of 27/28th July 1941 8 H.E. Bombs HO 193/29 Night of 7/8th October 1943 9 H.E. Bombs HO 193/34 Night of 4/5th January1944 1 H.E. Bomb HO 193/36 Nightof 18/19th February 1944 1 H.E. Bomb (unexploded) HO 193/37 Night of 22/23rd February 1944 25 H.E. Bombs HO 193/38 Night of 14/15th March 1944 1 H.E. Bomb case (empty) HO 193/39 Night of 23/24th March 1944 1 H.E. Bomb HO 193/39


APPENDIX D When and Where Bombs Fell on Feltham and District During World War II (detail). The following notes are based upon the roughly copied maps made by members of the Feltham History Group from The National Archives series of bomb fall record maps - HO 193. In copying and transcription, loss of accuracy is inevitable and where distances are given these should be understood as approximate and indicative only. The Feltham History Group’s rough copy maps were made using, for convenience, copies of an early 1960’s street map of Feltham and district (The Burrow’s Pointer Guide). This map shows streets built since the Second World War and some of these post-war streets have been used in these notes as indicators of location. The naming of streets in these notes should not be taken as not evidence that a particular street existed during the Second World War. Night of 24th/25th August 1940 (HO 193/12 and Middlesex Chronicle for 31st August 1940). Incendiary Bombs ◆“…at another spot in the same district.” High Explosive Bombs ◆“…in soft ground adjoining (Feltham High) Street…The windows of a nurseryman’s shop (Moss’) were shattered…A brick bungalow attached to the shop was wrecked. It was very old and had been used for storage…” Night of 10/11th October 1940 (HO 193/1) Incendiary Bombs – 6 locations ◆ Sub-circular cluster, approximately a quarter mile in diameter, centred on the northern end of Feltham Park and the site of Clymping Dene. ◆ Elongated oval cluster, about 150 yards wide, and aligned along Danesbury Road, Feltham. ◆ Sub-circular cluster, about 125 yards in diameter, centred on the Hanworth Park end of Browells Lane, Feltham. ◆ Elongated oval cluster within the RASC Depot, about 150 yards wide, aligned WNW-ENE between the Depot’s western boundary, where it backs onto properties fronting on Feltham High Street, and Elmwood House in Elmwood Avenue, Hanworth Park. ◆ Oval cluster, approximately 175 yards long and 150 yards wide, centred on the eastern end of Rochester Avenue at its junction with Granville Avenue, between Craven Avenue and Francis Avenue. ◆ Oval cluster, approximately 125 yards long and 100 yards wide, centred on the eastern side of Elmwood Avenue, between the site of Rookeries Close and the junction of Elmwood Avenue with Fernside Avenue; mostly within Hanworth Park. High Explosive Bombs – 13 Bombs ◆ A stick of 5 bombs aligned NW – SE; 1 near Southville School; 3 along the eastern side of Hanover Avenue and 1 near the western boundary of the Depot, behind Cavendish Terrace in Feltham High Street. ◆ A stick of 7 bombs aligned W – E to the north of Little Park Farm, Hanworth, between the eastern end of Boundaries Road and the western corner of the Crematorium Grounds. ◆ 1 Bomb in the angle formed by the A316 Country Way and Hampton Road West, Hanworth (Hope and Anchor Junction).


Night of 13/14th October 1940 (HO 193/1) High Explosive Bombs – 3 Bombs ◆ 2 Bombs aligned NW – SE on the north side of the Longford River, falling on nursery garden land south of the A316 Country Way and Hampton Road, Hanworth (Hope and Anchor junction). ◆ 1 Bomb in the angle of the A316 Great Chertsey Road and Twickenham Road, Hanworth (Hope and Anchor Junction). Night of 26/27th October 1940 (HO 193/2) High Explosive Bombs – 2 Bombs ◆ 2 Bombs straddling the western boundary of Butts Farm where the eastern side of Canterbury Avenue is now, between the present sites of Lords Close and Barnlea Close. Night of 4/5th November 1940 (HO 193/4) High Explosive Bombs – 25 Bombs ◆ A stick of 14 bombs aligned NW – SE between the present junction of Faggs Road and Armadale Road, North Feltham and the northern bank of the Duke of Northumberland’s River, opposite the western end of Mill Way. ◆ 1 Bomb on St. Alban’s Farm land, on the north side of the Staines Road at Hounslow Heath. ◆ A stick of 9 bombs aligned NNW – SSE over 1500 yards, extending from riverbank land immediately west of Two Bridges, Hatton Road, Bedfont, to fields on the north side of Feltham Brook and the railway line, to the north of Oxford Cottages and Vineyard Nurseries in Bedfont Road. Night of 5/6th November 1940 (HO 193/4) High Explosive Bombs – 16 Bombs ◆ An irregular, double row of bombs aligned NE – SW along both sides of Feltham High Street between its junction with Elmwood Avenue and the western boundary of Feltham Cemetery, on the east side of Shelson Avenue. Night of 6/7th November 1940 (HO 193/4) Incendiary Bombs – 3 locations ◆ Oval cluster, aligned NW – SE, 250 yards long and 150 yards wide, centred on the St. Anthony and St. Theresa’s Orphanage at Hatton, Bedfont. ◆ Oval cluster, aligned NE – SW, a second cluster of similar size to the above, spread over farmland between Green Man Lane, Hatton and Faggs Road, Hatton, some 400 yards to the east of the first cluster, described above. ◆ Elongated oval cluster aligned ENE – WSW for 400 yards along the Longford River and part of the north side of New Road, Bedfont, between Two Bridges, Hatton Road, Bedfont and the western end of Northumberland Crescent, Bedfont. ◆ 4 H.E. Bombs fell beyond the District’s boundary, in Sunbury, to the south of Groveley Road, Feltham Hill. Night of 8/9th November 1940 (HO 193/4) High Explosive Bombs – 5 Bombs ◆ Near the Manor House on the north side of Feltham High Street, on the south side of Manor Lane. ◆ On the east side of Vernon Road at its junction with Percival Road. ◆ On the south side of Princes Road between Avenue Road and Raleigh Road ◆ In Westbourne Road, between Avenue Road and Raleigh Road. ◆ Near Raleigh Road, between the south side of Westbourne Road and Bedfont Road 10

Night of 10/11th November 1940 (HO 193/4) High Explosive Bombs – 2 Bombs ◆ In Feltham Hill, north of Groveley Road, near the present site of Cumbernauld Gardens. ◆ South of Groveley Road, near the present site of The Rowans. Night of 12/13th November 1940 (HO 193/5) High Explosive Bombs – 2 Bombs ◆ At the western end of Feltham Marshalling Yards where tracks fan out into the Down Marshalling Yard, the Engine Road and the south western Wagon Sorting Sidings. ◆ On the north side of the Windsor main railway lines, to the north of the marshalling yards, on Sparrow Farm Land near to where the present Cygnet Avenue joins Sparrow Farm Drive. Night of 16/17th November 1940 (HO 193/5) High Explosive Bombs – 2 Bombs ◆ 1 Bomb in Dockwell Lane, Hatton, Bedfont, 400 yards east of Hatton Cross. ◆ 1 Bomb on the north side of the Windsor main railway lines, opposite Feltham Marshalling Yards, on the south side of the present Durham Road, near its junction with The Drive. Night of 17/18th November 1940 (HO 193/5) High Explosive Bombs - 3 Bombs ◆ 1 Bomb on the north side of the Windsor main railway lines, to the south of what is now Cygnet Avenue, 200 yards east of its junction with Sparrow Farm Drive. ◆ 1 Bomb on the Down Marshalling Yard in the western half of Feltham Marshalling Yards, 150 yards south of the location of the first bomb, described above. ◆ 1 Bomb on the western side of Hampton Road West, in sand and gravel workings (now a trading estate) opposite Butts Farm, Hanworth. Night of 29/30th November 1940 (HO 193/7) High Explosive Bombs – 76 Bombs; and many incendiary bombs. Clusters of incendiary bombs: ◆ Aligned E-W from Harlington Road at its junction with Lansbury Avenue in the west, to Beeston Avenue at its junction with Baber Drive in the east; 200 yards wide and reaching from the south side of Lansbury Avenue to the north side of Viola Avenue. ◆ Aligned NW – SE along Harlington Road West from its junction with Lansbury Avenue in the north, to the railway bridge in the south; 300 yards wide and reaching from the eastern side of Buckingham Avenue across Hounslow Road to the eastern side of The Drive. ◆ Aligned ESE – WSW between Ashmead Road off Bedfont Lane and Harlington Road East at The Airman junction. ◆ A west-facing, crescent shaped cluster reaching from the southern part of Hanover Avenue across Granville Avenue to the southern side of Feltham High Street. ◆ Sub-circular cluster 200 yards in diameter on open land to the north of Bedfont Road and east of Oxford Cottages. ◆ An oval cluster aligned WSW – ESE 300 yards long on the southern edge of Feltham Marshalling Yards, beginning at the eastern ends of Hereford Road and Boundaries Road, Feltham. ◆ An oval cluster aligned NNW – SSE, 300 yards long, covering the present site of the Crematorium and the west bank of the River Crane.


◆ (Out of District) A large, oval cluster, aligned NE – SW along the eastern side of Hanworth Road, Twickenham, 800 yards long and 400 yards wide, across the Hounslow end of Powder Mill Lane and stretching from the Hounslow curve of the loop railway line to Ellerman Avenue, Twickenham. ◆ A kidney-shaped cluster aligned E – W, 400 yards long and 200 yards wide between the eastern side of Sunningdale Avenue and the present site of The Crane School, Butts Farm. ◆ A kidney-shaped cluster aligned E – W covering Hanworth Park House and surrounds, 400 yards long and 100 yards wide. ◆ Sub-circular cluster 200 yards in diameter centred on the junction of Denison Road with Cranleigh Road, east of Chertsey Road, Feltham. ◆ Sub-circular cluster 100 yards in diameter on the west side of Castle Way, between Tudor Court and Queens Way. ◆ A west-facing, crescent shaped cluster, aligned N – S, 400 yards long and 150 yards wide, between the junction of St. Georges Road and Twickenham Road, Hanworth and the junction of Bear Road and Swan Road, Hanworth. ◆ An oval cluster aligned E – W to the east of the junction of Main Street, Hanworth and Nallhead Road, Hanworth, 400 yards long and 200 yards wide. ◆ Large cluster stretching south from Groveley Road, Feltham Hill, between the west side of Chertsey road and Beechwood Avenue, Sunbury. High Explosive Bombs ◆ 3 Bombs at Hatton, around the junction of Faggs Road and Green Man Lane. ◆ 5 Bombs at Faggs Road, North Feltham, on both banks of the Duke of Northumberland’s River, to the west (and 1 to the east) of Minimax Corner (junction of the A315 Staines Road and A312 Faggs Road). ◆ 1 Bomb in Kingston Avenue, Bedfont, opposite its junction with Welwyn Avenue. ◆ 3 Bombs on both sides of Northumberland Crescent, Bedfont, near the junction with Richmond Avenue. ◆ Stick of 3 bombs aligned NNE – SSW south of the Fairholme Estate, Bedfont, straddling the site of Beech Road. ◆ 2 Bombs on open land to the north of Bedfont Road between Raleigh Road and Oxford Cottages, Bedfont Road. ◆ 2 Bombs on the west side of Feltham High Street, 100 yards west of Vernon Road. ◆ Stick of 5 bombs aligned NE – SW between Spring Road and Hamilton Road, Feltham: one at the junction of Ellington and Denison Roads and one on the east side of Sunbury Road 150 yards north of its junction with Ludlow Road and one bomb on the north side of Harvest Road. ◆ 2 Bombs to the south of Groveley road, Feltham Hill. ◆ 1 Bomb in Hereford Road opposite its junction with Norfolk Road. ◆ 1 Bomb at The Airman road junction. ◆ 1 Bomb at the north end of Alfred Road (off Hanworth Road); and two on the east side of Alfred Road, Feltham. ◆ Stick of 3 Bombs aligned along the east end of Danesbury Road, from Camden Avenue to Alfred Road. ◆ A double-row of 19 bombs aligned NW – SE across Hanworth Air Park from near Alfred Road (off Hanworth Road) to the Hounslow Road at Winslow Way. ◆ 3 Bombs on the north side of Twickenham Road, Hanworth, near Devonshire Road. ◆ 1 Bomb at the Hope and Anchor junction of the A316 and Hampton Road, Hanworth. ◆ 1 Bomb to the north of site of The Alders, between its junction with Swan Road and Swan Close. ◆ 2 Bombs, on the east side of Hounslow Road and the east side of Sunningdale Avenue. ◆ 2 Bombs on the east side of Hounslow Road either side of the junction with Saxon Ave. 12

◆ A double-row of 7 bombs on riverside and agricultural land on the north side of what is now Saxon Avenue, between the present sites of Norman Avenue and Watermill Way. ◆ 1 Bomb on open land 150 yards SE of the Engine Shed at Feltham Marshalling Yards. ◆ (Out of District) 6 Bombs on the periphery of the Powder Mill Lane incendiary cluster, including 2 in Crane Park and 1 on the north side of Ellerman Avenue. Night of 8/9th December 1940 (HO 193/8) Incendiary Bombs – 3 clusters ◆ An elongated oval cluster aligned E – W, 400 yards long and 100 yards wide, between the corner of Imperial Road and Colonial Avenue, Bedfont and Bedfont Lane, Southville, between the site of Southville Road and Southville School. ◆ An elongated oval cluster aligned N – S, 700 yards long and 300 yards wide, between Waterloo Crescent, off Bedfont Lane and the north side of Feltham High Street between Granville Avenue and Manor Lane. ◆ An elongated oval cluster aligned E-W, 800 yards long and 300 yards wide, between Bridge House, Feltham at one end and the eastern end of Hanworth Road and the eastern end of Hereford Road at the other. High Explosive Bombs-2 bombs ◆ 1 Bomb on the south side of Sunbury Way between Church Road and Nallhead Road. ◆ 1 Bomb on the south side of Bedfont Lane, 350 yards west of its junction with Fruen Ave Night of 5/6th January 1941 (HO 193/16) High Explosive Bombs – 2 bombs ◆ 1 Bomb on the east side of Bedfont Lane near the gravel pits (SEE: Mr. Blanchfield’s memory of a bombing incident) ◆ 1 Bomb 100 yards south of the Fairholme Estate, Bedfont, near the present Beech Road. Night of 9/10th January 1941 (HO 193/16) High Explosive Bomb – 1 bomb ◆ 1 Bomb at the junction of Ashford Road and Shelson Avenue, Feltham. Night of 19/20th January 1941 (HO 193/17) High Explosive Bombs – 1 bomb ◆ 1 Bomb in riverside woodland between the River Crane and the Duke of Northumberland’s River, 150 yards north west of Baber Bridge. Night of 15/16th February 1941 (HO 193/20) Incendiary Bombs ◆ A wide scatter of incendiary bombs from the River Crane in the west, over Beavers Lane, Hounslow, Hounslow Heath and Staines Road, Hounslow to the east. High Exlosive Bombs-3 bombs ◆ A stick of 3 bombs aligned NE – SW across the site of the Parke Davis manufacturing chemists’ factory site at Hounslow Heath.


Night of 9/10th March 1941 (HO 193/23 and HO 198/45) Incendiary Bombs ◆ An oval cluster aligned E – W along Elmwood Avenue, falling on the RASC Depot to the north and south of Elmwood Avenue. High Explosive Bombs – 6 bombs ◆ 6 Bombs in a NW – SE alignment between the present site of Beech Road, Bedfont and the north side of Feltham High Street near the western end of Francis Avenue; including one in Rochester Avenue (east of Lancing Road); and one in Guildford Avenue on the north side of Rosemead Avenue. (See also: HO 198/18-24 & 45, which records 2 further unexploded bombs in Rochester Avenue, Feltham.) Night of 18/19th March 1941 (HO 193/25) High Explosive Bombs - 3 bombs ◆ 3 Bombs straddling the A30 Great South West Road at Hatton, between 200 and 300 yards west of Hatton Cross. Night of 19/20th April 1941 (HO 193/27) High Explosive Bombs - 4 bombs ◆ 2 Bombs in Myrtle Farm fields, north and south of the A30 Great South West Road, Bedfont, between the northern ends of Wellington Road and Myrtle Avenue, off Hatton Road, Bedfont. ◆ 1 Bomb at the southern end of Shakespeare Avenue, Feltham. ◆ 1 Bomb in the back garden of a house on the west side of Shaftesbury Avenue, Feltham, mid-way between its junctions with Rosslyn Road and Helen Avenue. Night of 10/11th May 1941 (HO 193/28) Incendiary Bombs ◆ Oval cluster on land between Saxon Avenue, Winchester Road and Exeter Road. High Explosive Bombs – 4 bombs ◆ A stick of 4 bombs on Feltham Marshalling Yards aligned N – S from the Windsor main lines, where they cross the River Crane, and falling in the ‘up’ marshalling sidings, the wagon repair roads, and on the coal stacking ground at approximately 20- 25 yard intervals. Night of 27/28th July 1941 (HO 193/29) High Explosive Bombs – 8 bombs ◆ 5 Bombs on Feltham Marshalling Yards and the Windsor main railway lines, aligned ENE – WSW from the western end of the ‘up’ marshalling yard to the western end of the ‘down’ marshalling yard. ◆ 1 Bomb on the General Aircraft works, Hanworth Air Park, Feltham. ◆ 1 Bomb on Rollason Aircraft Services, Hanworth Air Park, Feltham. ◆ 1 Bomb on Gresham Transformers works, Butts Farm, Hanworth. Night of 7/8th October 1943 (HO 193/34) High Explosive Bombs – 9 bombs ◆ 1 Bomb on the south side of Ellington Rd, Feltham, destroying houses numbered 41-47. ◆ The second bomb fell on the south side of Hamilton Road; east of Hamilton Close. ◆ 7 Further bombs fell harmlessly in fields between Hamilton road, Feltham and Groveley Road, Feltham Hill.


Night of 4/5th January 1944 (HO 193/36) High Explosive Bombs – 1 bomb ◆ 1 Bomb in Hanworth Air Park near its boundary with the RASC Depot Sports Ground, 250 yards north of Elmwood Avenue. Night of 18/19th February 1944 (HO 193/37) High Explosive Bombs – 1 unexploded ◆ On the north side of Feltham Hill Road (Snakey Lane), 150 yards east of its junction with Sunbury Road. Night of 22/23rd February 1944 (HO 193/38) Incendiary Bombs ◆ A spread of 1700 incendiary bombs falling north of Bedfont Lane and east of Feltham High Street. High Explosive Bombs ◆ A stick of 3 bombs aligned N – S between the south side of Myrtle Avenue, Hatton Road, Bedfont and the south side of Hatton Road at Bedfont Recreation Ground (1 UXB). ◆ A stick of 5 bombs aligned NW – SE along the west side of Bedfont Lane between Southville School and the end of Sydney Road, Feltham, including 1 bomb in Waterloo Crescent. ◆ 1 Bomb in Feltham Recreation Ground near the junction of Harlington and Hounslow Roads (unexploded). ◆ 1 Bomb (unexploded) on Windsor main railway lines 150 yards east of Bedfont Rd bridge. ◆ A stick of 3 bombs aligned ENE – WSW in a field to the west of Fernside Avenue, Hanworth Park. ◆ A group of 10 bombs across the northern part of Hanworth, aligned ENE – WSW, both east and west of Rectory Meadows from the east side of Hounslow Road (now the Oriel Estate) to Feltham Hill Road, west of Queens Way (2 unexploded). ◆ 2 Bombs: on the north side of Twickenham Road 300 yards east of its junction with Hampton Road - Hope and Anchor junction (Gresham Transformers works site); and on the north side of the Great Chertsey Road (A316), 300 yards east of the same junction. Night of 14/15th March 1944 (HO 193/39) High Explosive Bombs – 2 bombs ◆ On the south sides of the A316 Great Chertsey Road and Twickenham Road, Hanworth, 800 yards east of their junction with Hampton Road (Hope and Anchor junction). Night of 23/24th March 1944 (HO 193/39) High Explosive Bombs – 1 bomb ◆ 1 Bomb on Gresham Transformers works, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. ◆ Another bomb fell 100 yards beyond the District boundary, in Twickenham Borough. V1 ‘Doodlebugs’ – Summer 1944 (HO 193/50) Flying Bombs - 4 bombs ◆ Northumberland Crescent, Bedfont, on the night of 18th/19th June; ◆ The RASC Depot, Feltham, on the night of 19th/20th July; ◆ Danesbury Road and Florence Road, Feltham, on the night of 1st/2nd August; ◆ The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth, on 20th August 1944.




APPENDIX E . List of Bombing Incidents in Feltham and District Causing Serious Damage to Property, and Fatalities, by Date. 24th/25th August 1940 ◆ Moss’ Flower Shop, 118 High Street, Feltham Raids before the night of 6/7th October 1940 (undated incidents) ◆ Orchard Café, London Road, Bedfont ◆ 1 New Road, Bedfont ◆ St. Anthony’s Institution, Faggs Road, Bedfont 8/9th November 1940 ◆ 64-66 Bedfont Road, Feltham ◆ 17/18th November 1940 ◆ 1-16 Hampton Road, Hanworth 29/30th November 1940 11 Fatalities ◆ 64-66 The Alders, Hanworth ◆ 50-54 Alfred Road, Feltham ◆ 18-20 Devonshire Road, Hanworth ◆ 14 Hamilton Road, Feltham ◆ The Butts, Hanworth: Bel Works, Gresham Transformers, General Celluloid, Sedgwick Works (Incendiary bomb damage) ◆ 240-242 High Street, Feltham ◆ 24-26 New Road, Hanworth ◆ 2,4,5,7 Richmond Avenue, Bedfont ◆ 37-39 Spring Road, Feltham ◆ 42-48 Winslow Way, Hanworth ◆ 238, 244 High Street, Feltham 8/9th December 1940 ◆ 11-13 Ridgeway, Hanworth ◆ 22-23 Sunbury Way, Hanworth ◆ Royal Nursery, Bedfont Lane, Feltham ◆ 196-8 & 212-4 Bedfont Lane, Feltham 9/10th January 1941 1 Fatality ◆ 1-11 Ashford Road, Feltham 19/20th April 1941 ◆ 73-83 Shaftesbury Avenue, Feltham 7/8th October 1943 6 Fatalities ◆ 33-39, 41-51 Ellington Road, Feltham


24/25th February 1944 9 Fatalities ◆ 303-327 Hatton Road, Bedfont ◆ Baptist Church, Hatton Road, Bedfont ◆ 299-301 & 341-343, Hatton Road, Bedfont ◆ 20-24 Hounslow Road, Hanworth ◆ 14-18 Queensway, Hanworth ◆ 3-14 Glebe Cottages, Twickenham Road, Hanworth ◆ 1 & 2 Glebe Villas, Twickenham Road, Hanworth 24th March 1944 1 Fatality ◆ Gresham Transformer Works, Hanworth V1 Flying Bombs: 18/19th June 1944 ◆ 169-175 Northumberland Crescent, Bedfont 19/20th July 1944 ◆ Royal Army Ordnance Corps Depot, Feltham 1/2nd August 1944 ◆ 6 Danebury Road, Feltham; 6-9 Florence Road, Feltham 20th August 1944 13 Fatalities ◆ 7-11 & 18-24 The Close and Twickenham Road, Hanworth; 2-8 The Cottages of Content, Cross Road, Hanworth





APPENDIX F List of Fatalities in Bombing Raids on Feltham and District During World War II: Names Arranged by Date of Incident. (Unless otherwise stated the source of this listing is the Imperial War Graves Commission Roll of Civilian War Dead, 1939-45)

29/30th November 1940
Brown, Lillian Maude, age 44; of 52 Alfred Road, Feltham. The wife of Archibald John Brown. Brown, Ronald Archibald, age 17; of 52 Alfred Road, Feltham. The son of Archibald and Lillian Brown. Bryant, William Robert, age 29; of The Alders, Hanworth. The husband of Mrs. A. G. Bryant. Green, Ethel May, age 43; of 15 Swan Close, Hanworth. (Middlesex Chronicle, Hounslow 7 December 1940) Green, Peggy Georgina, age 18; of 14 Swan Close, Hanworth. The daughter of Ethel May Green. (Middlesex Chronicle, Hounslow 7 December 1940) Rawle, Helen Grace, age 57; of 5 Richmond Avenue, Bedfont; widow. Smith, Brian William, age 11 weeks; of 15 Swan Close, Hanworth. The son of Joseph and Catherine Smith. (Feltham Burial Records) Smith, Catherine Ellen, age 38; of 14 Swan Close, Hanworth. The wife of Joseph Smith. Smith, Agnes Gertrude, age 42; of 5 Richmond Avenue, Bedfont. The wife of Henry Smith. Smith, Peter Anthony, age 5; of 5 Richmond Avenue, Bedfont. The son of Henry and Agnes Smith. Stonestreet, Ivy Elizabeth, age 28; of 46 Winslow Way, Hanworth. (Feltham Burial Records)

9/10th January 1941
Cordery, Sarah Dudley, age 51; of Ashford Road, Feltham. The wife of Frederick Cordery.


7/8th October 1943
Allen, Ada Lena, age 33; of 45 Ellington Road, Feltham. The wife of George Allen. Allen, George Victor, age 39; of 45 Ellington Road, Feltham. The husband of Ada Allen. Allen, Maureen, age 7; of 45 Ellington Road, Feltham. The daughter of George and Ada Allen. Allen, Ruby, age 11; of 45 Ellington Road, Feltham. The daughter of George and Ada Allen. Primmer, Eliza Harriet, age 85; of 45 Ellington Road, Feltham. Richards, Elsie Annie, age 58; of 43 Ellington Road, Feltham. Wife of Frederick Richards.

24/25th February 1944
Billingham, Agnes Dorothy, age 52; of 14 Queensway, Hanworth. The wife of Frederick Billingham. Harding, Gladys Irene, age 22; of 321 Hatton Road, Bedfont. (Middlesex Chronicle 4 March 1944) Harding, Rosa, age 62; of 321 Hatton Road, Bedfont. The wife of John Harding. Kirby, Annie, age 68; of Hanworth Cottage, Hounslow Road, Hanworth. Martin, Arthur Tasker, age 68; of Hanworth Cottage, Hounslow Road, Hanworth. The husband of Clara Martin. Martin, Clara; of Hanworth Cottage, Hounslow Road, Hanworth. The wife of Arthur Martin. Mullery, Doris Milicent, age 32; of 321 Hatton Road, Bedfont. The wife of Gerald Mullery and daughter of Rosa Harding. Powney, Edward James, age 65; of 315 Hatton Road, Bedfont. The husband of Jane Powney. Rutter, Maud Evelyn, age 58; of 323 Hatton Road, Bedfont. Widow.

24th March 1944
Cottrell, Alfred, age 74; at Gresham Transformer Works, Hanworth. The husband of Mrs. E. M. Cottrell.


20th August 1944
Agar-Hutty, Rose May, age 59; at 8 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The wife of Percy Agar-Hutty of Main Street, Hanworth. Brown, Colin Ronald, age 6; of 21 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The son of Albert and Audrey Brown. Davies, Raymond Leslie (Source: Middlesex Chronicle 24 August 1944) Hawkes, Christina Maria, age 43; of 20 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The wife of Joseph Hawkes. Hawkes, Joseph Charles, age 45; of 20 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The husband of Christina Hawkes. Lansley, Francis Arthur, age 13; of 19 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The son of Frederick and the late Lucy Lansley. Lansley, Frederick; of 19 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The father of Francis and Lucy Lansley. Lansley, Lucy, the daughter of Frederick and the late Lucy Lansley. Lansley, Leslie, age 18; of 19 the Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The son of Frederick and the late Lucy Lansley. Myers, Beryl Emily, age 47; of 9 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The wife of Alfred Myers. Myers, Lily Rose, age 13; of 9 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The daughter of Alfred and Beryl Myers. Richardson, George Ernest Edward, age 17; of 7 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. The son of George and Lizzie Richardson. Richardson, Lizzie Frances Joyce, age 59; of 7 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth. Wife of George Richardson. One further civilian fatality in Feltham was not caused by a German bomb but by a Spitfire, which overshot its landing at Hanworth Air Park and skidded on wet grass while braking. The aircraft ran into a group of Air Training Corps cadets causing one death and six injuries. Allum, John Martin, age 17; of 19 Waterloo Crescent, Feltham; injured at Hanworth Air Park on 29th November 1942 and died the same day.





APPENDIX G The Wartime Bombing of England, 1939 – 1945: Background Notes Taken from Published Sources. The Burning Blue by Addison and Crang; Pimlico 2000 Offers the following chronology for the Battle of Britain and The Blitz period: Phase 1 (A) early July 1940 to 8th August 1940...attacks on Channel shipping and the Channel ports. Phase 1(B) 8th August 1940 to 5th September 1940...attacks on Channel shipping and ports continue but an increasingly heavy programme of attacks on RAF airfields takes place, aimed at reducing Britain's fighter defence in preparation for invasion; Eagle Day on 13th August is characteristic of this phase. September 15th marks, in British reckoning, the turning point of The Battle of Britain. Phase 2, from 6th September outbreak of retaliatory bombing of Berlin and London develops into strategic offensive by the Germans, directed against London. This in turn merges into a pattern of night bombing raids against towns across Britain, aimed both at targets of military relevance and the British economy in general. During September 1940 most of the daylight raids are carried out by Luftflotte 2 from airfields east of Le Harvre and the River Seine. Night raids tend to be the work of Luftflotte 3 in Normandy and Brittany, west of the River Seine. Daylight raiding proved costly and in November 1940 the Luftwaffe switched over to night bombing. During the final phase of The Battle of Britain (15th September 1940 - 12th October 1940) the German attacks consisted of daytime raids by fighter-bombers in small fast moving groups, which were frightening but not very effective in terms of strategic damage; and steadily intensifying night raids against London and other cities, including the night raid on Coventry on 14th November 1940. Operation Sealion (the German invasion of Britain) was postponed indefinitely on 12th October 1940. By 5th December 1940, Hitler had lost confidence in the Luftwaffe’s ability to wear down the British economy and war effort by bombing strategic and industrial targets. He placed his hopes in less discriminatory night bombing as a means of destroying both moral and material. Germany also used the bombing campaign during the winter and spring of 1940/41 as a means of distracting attention from preparations for the invasion of Russia. The bombing campaign against Britain ceased, for a while, about 6 weeks prior to the invasion of Russia, around mid-May 1941. Egbert Kieser’s Operation Sea Lion; Cassel, 1997 Describes how a German raid on the Thames estuary’s refineries and wharves strayed off course and attacked the City of London by accident and without authority on the night of 24th/25th August 1940. Britain retaliated with an 81 Bomber raid on Berlin the following night; although some of the planes involved dropped propaganda leaflets. On 4th September 1940 a speech by Hitler proclaimed that “if they attack our cities we will wipe out their cities”. And on the 7th/8th and 8th/9th September heavy German raids by day and night on London triggered the invasion of the Underground by the people of the East End. Buckingham Palace and its grounds were bombed in a raid on 13th September. 21

Luftwaffe Bomber Aces: Men, Machines and Methods; Mike Spick; Greenhill Books, 2001; Chapter 5: The Assault on England, July 1940 – May 1941 Notes that: “Bombing was a very imprecise art, even in daylight and clear conditions. The accuracy of daylight, level, German bombing would put 50 per cent of individually aimed bombs within 91 metres of the centre of the target from an altitude of 3000 metres. At double this altitude the error became something in excess of 400 metres. In poor visibility error could increase by 250 per cent. Bombs were only rarely dropped individually. The normal procedure was to drop them in a stick with spacing’s preset from 10 metres to 100 metres. Twenty 50 kg bombs could thus extend in a line varying between 200 metres and 2 kilometres in length. At night, bombing accuracy using normal methods was very poor. Being shot at did nothing to improve matters: as a rule of thumb, the average miss distance recorded on the training range triples when the crew is actually under fire. Inevitably most bombs missed their targets and many caused heavy damage in civilian areas. Two German weapons were inherently inaccurate. Incendiaries tended to scatter when dropped and were easily blown off course by the wind. Then there was the land mine. Developed as a naval weapon this had greater destructive power than any conventional German bomb of the early war period and was widely used against inland targets. Prior to release, the bomber had to throttle right back and reduce speed, as the mine descended under a parachute. Dropped from four, or even five, kilometres high, however accurate the initial aim, the weapon could drift a long way off course before it hit the ground.”

V-1 Flying Bomb 1942-45; by Steven J Zaloga (illus. Jim Laurier); Osprey Publishing, New Vanguard number 106; 2005. Churchill held a meeting of the War Cabinet on the morning of June 16th (1944) and activated the ‘Diver’ air defence plan (developed in December 1943 but the flying bombs failed to appear); the (anti-aircraft) gun belt had shrivelled due to the demand for AA guns in Normandy. Instead, fighter aircraft were given a more prominent role. A balloon barrage was added on June 22nd, increasing from 480 balloons to 1400 balloons… By moving guns from elsewhere in Britain, by 28th June there were 376 heavy guns and 576 light guns in the Diver belt protecting London against Doodlebugs, plus a further 560 light guns of the RAF Regiment and two US Army radar-directed AA battalions. From late June onwards some V-1’s were fitted with a cable cutting blade clipped on to the leading edge of each wing in order to deal with Barrage Balloons. By mid-July 1944, FR (Flak Regiment) 155W had fired about 4000 missiles. Only about 3000 actually reached the air defence corridor to London and 1192 were knocked down, 924 by fighters, 261 by guns and 55 by balloons. The V-1 attacks caused panic in London and there was an unofficial exodus from the city that summer. In addition, under a government plan, over 360,000 women, children and the infirm were evacuated. EVACUATION James Marshall notes that: Although Hounslow and Twickenham were included in the outer London evacuation zone in July 1944, Feltham and District was not. The Urban District Council agreed to write to the Ministry of 22

Health on 13th July 1944 requesting that full evacuation facilities be extended to Feltham. The District Sanitary Inspector was given responsibility for evacuation arrangements. On the 9th August, at a public meeting convened by members of the local Communist Party, residents requested an interview with the Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence on Feltham’s evacuation requirements. At their meeting on 22nd August, two days after the Hanworth Close V1 incident, the District Council supported the residents’ proposal that Feltham be included in the government organised evacuation scheme. It could not be known that Feltham had already received its last V1, or that the 1st September 1944 would see the last launch of a V1 missile from French soil. V1’s continued to be air-launched from Heinkel bombers but the aircraft loss rate was high and only a small percentage of the missiles reached their target. The V1 campaign was effectively over once the Allied conquest of Northern France was complete. V-1 Flying Bomb 1942-45; by Steven J Zaloga (continued)… What was especially frightening about the Doodlebugs was their eerie sound during the final approach. The pulse-jet engine was extremely noisy and could be heard from a great distance, but after the auto-log locked the tail controls into a dive, the engine usually shut off. The sputtering roar of the pulse-jet abruptly ended, followed by a sinister silence as the Doodlebug descended. This was not caused by the exhaustion of the fuel, as was widely believed, nor was the engine shut-off intentionally. The Germans expected that the (flying bomb would go into a powered dive, not realising that the engine vanes were so weakened by the hammering of the pulse-jet during flight that the dive usually caused massive shutter failure, which ended engine combustion. The peak of the V-1 assault occurred on August 3rd when 316 missiles were launched, of which about 220 reached London. But the number launched subsequently began to fall due to the growing problems of supplying the sites and of the gradual loss of the launching areas. After having started with 72 launch sites on June 12th, the regiment suffered gradual attrition due to Allied air attacks, averaging 34 operational launches per day during the course of the summer campaign…During this phase of the missile campaign, a total of 8617 missiles were launched, of which 1052 crashed immediately after take-off and 5913 made it to Britain; 3,852 were knocked down by air defences (1651 by guns). So, only about 2300 missiles actually impacted in the target area, about a quarter of those launched. The design of the V1 was remarkably simple and cheap…and had an excellent power to weight ratio. On the other hand it had several significant drawbacks: it was not fuel efficient and a resonating engine with combustion detonations occurring several dozen times per second caused physical damage to the airframe. The missile’s auto pilot was in the rear of the fuselage, beneath the pulse-jet engine and was preset to fly a certain distance, at a certain altitude, on a certain course, by the technicians before the missile was launched. A magnetic compass served as the azimuth control, keeping the missile heading along a pre-determined magnetic bearing towards the target. A pair of gyroscopes monitored yaw and pitch, while a barometric device monitored the altitude. The small propeller on the nose of the missile was linked to an air-log, which measured the distance that the missile had travelled…once the airlog determined that the (pre-set) range had been reached, two detonators fired, which caused the rudder and elevators to lock, pushing the missile into a steep dive towards its target. Fiesler (the manufacturers) boasted that 90% of the missiles would strike within a 10 km circle (6 miles) around the target and that 50% would land within 6km (3.7 miles) of the target.”












APPENDIX I Personal Accounts of Feltham and District in Wartime And Memories of Bombing Incidents During World War II Extracts of which occur throughout the main body of the work. 1. TED ASHFORD

Ted was 8 years old in 1943. He had just started school, in 1939, when the war broke out.

I lived at number 17 Railway Terrace all through the war. It was a long, terraced street of houses with a back alley behind them. ‘Mac’ had a sweet shop in the terrace and lived over his little shop. My grandmother moved into the terrace around 1900 and even then the houses were deemed to be ‘unfit for habitation’. But they weren’t knocked down until the early 1960s! My grandmother had hurricane lamps for lighting when she first lived there. There was no gas lighting in the terrace until the 1930’s. The privy was a shed and a bucket in the garden and soil collectors came every few days with a horse and a cart. Just before the war sewer drainage into a septic tank on waste ground beside the terrace was put in. My father drove the lorry that took away the earth from the pit that septic tank was dug into. He often said that if it wasn’t for him there would be no toilets in the terrace - he was exaggerating a little bit, he did that! The septic tank that served the terrace had to be pumped out every week. Anderson Shelters were brought to RailwayTerrace in the summer of 1939. They had to be dug into a trench in the garden and you bolted the pre-fabricated iron sheets together. My father got some railway sleepers and had them cut short so he could lay them across an extended shelter-trench to roof it. This meant that our shelter was a bit bigger than and not as cramped as some. My younger brother was a baby then. I wasn’t much help with the digging, I was too young and mostly got in the way. I was packed off to school at Southville in the early autumn of 1939, probably because my mother was tired of the mischief I got into at home and I was just then old enough to go. But war broke out just then. I remember that on the day war broke out there was false alarm and we all rushed 30

to take cover from the air-raid that never came! Every night, through the autumn and winter of 1939-40, we would sleep in that air raid shelter. My grandmother always made us cocoa and my uncle was a farm worker who grew potatoes and he’d bring us potatoes to cook in their jackets. But, although I can look back on it with some nostalgia, I wouldn’t like to have to do it again. The shelter was dusty and cold and always damp damp concrete has a smell all of its own. An incendiary bomb fell on Mac’s shop in the terrace. It didn’t do all that much damage, but it was enough to make him give up the shop – he was getting on by then. The shop was boarded up after that, but. We didn’t find any let over sweets; but we made a bit of a den of the place. We were in the shelter in our garden when there was a great thump! Debris from a damaged German bomber had landed on the roof of the shelter. A large piece of broken metal was lying there and some mangled hydraulic piping attached to it. Planes flew right over us going to and from the airfield in Hanworth Park, where Spitfires were repaired. I saw one from our garden. It was obviously in trouble, coming into land. Its propeller fell off and came down in the garden of number 12, next door to us. It was a twin bladed propeller and it half buried itself in the soft earth of the garden! I heard that the plane was being flown by the Air Park Test Pilot – Tim “Timber” Woods and that he’d glided it into the park after the propeller had broken off it. He took care to enquire whether anyone had been hurt as a result of the accident - no one was. Mrs Birley lived at no 16 Railway Terrace, she was a widow woman whose husband had been killed – (in 1916) he was clearing trees in Hanworth Park so that Whitehead could build an airfield for a new aircraft factory. He was injured at work and died of gangrene/ blood poisoning. Two incendiary bombs went straight through her scullery roof one night. And she slept right through the whole palaver. One of my uncle’s was at home on leave at the time and he kicked her door in and put the bombs out, she never woke! My aunt lived at number 13 in the Terrace and I would go along the back alley every night, to fetch her to our shelter. She hated walking down the narrow alley in the dark. There was a full moon one night and that upset her even more than the darkness! She was convinced that we could be seen by pilots of the German bombers – they must have had eyes like hawks, to believe her ideas on the subject! She insisted on crawling along the back alley to our gate on her hands and knees! And she was most upset that I wouldn’t do the same - she was reaching out and trying to cuff me! She was scolding me and telling me to get down on my knees behind her! I got cuffed a lot in those days, I didn’t mind! Number 20 was Mrs Condon’s house. It had a big garden. A bomb slit a tree in the garden one night, but half the tree survived and was still in leaf after the war. Anyway, that bomb never did go off and was reported as a UXB. 31

They came and looked for it in her garden so that it could be made safe; but they couldn’t find it! We speculated about it hitting the tree and re-bounding off in another direction. We looked all around but it was nowhere to be found; whether it had managed to bury itself on soft earth I don’t know. For all I know that bomb might still be there to this day! My grandmother made cocoa for everybody! She made it for the wardens as they were searching for this unexploded bomb! She would make it for the railwaymen on their way to the Marshalling Yards, whose trains would be held at the main line signal, along side Railway Terrace, waiting for a path over the down line and into the yards. We knew a lot of the local train crews; they lived in the Southern Estate housing off the Bedfont Lane, which was built for them by the railway in the early 1920s. While this flap over the UXB went on, we were sent along to Bridge House, where the Council had their offices; we spent the rest of the night there and in the morning we were given a cup of tea and a sandwich for breakfast. I don’t know how it was they never found it (the UXB) the men were there for most of week searching for it. We weren’t out of our homes that long though. They soon concluded that if it hadn’t gone off already it probably wasn’t going to explode at all. My (other) aunt lived in Denison Road, I used to go down there regularly and play on the swings in the little park there with my cousins. Back in Railway Terrace, at home one night, we heard the terrible whooshing screaming noise that a falling bomb will make and my grandmother shouted “get down! This one’s for us!” But it wasn’t, it fell a little way off and we guessed that it had fallen near Aunt Phyllis’s house in Lower Feltham. I went along (with some of my family) to see if Aunt Phyllis was all right. The bomb had fallen in Ellington Road, just along from Denison Road. My cousin had a friend who lived there, one of the Allen children, a girl of six or seven and about my age. I had been playing with her on the swings the night before; we were quite fond of each other. She’d said to me that last time I saw her “would I be coming down the park again tomorrow night?” And I had said that I would. Now she was dead; for that was the night that she (Maureen Allen) was killed by the bomb that fell on her house. They always did their best to clear the damage and the rubble quickly. Nobody wanted the Germans to have the satisfaction of coming back to photograph scenes of awful destruction. My father was a lorry driver with William Bowyer’s business at St Alban’s Farm, opposite Hounslow Heath. I rode around with my father in the lorry, clearing rubble from bombs sites in London and dumping it on open ground here and there, where sites for tripping had been authorised. Some of the rubble was spread for road bedding in one of the first post-war New Towns, near Hatfield. Bowyers delivered construction material to a Mulberry Harbour building site near Weybridge. They were all Irishmen working on the job in those days, because all our lads were in the forces. My 32

father said to one of them...”Pat”…(he called them all Pat, whatever their names might have been!) “Pat, what are you working on today?” We didn’t know about the Mulberry Harbour that was to be floated over to France, in support of the D-Day landing - it was a secret project. ‘Pat’ said to my dad that they were building ‘concrete ships’! I don’t know whether my dad thought that ’Pat’ was pulling his leg, or whether he was a stereo typical, stupid Irishman who couldn’t be expected to understand what he was doing and just followed instructions! But ‘Pat’ was nearly right...…those cast concrete caissons were designed to float and to be towed over to the beach at Arromanches, where they were aligned to form the breakwaters of a harbour for Allied military supplies to be landed. I remember that one of our own bombers crashed near Iver in 1944 and because we were out that way we went and saw it. There’s an obelisk in the park, there to this day and an annual memorial service to remember the crew. The plane was smashed to bits, with one if its 4 engines broken clean off the wing. We boys were determined to do our bit, if the Germans invaded us. We were going to stay behind and fight the Germans, alongside our fathers who were in the Home Guard. We needed to be ready so a few of us made catapults and collected a store of small rounded stones from the handy local sources of grave and ballast. But rubber and elastic were in terribly short supply. We turned to crime, all in a good cause! One night I crept outside and stole four pairs of women’s knickers from a local washing line! It was the only source of decent elastic that we could think of! We hid this secret cache of arms in the side of a pit in a nearby field, in case the day ever came that we night need to use them against the enemy. It’s a good thing we never had to do that! I remember a land mine fell on he marshalling yard and caused good traffic to back-up, at a halt, all over the local railway lines for miles around. My aunt was called up for War Work at the Depot (RASC Feltham). That was hit by doodlebug one day and there was a big fire. **********



Les lived at number 3 The Close, Twickenham Road, Hanworth, in 1944. The house, when rebuilt after the war, was renumbered as 17 Twickenham Road. His mother had died the previous year. Les would have been about 7 years old at the time of the Hanworth Close V1 incident, which he describes below.
It was a Sunday and it was raining. My father was at a Home Guard meeting in the hut across Twickenham Road, opposite Ranger’s newsagent’s shop. We were in our Morrison Shelter inside our house. They said that those Doodlebugs would glide for a bit after their engines cut out; this one didn’t. We heard the engine stop and it came straight down. Jack Hawkes(?) was blown to bits. They hardly recovered anything of him. He was walking past the surface shelter when the bomb landed on it. He was walking home to his house at the head of The Close, from Ranger’s shop at the end of the road. The Americans from Bushy Park were the first to get to the scene with their ambulances. They took my sister to hospital. My father was blown off his feet and up the road by the blast. The blast killed all the chickens that we kept in our back garden and our Sunday roast was so peppered with broken glass that we couldn’t eat any of it. That was minor damage; the chimney on our house had come down and through the roof and all the ceilings were down. The Myers family had a few members killed. One of the nephews became a policeman and later retired to Bournemouth; he organised an anniversary memorial service at St. George’s Church, Hanworth and came back for it. There was a big house in St. George’s Road; the (auxiliary wartime) fire brigade had it as an HQ. But the bomb in The Close left the Gamble family’s 8 children without a roof over their heads and the firemen were cleared out and the house was given to them. I was evacuated to Seaford after that, it was a family arrangement and I stayed with relatives. When war broke out the new Chertsey by-pass road was tuned into a lorry park for the army. Us kids used to walk along there and clamber on the vehicles. Some of them had signs hung on then saying ‘No Water’. We couldn’t understand that, but I suppose it meant that they had been drained and were not capable of being driven away without proper preparation. Kempton Park was a big German Prisoner of War camp. The PoW’s were taken out each day to do agricultural work; Hanworth Smallholdings was regular place that you could see them. They had brightly coloured patches sewn onto their trouser knees and the backs of their jacket to identify them as PoW’s. I was in Germany once, drinking in a bar, and I got into conversation with this man and he asked me if I knew a place called Kempton Park; I’ll say I did! He’d been a Luftwaffe pilot; he spoke good English and had been to University here before the war. Kempton Park PoW camp is where he ended up. He remembered the Reservoir public house very well. A lot of the Prison34

ers of War would drink there; it became closely associated with the Germans. He told me that a lot of local girls had been very nice to them. And the farmers and smallholders that they went out to work for every day would pay them pocket money so they could drink a bit in the Reservoir. Quite a few local girls married these PoW’s. There were greyhound kennels across the road from the Reservoir public house. The noise those dogs made was something awful. Girls – kennel maids – came down to look after them every day. The Germans built themselves a wooden hut near the old Jolly Sailor public house and used it as a chapel; it’s still a Baptist or Methodist church of some kind. I remember that there were no lights in the air raid shelters, they were awful places. The exhaust from the paraffin heaters would blacken your face; you could hardly believe the dirt when you woke up in the morning, after a night in one of those shelters. Ling, the slaughterman, had a yard in St. George’s Road, just down from the Oxford Arms. They mended Bren Gun Carriers there during the war. They didn’t like us boys hanging around and would chase us out of there. Ling supplied Morris the butcher with his meat. I remember that Ling organised an unofficial, Sunday morning, trotting race (Sulkies - horses, driven from lightweight two-wheeled chariots harnessed behind them). It was along the main road from the Brown Bear – a riotous place at weekends – to what became Apex Corner after the war. Well, the police got to hear of it and the police car went chasing after the horses, all the way down the road! Ling had an offal burial pit behind his house in South Road. They built flats on the site later and I remember that when I was a Councillor the flats developed a terrible smell and no one knew what it was or where it was coming from. When the complaint got to me I was able to tell them about it – local knowledge and I had it! You’ve built on top of the local slaughterman’s old offal pit, I told them! There was a searchlight behind the Swan public house on some of Page’s nursery land. I remember that a van arrived with a soldier in it; he was looking for the searchlight and asking the way to it. We boys had been warned about nosey parkers like that and we wouldn’t tell him anything at first. In the end he got out of the van and opened it up and showed us the enormous light bulb that he was delivering to the searchlight unit. Then we decided that it was all right to trust him and we told him where to go. Park Road had a Home Guard machine gun nest that was intended to cover the open ground at Hanworth Air Park against German paratroopers landing there. You can still see it if you know what to look for. Its remains are on the left, opposite the old Rectory house. Mrs. Bawn is from Bedfont and remembers ‘Big Bertha’, the anti-aircraft gun that stood on Bedfont Recreation Ground. Hanworth’s oldest school, the Infant’s school that was made of the village school after Oriel 35

School opened, was known locally as ‘Kirby’s College’. I don’t know why. Not many people remember that the village had a little mortuary building across the road from the Swan public house. Sergeant’s had a scrap yard just past The Close and beyond Ranger’s shop and Swan Road. He did well during the war, but I remember that he only had one arm. Reynolds, the carter, delivered a lot of coal, locally. Tudor Court, or part of it, was taken over and used as Hospital Stores during the war. West Middlesex Hospital specialised in treating severely injured pilots, shot up during the Battle of Britain. Some of them died and are in war graves just over the wall from the hospital in Isleworth’s Park Road cemetery. I helped to get those forgotten and neglected graves recognised and they are now looked after as official War Graves. I’ve heard people say that The Airman public house is haunted by ghostly pilots from World War II. They come and go, sitting at the bar sometimes and then vanishing. People say that they’ve heard their voices too. I believe that Freddie Mills, the boxer, got to know The Airman during the war when he was making deliveries for the forces or for General Aircraft, at the Air Park. Les Bawn’s father was a hairdresser, with a shop in Bear Road. Gypsy Smith, an amateur boxer and prize-fighter who challenged all-comers at local fetes fairs and carnivals, was a regular customer. He was a formidable man with a broken nose and cauliflower ears as souvenirs of his occupation. He’d bring his children in and ask my father to cut their hair; and he’d explain to him that he couldn’t pay him just then, but he’d be sure to come by at the weekend with the money he owed. He was always as good as his word! **********



Mr. Blanchfield remembers that he was 8 – 9 years old. This incident probably occurred on the night of 5-6th January 1941.
I came to Bedfont from Ireland as a young child, with my parents. My mum’s sisters were already living here, in Bedfont Lane. My parents and my mum’s sister’s family ended up living next door to each other in the two ‘concrete houses’, just off Bedfont Lane. Their gardens backed onto the gravel pit that was eventually filled-in and is now Blenheim Park. I remember that gravel pit being stocked with fish; I must have been about 5 years old then. I loved to fish. I would go down to the pit to fish before I went to school in the morning and again when I got home in the afternoon. I think the ‘concrete houses’ were an experiment. They were made of reinforced concrete. It was quite unusual for a house to be built that way in those days. We had Anderson (air-raid) shelters in the garden, about 20 feet from the back of the house. The pair of shelters were together. The water level in the gravel pit was 12–steps-down, so the shelters weren’t too wet inside. I was an only son. My mother’s sister had nine children. Whenever the sirens went we would all dash out to the shelters. We were in and out of those shelters all the time during the Blitz. The night that it happened I went to bed about 10 o’clock in the evening. No siren had sounded that evening and there was no siren in the night. But I heard the whistling noise that the bomb made as it was falling. And it landed right on the two shelters in our gardens at the back of the house! Well, the roof of our house was blown clean off!! And the house itself was lifted and shifted 10–inches off its foundations. But it didn’t collapse! A piece of our Anderson shelter was blown so high into the air that it fell down at Feltham Station – people went along to stare at it! All over what was left of our house, the concrete was blown off the reinforcement of steel mesh and you could see through the walls in some places. I remember them carrying me out and seeing the huge hole, already full of water, where our shelters had been. They thought that a lone enemy aircraft must have got-in, under the radar. Perhaps it was looking for the reflection of light on the water surface of Kempton Park Water Works Reservoirs; and it saw the Blenheim Park gravel pit instead. Anyway, it’s a strange thing that we weren’t in our shelters the night of that air raid. And that’s how come I lived to tell you the story…..


We went to stay with my mum’s other sister, who also had a house in Bedfont Lane. Later on, we got another house in The Drive. My aunt’s children were parcelled out amongst other relatives for a little while. Both those ‘concrete houses’ were written-off by that bomb! I remember my mother’s nerves were never very strong after that. Hearing a siren would upset her…. And then you might have no warning at all – just as we had none, that night! **********



Mr Bullen was born in 1933 and was 11 years old in August, 1944. He remembers the V1 incidents at The Close, off Twickenham Road, on Sunday 20th August very clearly, as he was there.
My aunt lived in one of the houses at the head of The Close. We lived in one the houses in the same development, but on the Twickenham Road - No 2, The Close, later No 50, Twickenham Road. The big house near us on the Twickenham Road belonged to the Collins family. Opposite my aunt’s house, at the head of The Close, lived the Hawkes family - Mr and Mrs Hawkes died, their three children, Joey, Roy and Phyllis, survived. The family were not in one of the shelters, they were in their house. The sirens went that Sunday to warn us that flying bombs had been sighted. When the flying bombs got close, a second alarm consisting of three ‘pips’ would go off. I was in the garden at my aunt’s house. I heard the three ‘pips’ and saw the flying bomb almost immediately. Its engine stopped; it didn’t glide; it came straight down and blew me back into my aunt’s house. I remember the haze of orange smoke, full of dirt and dust that hung over everything. I remember the cries of the people in the shelters, calling “get us out”! My sister stumbled through the fog of dust, she was looking for me, but I’d been blown off my feet by the blast and was not where she had last seen me. The Myers family were in their garden too. Mrs Myers – Beryl - was deaf and her daughter Lily was a backward child. Mrs Myers probably didn’t hear either the siren or the ‘pips’. Both of them were killed. We went to stay with an Aunt in Kingston for a few days, because our house was too badly damaged by the blast to be lived in. After a few days in Kingston, we went to my Godmother’s place in Stockport - it was a private arrangement. Our Sunday joint was in the oven when the bomb hit. When we went inside and looked at the oven, the carving knife that had been on the table was now thrust into the roasting meat. We could never understand how that had happened! My cousin - my aunt’s daughter - was married, not long since, to a soldier who had just left us to return to Northern France. He missed the doodlebug incident by just a day or two. I remember an unexploded bomb incident opposite our house, across the Twickenham Road in Mrs Breckon’s house. The lad who came to make the bomb safe was only 18 years old; we all had to get out of our homes while he did that. I also remember the land mine that came down near the Rex Cinema, it fell in a garden and its parachute was caught up in tree or some bushes. It hung suspended for a while, and before it fell to the ground and exploded. I heard that birds or chickens had been pecking at its cords and that is what caused it to fall, in the end! From the post war years, I remember that Captain Perry of Fernside Avenue ran the Church Lads Brigade in Hanworth. We used to parade from Oriel School, past the Horse & Groom, down the 39

Hope & Anchor and back along Castle Way to the church. Hanworth people would stand outside their houses and watch and applaud us. It was the same with the Hanworth Carnival Parades - hundreds of local children and their families would follow float after float through the village. There was much more of a community to Hanworth in those days. My dad was the first Job’s milkman to push a barrow all the way to Teddington to start a new milk round there. He served in both World Wars. **********



Edward (Mickey) Cartwight, talking about his parents and both his and their recollections of life in Feltham during World War II.
There was an air raid warning on the day war broke out. Our neighbour, Mr White was terribly afraid that we would all be gassed by the Germans. He was a deeply religious man and was always saying that Armageddon was about to be visited upon us. The siren was a false alarm, but Mr White rushed around trying to block up his chimneys in case the gas should come in that way. He panicked my mother into trying to cram a growing 18 month old child (me) into a gas tight baby’s box (that had probably been issued during the 1938 Munich crisis of the previous year) and was now far to small for me! My mother still remembers me screaming in protest. Before we received an air raid shelter we would hide in the ‘gas cupboard’, or between the piano and the wall of the front room; mother would always lie on top of me to protect me. I hated this I always tried to push her off me. When we were at school and there was an air raid on lessons would continue in the school air raid shelters between Hanworth Road Junior School and Cardinal Infants School. We could not do a lot there, but the teachers would get us to recite things we’d been learning, chant multiplication tables etc. We sang ‘ten green bottles’ a lot, to keep our spirits up! My father,Ted Cartwight, remembers being out, fire-watching with Archie Holbrook a neighbour from Durham Road. They were with the Home Guard on the airfield at Hanworth Park, during a raid. The both heard a bomb falling and they threw themselves onto the ground, in the gutter of the roadway. After the explosion they were picking themselves up and getting back on their feet when a second bomb came down and the blast knocked both of them flat again. August/September 1940 (Battle of Britain) My mother, Olive Cartwright, remembers walking over the railway bridge, beside Feltham Station, on Hounslow Road. She was on her way to the shops with me - ‘Mickey’ - in a push-chair. Then the sirens went-off and she found herself caught in the open in a daylight air raid. She remembers seeing German planes, with crosses on the underside of their wings, quite low and the German planes were fired upon by machine guns that were mounted on the roof of the 50 Shilling Tailors’ shop at the northern end of Feltham High Street. She ran down into the town from the top of the bridge, she was too far from Durham Road (off Harlington Road) to go home for shelter. As she ran down the High Street, looking for a public shelter, a man from Goodworth’s shop (possibly the proprietor) opened his door and bundled her into the shelter of the shop doorway. He then helped her across the road, with the push-chair, to the public shelters that stood on the Green. 41

Bedfont Recreation Ground off Hatton Road had 4 heavy Anti-Aircraft Guns set on it. These are reputed to have shot down a German bomber that crashed in Bushy Park. The General Aircraft Factory had twin Lewis machine guns at the front of the hangar, pointing out over the airfield to shoot at German parachutists, in case they should land on this great open space. There were also Oerlikon AA canons at the Airfield Gate, near the Airman Public House. My father was on Home Guard/ARP duty the night the V1 fell upon the RASC Depot. He was close enough for the blast of the exploding flying bomb to bowl him over and blow him off his feet. The Home Guard used to practise throwing grenades on Hounslow Heath. Jack Bawn (Les Bawn’s Father) and George Cartwight (Ted’s father, Mickey’s Grandfather) worked part-time as Pall Bearers for the funeral parlour in Hanworth. George Cartwight was the grave digger at Hanworth. **********


6. VERA MATTHEWS nee CLEGG b 1936 Feltham One day when my Mother took me to school along the back alley (beside the railway line) from Hanover Avenue to Cardinal Road School off Hanworth Road, with my baby brother in the pram. There was absolutely nobody else about. This was not too unusual down the back alley, but very unusual once Bedfont Lane was reached. I felt the tension in the air – it was electric. At Cardinal Road I went down into the shelter where Mrs. Thomas was waiting for her class. I was the only one to attend that day, and had the great treat of having the one box of crumbly crayons all to myself. Normally two classes shared a shelter, one at each end. There was a duck-board path down the centre, with duck-board seats running along both sides. At each end there were steps, which turned at right-angles from a platform to the entrance. **********


7. COLIN CLEGG b 1939 Feltham

Across the railway line from the North end of Hanover Avenue was a large commercial piggery which was hit by incendiary bombs one night. The night sky was lit as if by a giant bonfire, and I can remember the pigs squealing and screaming, as neighbours crossed the railway lines with buckets of water and stirrup pumps in a vain attempt to contain the blaze. I do not remember any other incidents in Hanover or Guildford Avenues, apart from damage from shock waves from nearby explosions. One clear memory, which must have been at an early age, was of the house being shaken by a large explosion, and the white glass globe of the gas light on the wall crashing down and smashing to smithereens. Generally, however, the Grosvenor Estate escaped lightly, and had a relatively charmed life during the war. Still on the theme of pigs, metal dustbins, known as ‘pig bins’, were chained to many of the lamp posts, into which people put any waste scraps of food excess to the needs of their own rabbits and chickens. Little came from our house, where we were exhorted to “eat your dinner, or we won’t win the war”. We did, and we did, but have been given little credit for it since by historians. One door down from us, two brothers and their families were neighbours, and had combined their gardens into one large one. At the bottom they had a sizeable pig sty, and I can remember parcels of pork being traded at the door. A friend reported that once when a group of young pigs escaped onto the street causing trouble, somebody phoned the police, only to be puzzled by their response of “Are they boys or girls?”, caused by them mis-hearing ‘kids’ for ‘pigs’. I can also recall watching dog-fights overhead, and searching the back alleys for shrapnel from the spent shells, which at times we would find whilst still hot. We slept in the Morrison shelter in the tiny kitchen, and used to watch mother working through the open end. It was a cosy world for us children, but it is hard to imagine the tension and anxieties that mothers must have endured, and the later manifestations of these in ourselves later in life. Speaking to 44

a primary school teacher of that time at Hanworth Road school I was struck by her observation that wartime children were much quieter and introverted, than those before or after. Clearer memories endure from the end of the war, with Father coming home after surviving Dunkirk and 6 years away, street parties, and the grand Open Day at the RASC Ordnance Depot, where we could climb all over (to us) massive war machines. One that sticks in the memory was the curiously named ‘Duck’, which we later came to know more accurately as the DUKW – an amphibious landing craft, capable of crossing the Channel. Such was our conditioning to wartime, which had occupied the first 6 years of our life, that on seeing soldiers on exercises in the post-war countryside, I asked my father whether they were on our side or theirs. **********



Bill Cole of the Elephant and Castle, London and later of Feltham, Middlesex, remembers the outbreak of World War II.
I was born in the district of the Elephant and Castle, South East London, where I lived happily till the age of twelve years old when my life was suddenly disrupted. Black clouds had gathered and a new word was creeping into everyone’s conversation…WAR! Mum and Dad and my Grandma began speaking about it in hushed whispers. My young brother Peter and I were not supposed to know what was about to happen but I was intensely excited about it all. After all, I knew all about war! I’d played it often enough. We all dashed about shooting at each other with two fingers joined together and falling down dead with impressive cries and groans and then our Mums would call us in and we would all go indoors for tea. It grew more serious. We heard stories on the wireless, to which we were forbidden to listen. We saw newsreels at the “pictures” about things which were happening in a far-off country called Poland and saw men shooting at each other and getting shot themselves and falling down dead just like we did in “the Square“, which was our playground behind the block of flats we lived in. But these men didn’t get up again! We heard patriotic songs and saw marching and banners with a crooked black cross on them and thousands of black-shirted men with outstretched right arms shouting “Seig Heil” to a ranting man on a podium. But we didn’t worry. Everything would be all right. Mr. Chamberlain, our Prime Minister had come back from a meeting with the man on the podium and as he got off his aeroplane he waved a piece of paper at everybody and shouted “Peace in our time”, so that was all right. And we believed him! But Adolf Hitler had other ideas. He sent his Panzer hordes into Poland. We went over the road to the Methodist Church where we were issued with Gas Masks. They adjusted straps over our heads to fit our various head sizes, half stunned us by pulling out the rubber sides and letting them go with a “thwack” on our cheeks to make sure they made a gas-tight seal and we were sent off to face the enemy I had an adult mask but Peter, who was only six, had a junior one, which was called a “Mickey Mouse” and made in a grotesque imitation of everyone’s favourite character. He had great fun with this, blowing his hardest through the yellow nosepiece and making rude noises at everyone. When we took them off at home Mum hugged us both and cried. We never went anywhere without our gas mask. We carried them in a square brown cardboard box which we hung across our backs with a piece of string and they were very cumbersome and banged everything we passed, especially in our games, but we were allowed to take them off in the Square so we could play our favourite games such as “Kingy”. This was a game that 46

involved a lot of running about and shouting. It was also a very rough game. We split into two teams and one team would scatter and the other would chase them until you contrived to hit them with a well-aimed old tennis ball. It was a game in which very few of the girls would take part. Girls were not quite as robust in those times as today; they were a lot more feminine. War came nearer and people became more nervous of the horrors being perpetrated in Poland. They seemed to tiptoe around as if that would avert the war they knew was coming. Then, on Sunday the third of September 1939 the world suddenly changed. My Uncle Albert came rushing down from the flat above us where he and Aunt Min lived, shouting “Quick Emmy, turn on the wireless”. A quavering voice came through the loudspeaker saying,”from twelve-o-clock, mid-day today, a State of War will exist between Great Britain and Germany”. It was the sad little man who led our country. Mr. Neville Chamberlain, the man who had been so grievously misled by Hitler in Munich such a short time before. My Dad had taken my brother out to play in Embankment Gardens down by the River beside the Houses of Parliament and Grandma was at work in the “Gibraltar” Public House next door to our flats where she was preparing the Sunday Lunches. She came rushing back to us and the place was in turmoil. All three of us expected to see Germans bursting in the door, guns blazing, or there to be a sudden great explosion and the world as we knew it to suddenly disappear. But no such thing happened. Instead there came the wail of the Air Raid Siren. We had heard that before, but only in rehearsal. This was in earnest and the sound of it suddenly became an ominous harbinger of the grief to come. In a panic all three of us rushed into the street. As did everyone else in the district! One bomb in the road at that moment would have caused slaughter. No sooner had we reached the street than a whistle started to sound and a voice called “Get your Gas Masks! Get your Gas Masks! GAS! GAS!” There was a stampede then. Everyone scattered and rushed indoors and re-appeared wearing their masks. Mum was trying to put mine over my head and to put hers on at the same time and just at that moment a policeman came cycling up. “It’s all right, everybody, it’s a false alarm” and as he said this the long single wail of an “All Clear” siren filled the air. The Gas alarm had been somebody’s idea of a sick joke. The panic caused by the fool that had started the alarm of “Gas” would have got him lynched if he had been known but nobody ever found out who it was. In the meantime, Mum was running up the road, looking for Dad and Peter and running back again to hug me and then running off again. As the siren blew for “All Clear” we could see Dad coming past the gates of Bedlam Park with Peter on his shoulders. He had run all the way from Embankment Gardens, easily a mile away, carrying Peter on his shoulders. Indoors, we all sat, drained and speechless. None of us knew for how long. After the war, stories circulated about that first “Air Raid”. One lone plane, German or English nobody knew 47

which, had been spotted over the Thames Estuary and it had sparked off the only real panic I saw in the war. After that there was comparative quiet for a while. This was the “Phoney War” when nothing much happened in London. Troops were moving in England though; every railway station was filled with our khaki-uniformed men being shipped out to France. Men who, days before, had been butchers, bakers, clerks in banks, and who had been members of the Territorial Army and were suddenly expected to go out and shoot people for real. Families were torn apart, evacuation had started and thousands of children were being sent away. Station platforms were crowded with long lines of children, some shouting happily, others subdued and apprehensive, bewildered as to what was happening, where they were going, or even why. Tearful children, pathetically clinging to their equally tearful mothers, and some, the little toughies, charging around the platforms and climbing the railings determined to make the most of this sudden God-sent summer country holiday they had been presented with. All of them were children who had probably never been farther than the end of their street. They were being packed off with their little brown-paper parcels and their gas masks in little brown cardboard boxes to far-off places in Devon or Yorkshire, to live with strangers who spoke with an accent they could barely understand. We saw them go. Mum and Dad were adamant...No! Peter and I were not to be sent away. If anything happened to us it would happen to us all. Nobody would be left behind to mourn. One of our cheap trips out was to go to one of the big London railway stations and watch the trains. We watched them enviously because one of them was the Orient Express, a huge shiny monster that stood there huffing and puffing contentedly to itself while the elegantly-dressed passengers, women in their furs and dripping with diamonds and their men dressed like tailors dummies in black formal suits sauntered along the platform beside them to board the waiting train. Porters and guards fawned over them, holding open the doors of the immaculate chocolatebrown Pullman Coaches with their white tablecloths and the dainty little electric table-lamp on each table. We would watch as the huge engine pulled smoothly away and concoct stories of the countries they would visit…Russia maybe, or Turkestan? Which of these magic places would they end-up in? But, with the outbreak of war, all of this had come to an end. A scruffy little tank engine happily dripping oil onto the tracks and squirting steam from every orifice, like a grubby little 48

dragon, had replaced the gleaming steel giant. The steam had always been great fun to dash through while the driver shouted “Oi!” at you, as if you really cared. The schools had been closing in London. Wilson’s Grammar School, the school Johnnie Johnson and I had passed a scholarship to attend, had been one of the first to evacuate London, for which blessing I was truly grateful. Wilson’s was a boarding school and most of its boys came from the other side of the river. Johnnie and I were day pupils. We were from south of the Thames, the “rough” side. We were not socially acceptable. Many a time in our short attendance we had found ourselves fighting as the penalty for being “Elephant Oiks”, the only two scholarship boys amongst a crowd of fee-paying pupils. Johnnie was evacuated to I don’t know where by his parents and I never saw him again.

Watching dogfights over Kent and being machine-gunned at Dover: Family days out in 1940; by Bill Cole.
I was born in the Elephant and Castle, in South East London and I lived there happily until the age of twelve when the Second World War began. There were five of us in our family – Mum, Dad, my Grandma and my younger brother, Peter. Evacuation started. Families were torn apart and thousands of children were sent away. Station platforms were crowded with long lines of children, some shouting happily, others subdued and apprehensive, bewildered as to what was happening, where they were going, or even why. Children who had probably never been farther than the end of their street were being packed off with their little brown-paper parcel and their gas-mask in its little brown cardboard box to far-off places in Devon or Yorkshire to live with strangers who spoke with an accent they could barely understand. We saw them go. Mum and Dad were adamant...No! Peter and I were not to be sent away. If anything happened to us it would happen to us all. Nobody would be left behind to mourn. My family must have been very fatalistic in those wartime days. Despite the risks we still had our days out as we had had in peacetime. We would get on a train and go to Tunbridge Wells in Kent and then walk to a place called Paddock Wood, a favourite place with us before the war, we had been there countless times. Then it was deep in the heart of the Kentish countryside and it was the place where everyone from the Elephant used to go hop picking. Whole families would go there to pick hops. They would stay there the whole of the hop-picking season, the whole of the family living in huts. Days were spent perched on huge ladders picking the aromatic heads of the plants and dropping them to the older children to cram into sacks, while the smaller children played happily between the rows of the vines. We never went hoppicking ourselves. Mum thought it was “common”. In any case Dad had a good job now, which kept him busy all the time except for his annual holiday - one week a year with pay, which was very lucky at that time. We would holiday somewhere like Littlehampton, in a bed and breakfast over a little sweetshop in the town. Very Posh indeed! I wouldn’t have minded going hopping with my friends, though.


Hitler and his Blitz weren’t going to stop us having our days out, though. Off we went to Paddock Wood and there were still hop-pickers there, though their numbers were very depleted. There were the German aircraft overhead, and there were our Spitfires and Hurricanes harrying them every inch of the way. We saw the planes wheeling and diving. The rattling of their machine guns beat out a tattoo on the big lumbering German bombers. We saw fantastic aerobatics as our fighters engaged the German fighter planes escorting the bombers on their way to London. We all stood around in groups watching and cheering every time we saw a German spiralling down to crash in a sheet of flame in a field nearby; and we gave a groan every time a falling plane was one of ours. We would watch anxiously to see the little white blossom of a parachute from one of our planes and there would be a deathly silence when none appeared. If German parachutes appeared the men in the fields would pick up sticks, rakes and scythes and set off grimly to find them. I think most of the Germans that landed were handed over to the Police - if the Police got there in time. We went to Dover one day. Dover was a city under siege and lay under an almost continuous air raid. If it wasn’t an air raid it was the big naval guns the Germans brought up to coast of France. We were able to listen to the crash of bombs and shells over in France. This was just before Dunkirk. The Germans were rapidly gaining the upper hand. Suddenly a lone plane appeared in the sky, out of a cloud. He was so low we thought he was crashing, we could see the spume kicked up from the sea by his propeller. We could clearly see the black crosses on his wings as he wheeled to line himself up with the promenade we stood on; and suddenly his guns burst into life. We were lucky enough to be right beside one of the gun emplacements on the promenade. We dived behind it. The German sprayed the road from end to end, wheeled and disappeared into the clouds again. No one appeared hurt in that incident but after that we caught a train back home and never went to that part of Kent again till after the war.

The Blitz in the Elephant and Castle, London; And my family’s removal to Feltham, Middlesex, after being bombed out
I was born in the Elephant and Castle in South East London and I lived there happily until the age of twelve when the Second World War began. There were five of us in our family – Mum, Dad, my Grandma and my younger brother, Peter. After a period of calm at the beginning of the war the Blitz started. As it gathered momentum so the raids grew in intensity and frequency. There were very few shelters available at that time. There was one surface shelter for the use of the tenants of St. George’s Buildings. It was built in our Square, the scene of so many happy hours spent with my friends. The next one to us was in Bedlam Park. This was a large underground shelter in front of the huge old building that had previously been a lunatic asylum called The Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem. This building is still in existence and is now the Imperial War Museum. 50

The shelter in our Square was built with two-foot thick walls and a concrete roof. It was just one long room, about twenty five foot long with a wooden bench down the length of both walls and an opening at each end protected by brick blast-walls. No doors, so that if there were a near miss the blast would go straight through the middle without crushing anyone at a closed-in end. You didn’t think about a direct hit. This shelter was big enough to hold about one quarter of the tenants of our flats; but as this was about all that still lived there it was fine. Most of the underground shelters, like the one in Bedlam Park, were smelly and always damp, so hardly anyone was willing to use them. This was lucky as one night Bedlam’s shelter did get a direct hit and no one survived. At first people tended to take no notice of the raids, or at least very little. They would go about their business or stand around in little groups near a shelter. But gradually, as the air raids increased in number and intensity, many started using the Underground railway stations as a shelter. My family sometimes used one after particularly heavy raids but it was noisy and smelly and crowded. There were babies crying and children running around, and coughing, and snoring, it was a wonder people slept at all. And yet, some people stayed down there all the time. Families would stay down there while the husband went off to work or while the wives would ventured out to get some food and cooked it on little Tommy Cookers. This was all strictly forbidden but nobody ever seemed to get caught at it. All the while the trains were still running, disgorging their passengers through the crowds on the platform, whilst the shelterers held on grimly to their little patch of safe ground. There were two stations at the Elephant, the above-ground trains ran over a bridge across the Old Kent Road while the Underground station was actually in London Road, which ran parallel to St. George’s Road. The tube station got a lot of publicity when all the papers and magazines ran articles and pictures taken down there. Pathe News showed these scenes. The film told of “Brave East-Enders Defying The Nazi Bombs“, it was on all the cinemas in the country. “East Enders…us?“ The Elephant was in SOUTH EAST London! And we were proud of it! The Blitz grew in intensity. Schools only opened an hour a day, if at all. We rarely managed to get there before the sirens sent us scurrying for shelter. No sauntering along nonchalantly as if nothing was amiss, we put our heads down and RAN. The raids were almost continuous now, starting about six in the evenings and lasting until about six in the morning. Between raids we might get about an hour’s respite, then the bombing started again. Dad had made us our own shelter by now. The old deal kitchen table just fitted in the passage running through the middle of our flat and it lived there for some months till the law of averages made it our turn. It sounds “Heath Robinson” and makeshift, but that kitchen table, with 51

us underneath it, probably saved our lives or saved us from serious injury when our turn finally came, as we all knew it would. All five of us managed to squeeze under that table, day and night. On a particularly good night we could get a whole night’s sleep. My friend Johnnie Johnson and I had won scholarships to Wilson’s Grammar School. But this school had been one of the first to evacuate from London. We were left behind. Johnnie was evacuated by his parents. I don’t know where he was sent. My friend Betty Seale went away too, to relatives in Newmarket. I never saw either of them again. Mum and Dad were adamant...No! Peter and I were not to be sent away. If anything happened to us it would happen to us all. Nobody would be left behind to mourn. We were all back at West Square School again but only for an hour a day. If we managed to get to class there was just time to call the register, which was getting shorter day by day. When the teacher called a name in a hushed voice and there came no reply we would all look at the desk where that pupil had been sitting the day before. We knew we would probably never see them again. Before our family’s turn came that class had been decimated from about thirty children to no more than ten. In the winter there was an almost permanent blackout. No street-lamps were lit and thick, black curtains shrouded the windows and doors of houses and shops in order to avoid any flicker of light reaching the German bombers overhead. Woe betide the shopkeeper or householder who allowed a chink of light to reach the outside. To go inside a shop you would open the outer door and wait till the outer door had closed before opening the inner door. The same applied to your own home. Most nights you would hear the cry ring out “Shut that ****** Door!” as some unwary soul let slip a chink of light for some eagle-eyed Air Raid Precautions warden to see. Blackout curtains served a double purpose. Not only as blackout, but also to prevent glass being blown into rooms. At first the few remaining workmen employed on our buildings diligently replaced blown out windows, only to be back again a few days later. Eventually they surrendered and filled the holes, where once was glass, with sheets of wood. We lived permanently in the half-light of weakly flickering gas lamps; there was no such thing as electricity in the Victorian buildings we lived in. Every day when we went out we found the locality had changed its face again. At first people went out only when they needed to but gradually we got used to ducking into the nearest shelter when anything came a wee bit too close. Always you would be scrambling over rubble with glass crunching under-foot. Sometimes the rubble was still smoking. Firemen and A.R.P. wardens dug forlornly in the debris of a house that only last night had been a home for a family just like their own.


Blackout was something you learned to live with. To go out in the street was a work of art. We would either use the back door which led into the Square and the huge iron gate, which was seldom locked now as there was no caretaker to lock it any longer; or we would make our way down the passage in the dark, till we bumped into the table and then we crawled under it to reach the front door. To get out of our front door you had to pull the thin chain on the gas lamp in the passage to extinguish the lamp. Then you groped your way down the pitch-black passage till you bumped into the table, which now lived permanently wedged between the passage walls. You crawled under the table and out the other side. Then you groped your way along the passage till you got to the heavy cloth curtain that shrouded the wooden door. You reached behind it and opened the door; the door only opened halfway now. And then you squeezed out, trying not to trap the curtain in it in the process. Returning was a reversal of the task: close the door behind you and stand blinking in the darkness; duck under the table, reach up to find the matches (they were never in the same place twice); pull the little chain to turn on the gas and light the fragile gas mantle trying not to touch it with the match, or it would disintegrate with a derisive “pop” and leave you standing in the dark. The raids on London increased in intensity. We had thought things bad enough but we had not realized what was in store for London. One day the raiders were hitting the Docks and had been concentrating on them all day. Our flats were very close to the docks and the earth was literally shaking with the explosions but nothing seemed to be dropping round the Elephant, which was very unusual. So we took advantage of the lull and nearly all of the families that were still braving it out went up on the flat roof of our buildings to watch the flames and explosions. It was the most incredible and terrible thing to see. The whole sky was awash with red from the burning buildings and faint figures could be seen. The firemen fighting that terrible inferno were up towering ladders vainly trying to contain the flames that were consuming building after building. Warehouses, office buildings, it seemed the whole of London was ablaze. The raid went on all day and right into the night and even at the distance we were from it the whole of our road was filled with choking smoke. The next day we heard that there was virtually nothing left of the Docks and not much of the City, its banks and its offices. St. Paul’s Cathedral had had a miraculous escape, but had been left surrounded by desolation. Then one night in September, the twentieth, to be exact, all hell broke loose in St. George’s Road. The raid had been going on forever. The five of us had been under the table in our passageway all night when a different sound entered our ears. We were used to the whistle and crash of bombs and the rumble of falling masonry. Shouts and whistles blowing and the clang of fire bells, but this was a shrieking wail. Then there was the most terrific explosion we had ever heard. It seemed to go on forever, as though there were smaller explosions going on inside it. Our passage lit up with an intense white light then went black and filled up with smoke and dust. The doors that had protected us on either side blew in and rubble and dust started 53

to creep in under our table. Mum and Grandma were screaming and clutching Peter while Dad and I were pushing grimly at the doors, trying to make an exit but to no avail and all the time the rubble and dust was creeping in and pushing at us from the outside. First everything went strangely quiet and then we heard scrabbling noises from outside. Everybody carried whistles in their pockets in those days. The Rescue Team would blow them to let people who had been trapped know that they were searching for them. Dad and I blew our whistles to let the rescuers know where we were. We had got used to hearing the shouts and whistles of rescue teams at work in our streets, but this time they were coming for us! It seemed forever but it was probably only about fifteen minutes before they reached us and dug us out. We were unceremoniously yanked out of our shelter. The next thing we knew Firemen, or maybe they were Wardens, were rushing us through the street to the back of our buildings, over glass and rubble piled high. The whole of our road seemed ablaze from end to end, shattered houses were now roaring infernos and people were digging frantically in mounds of rubble with countless smaller fires spurting from the roadway, from fractured gas pipes. We were taken, dazed, to our shelter in the Square. Our Square was now a sea of broken glass and bricks. The public shelter we had despised was now a haven and we were greeted with a mug of scalding tea. We were the only family that had stayed in the Buildings and had not been in the shelter. In the morning we were told that a bomber that had come down, probably with his bomb-load on board and had crashed on a small iron-works on the opposite side of the road. The explosion demolished everything that was still standing in our street. Our Buildings had been spared demolition but they were in a very sorry state. No windows or doors, concrete and brickwork smashed and pitted. But the flats were still standing. Across Elliotts Row, next to our Buildings, a block of flats that had been the twin of ours was now just a heap of smouldering bricks. When the Wardens and Dad cleared enough for us to get into our flat I found that one of the capstones from our Building’s entrance pillars, a block about three feet square and eighteen inches high, was resting on top of my flattened bed. There were no ceilings above us now, only floor-joists. We never found my dog. Miraculously, of the five of us I was the only one hurt in any way. Mum found my arm black and blue with bruises where one of our doors had jumped on it. I cannot recollect much about that first day after we were bombed out. My most vivid memory is of us all sitting in an Underground carriage crowded with soldiers with rifles. One of them told us, callously, that they were on their way to Dover because the Germans had invaded us and landed there. We were sitting there with a few items, largely useless, which we had picked up on our way out of the flat and this was his idea of a joke on a family who had probably seen more of the war than he had. Dad had a friend at work who had said if anything should happen and we should need to get away then he and his family would put us up at a place called Feltham, in Middlesex, his home. We were on our way there now. 54

This was only till we could get a place of our own somewhere. It was now September 21st 1940, two days before my birthday. I little realized how long I would stay in Feltham. We boarded a train at Waterloo Station bound for this place ‘Feltham’. It could have been the other end of the earth for all I knew and I gazed at all the greenery as we as we flashed by in the train. London was left behind. Once we passed Barnes there was only the odd rows of houses and both Peter and I marvelled at the miles of grass and trees, Bedlam Park paled into insignificance when compared to open spaces like these. Feltham was still a village at that time. It had some estates of brand new semi-detached houses with gardens both front and rear. And Mr. Hooper was waiting at the little station. We left the station, passed a few caravans and then crossed a huge field along a little track that ran round an immense lake that I learnt later was a disused gravel pit. There were many in Feltham. We stopped at a neat house with a green door, a garden in front and a huge back garden too. We only stayed there three days. Feltham had a number of nearly new houses, all empty, as well as lots of picturesque old houses. It was easy to find a house we liked. We liked ALL of them and were quite spoilt for choice. We soon settled on 107 Hounslow Road, a big family house with a big garden and a field behind it. The field had horses in it! Dad arranged to get what furniture he could rescue down to us and we moved in. At first we had scarcely any furniture but Dad’s Boss said he could borrow the horse and cart they used to deliver windows with and the driver volunteered to drive it down to our new home on a Sunday. Dad rode all twelve miles from the Elephant up beside the driver with what they could rescue and we had a semblance of a home again.

Wartime in Feltham, Middlesex; by Bill Cole
Dad had a friend at work, Mr. Hooper. He said if anything should happen and we should need to get away then he and his family would put us up at his home in a place called Feltham, in Middlesex. We had been bombed out of our home in St. George’s Buildings, in the Elephant and Castle. So, off to Feltham we went. This was only till we could get a place of our own somewhere. It was now September 21st 1940, two days before my birthday. I little realized how long I would stay in Feltham. We boarded a train at Waterloo Station. Feltham could have been the other end of the earth for all I knew and I gazed at all the greenery as we as we flashed by in the train. London was soon left behind. Once we passed Barnes there were only odd rows of houses and both Peter and I marvelled at the miles of grass and trees, Bedlam Park paled into insignificance when compared to open spaces like these. 55

Feltham was still a village at that time. It had some estates of brand new semi-detached houses with gardens both front and rear. And Mr. Hooper was waiting for us at the little station. We left the station, passed a few caravans and then crossed a huge field along a little track that ran round an immense lake that I learnt later was a disused gravel pit. There were many gravel pits in Feltham. We stopped at a neat house with a green door, a garden in front and a huge back garden too. We only stayed there three days. Feltham had a number of nearly new houses, all empty, as well as lots of picturesque old houses. It was easy to find a house we liked. We liked all of them and were spoilt for choice. We soon settled on 107 Hounslow Road, a big family house with a big garden and a field behind it. The field had horses in it! At first we had scarcely any furniture but Dad’s Boss said he could borrow the horse and cart they used to deliver windows with and the driver volunteered to drive it down to our new home on a Sunday. Dad rode all twelve miles from the Elephant up beside the driver with what they could rescue and we had a semblance of a home again. It was strange at first. I was used to the noise of air raids which, at the time, Feltham had very few of. I was not used to living in a modern house like this. I had been brought up amongst rows of small Victorian terraced houses and large blocks of flats. The Elephant had been a busy place with shops everywhere. The quiet of our new home with no trams going past the door took some getting used to. The furniture had to be cleaned before being used. It was covered in dirt and brick-dust and the big book bureau that they had somehow managed to get out of our flat had all its glass broken and its back, which had been against the wall, was full of bomb-splinter holes. Dad soon mended the glass, but the back of the bureau had those splinter-holes to the day it was sold. The one thing that arrived before the furniture was the gas cooker. Dad was dismantling it and bringing it piecemeal down to Feltham, a bit each night on the train from Waterloo. We no longer had to cook on the iron range, known as a Kitchener; we had a proper gas cooker and a place to put it. We had a purpose-built kitchenette with a gas point to fit it to and we also had electric lights! We had never had electricity laid on before and Pete had great fun switching lights on and off every time he entered or left a room. But back to the cooker! First came the burners, next the grill and so on. That grill was the cause of a panic in the train carriage when it came down. Dad had carefully wrapped it in brown paper to disguise it and was carrying it surreptitiously on his lap as the train carried him to Feltham. When a raid started, as it always did, the train came to an abrupt halt and the one dim electric light bulb, which was all that illuminated the carriage went out. The passengers all sat in the blacked-out carriage, silently praying to themselves, waiting for the bombs…This particular night a stick of bombs came down, thankfully too far to do any damage 56

but with one accord everyone in the carriage threw themselves to the floor. A sudden yell rang out. “Oh my God! I’ve been hit! I’ve been hit!” Everyone was shuffling around in the dark trying to find the wounded man and they carefully laid him on the seat. “Where have you been hit?” they said. “In the foot! In the foot! Oh my God! They’ve blown my foot off!” he groaned. Unable to see a thing in the dark they carefully felt around his legs only to find both feet firmly attached. “It’s all right” they assured him. They’re both still there, there’s no blood! You must have banged it“. While the train’s lights were still out, Dad cautiously picked up the offending parcel and quietly tucked it under his overcoat. He sat there hugging it the rest of the way home. Furniture was at a premium. Being bombed out of our old home entitled us to enough “points” to furnish most of the rooms in our new one and the “Utility” furniture we were supplied with was quite ample for our needs. The new furniture was “new” in style also and was well made for the times. It was marked with the Utility brand. This was like two little Dutch cheeses with a narrow slice taken out of them. Even now, in some house-clearance shops and charity shops you can still come across some Utility articles today! I started to attend Longford Senior School. Ashford County School was the nearest Grammar School. Unfortunately, it would not accept me because I hadn’t been resident in Middlesex when I passed my scholarship examination. I was born in the Elephant and Castle, in South East London and had lived South of the river. In Middlesex my scholarship counted for nought. Wartime schooldays in Feltham were still very short and punctuated by frequent trips to the air raid shelters. We continued our lessons in the shelters and I was getting more schooling than I had had for a long time. But the incentive was gone. I knew I’d be leaving school at fourteen and now I had no chance of going to University, as I’d hoped to. Hitler had put paid to that. The lessons were very different from those I’d become accustomed to in London. Longford seemed to concentrate more on sports. Unfortunately I had no interest in sport; gardening was also one of the school’s favourites. I learned how to grow long, straight carrots. The trick was to time your journey to school just right, so you would get to the school gates as the siren sounded, then about face and dash home like mad so that we got to our field before the teacher on duty at the gate could usher us into the school shelters. My memories of that period seem to consist of dashing to and fro between Longford School and Hounslow Road. We had a Morrison Air Raid Shelter. It was like a huge iron table. We erected it in our back downstairs room against the centre wall of the house. It had a thick steel mesh on all four sides. At one end the mesh lifted off and we all crawled in with our Thermos flasks and a sandwich or five, the ever-present gas mask, the dog and we spent our nights in relative comfort. 57

We had this type, mainly I suppose, because we had had such faith in our old deal kitchen table that had saved us when a bomb landed on our buildings in the Elephant and Castle. But we had now added a thick black curtain all the way round the shelter. We knew just what damage flying glass could do. At the end of our garden there was a big field with a hatch-work of trenches about four feet deep criss-crossing it. These were originally intended for foundations for an estate of houses that eventually became Field Road, off Hounslow Road. The war held up the building of that estate for several years. The first houses to be built there after the war were pre-fabs. We ran wild in that huge field, about eight of us. There was the Peake family; Harry was the eldest, Betty, Francis and Tony, in that order. Billy Bilbo from Lansbury Avenue, Willie and Iris (I think) Norris, my brother Peter and myself. Oh, and two horses, which we left severely alone. They didn’t bother us much. Most of the time they were out pulling Mr. Dillon the Greengrocer’s cart; except one of them, the mare, used to occasionally run wild in the field and we would all scatter and cower in one of the trenches till she quietened down. There were plenty of places around us just made for youngsters. In those days kids didn’t have the multitude of synthetic amusements that the youngsters do now. Toys were scarce in those days. A stick became a gun if you looked at it right and we spent our time as Tom Mix or Buck Rogers and there were enough trees about to give us a good game of Tarzan, the youngest always became Cheetah. We made full use of what we had around us. And then a new threat entered our lives. As the tide of war began to turn slightly more in our favour both the Nazis and ourselves began to realize Germany wasn’t going to bomb us into submission. Sending over bomber planes was proving too costly in men and machines. So they turned to a new weapon they had devised, the Flying Bomb. These “Buzz- Bombs” or “Doodlebugs” as we swiftly named them, were a small, pilotless jet plane The first one to reach London came over on June 13th 1944. They were launched from Pas-DeCalais in France from secret ramps they built there and they flew in a semblance of a straight line till they ran out of fuel. When they crashed the 2,000 lbs. of explosives that they carried caused devastation. The R.A.F. pilots soon worked out a very risky but effective way of dealing with them. They would fly alongside them, edging closer till their wing tip crept under the wing of the Doodle then give a flip and throw the Doodle off course so it crashed early. This manoeuvre took place over Kent where the bomb would, hopefully, explode relatively 58

safely, thereby saving many lives. The Doodlebugs had no pilot so the Germans obviously intended to kill men, women and children, indiscriminately. The first time I saw one I was in our back garden. We knew nothing about this new weapon yet and when I heard this strange, coarse-sounding engine I scanned the skies. You could easily recognise a German plane from an English one. The German engines had a kind of a droning sound while the English ones had more of a roar. But this one sounded wrong. Suddenly I saw this strange little plane and it was on fire at the back. It came over our roof and flew straight up the garden. Then the engine stopped without even a splutter and the plane nosedived somewhere in the distance, beyond Feltham Lodge. I dashed up the garden to our back door and called out to Dad. “Dad! Dad!, I just saw a plane crash, over there!.” As I spoke excitedly another one followed the first and did exactly the same. It dived down to crash just as the first one had done. That was the first time I saw a buzz bomb. They became fairly commonplace after that. They did a terrific amount of damage though but we soon learnt that if you heard one cut out and it was overhead you were pretty safe; it was going explode somewhere else. Only if it cut out before it reached you was there any real danger. Then the Germans developed another, more potent, terror weapon. This was the V2 rocket. A rocket-propelled bomb packed with high explosives, far more deadly than the buzz bomb because nobody could hear them coming. There was no defence against the V2. So until the launch pads were discovered and bombed or over-run by our advancing troops they caused great damage and loss of life. But as there was no shelter that you could take to escape from them they didn’t interrupt normal life to a great extent. If you heard a buzz bomb cut out before it reached you, you ran like mad for shelter. The rockets, no one knew about them till they exploded and by then it was too late. Soon came the time for me to leave school. The leaving age was fourteen in those days and I left Longford happily to become an indentured apprentice Printer, a job I came to hate. Dad was a craftsman at any job he turned his hand to and I dearly wanted to join him but it was not to be. I was legally bound to learn the trade of Letterpress Printer despite my dislike for it. For the first year I earned the princely sum of Five Shillings a week (which was 25 pence a week in our modern decimal currency). Twenty-five pence for a week of six eight-hour days, forty-eight hours per week. I earned an extra five shillings a week every year till I was eighteen. And then I earned just eight shillings a week in the Army. Dad told me I would reap the benefit of my job when I finished my apprenticeship, which was true. But try telling that to a teenager when his friends were earning ten pounds a week in an aircraft factory. I worked in the machine room of a small jobbing printer’s in Bedfont Lane. It was a small shop 59

that had been converted into a print shop on the corner of Manor Lane, The Caxton Press. The windows at the front and side were covered in wooden shutters but still had the glass behind. We worked in there through the air-raids that were still happening because the noise of the machines covered the noise of an air-raid and nobody told us there was a raid on and there was no shelter in any case. One day we came out of work to find a shop on the corner, five doors from ours, had been partly demolished by a nearby bomb and we hadn’t known anything about it. There were four lads working at Caxton’s, no men were employed there except for one old man, he was the Compositor - the typesetter. He was so deaf he wouldn’t have heard a bomb if it had dropped on his head. And one other man; he was in the Auxiliary Fire Service and was so seldom at work he might as well not have bothered. Living was very hard during the war years, apart from the bombs. We never had enough to eat; everything was on ration, except vegetables. The clothes you wore were rationed. The food you ate was on ration. Some foods you never saw again until the war was over. The furniture you sat on was on a points system; you only got the barest essentials and all stamped with the ubiquitous Utility mark. We had a certain priority here as we had been bombed out, but that only got us the bare essentials Mothers worked miracles to feed their families with leaflets telling you how to make things like “Woolton Pie”. This was invented by a politician named Lord Woolton. It was mostly made of “Pom”, a desiccated potato meal. It tasted nothing like a real pie because “Pom”, an American invention, tasted nothing like real potatoes. I’ll bet Lord Woolton never ate it! Women dashed for the shop when the word went round, “Reeves have got meat in” and then stood patiently for hours in long queues that wound into the distance only to get to the shop front just in time to see the shutters go up and be greeted by “Sorry love, that’s it for today, maybe next time”. We were lucky to have Grandma. She could work miracles with stuff that before the war would have been consigned to the bin. But there were so many things that had disappeared from our lives completely: oranges, we hadn’t seen one since 1939; bananas: there was a song about a banana… “Bring me back a banana, sailor boy”, but we never saw one. **********



Mr. Drewett lived in Winslow Way, behind Oriel School, during the war. He was born in 1932 and started at Hanworth Infants School (the old National School) in 1937. When he was old enough to go to Junior School in 1939, he transferred to Oriel School.
Across Sunbury Road/Twickenham Road from the old site of the War Memorial, opposite the Oxford Arms public house was an old red brick house (The Hollands). Beside the house, during the war, stood an emergency water supply tank for the fire brigade to use. It was open and about 4 feet deep, 40 feet long and maybe 12 feet wide. My friends and I used to climb into it and swim in the water. I remember that Bill Robinson, who once kept goal for Chelsea, had a shop along Sunbury Road. He was a great supporter of Hanworth Football Club. I think Hanworth was very lucky during the war; it was a bit out-of-the-way and was not heavily bombed. But I remember a couple of incidents: I remember standing in the back garden of our home in Winslow Way and looking up into the sky and counting 39 German aircraft, all flying in formation and heading south - back to northern France and the continent. There was one lone English fighter plane chasing after them. I often wonder what happened to that fighter plane. An English aircraft - a fighter - was shot down and crash landed near Kempton Park. There was great to–do because the pilot was a Polish man and spoke very little English – or perhaps very heavily accented English. He was taken for a German because we were so eager that the shot– down fighter should be one of theirs and not of ours! My father was a carter for Mr. Reynolds who had a little haulage business and still used horses. Mr. Reynolds gave up in 1939 and sold the business to the Page’s who had extensive nurseries and glass houses either side of Oak Avenue, just across the Hampton boundary. My father went with the business and he looked after the horses for Page’s during the war. He fed them turn and turn about with Mr. Rayner. When there was a raid on my father would go down to their stables and let the horses out into the field. I remember going with him to do this, one night when the district was being heavily raided, it was 11 o’clock and we set off together down the Hounslow Road towards Bear Road and Hanworth Village. There had been a cottage on the east side of Hounslow Road, opposite Park Road, just north of Swift Road; now it was rubble, dashed across the Hounslow Road as though a giant hand had lifted it up and smashed it down on the road surface. It had taken a direct hit, I didn’t see it happen but I remember how shocked I was to see a place I’d always taken for granted just destroyed like that. During the war years Page’s nurseries accumulated a lot of unexploded bombs. At the end of the war it was Americans from Bushy Park who came and spent several weeks making them safe. I think the German bombers must have been looking for Kempton Waterworks and its reservoirs and mistaken the acres of shining sheets of glass house roof for the water surface 61

of the reservoirs on a moonlight night. At number 46 Winslow Way, a woman, Mrs. Stonestreet, was killed when the house received a direct hit. She had been in her shelter in the garden, but she went back into the house to get something from her home. We went either to the Council Shelter in Winslow Way, or to Number 7 (of 10) shelter in the grounds of Oriel School. The number 7 shelter was just behind our house in Winslow Way. There was a wire fence between our back gardens and the school grounds but lots of people cut holes in the fence so that they could use the school air raid shelters at night. These shelters were all made of cast concrete slabs and were all above ground – surface shelters. They had four rooms, you could go in at either end and get from one room to the other by a hole about 3 feet square cut into the concrete partition between them – so that you could escape from either end in an emergency; but you couldn’t get from the pair of rooms on one side into the pair opposite – the central partition was complete. It was a surface shelter like this, in The Close, that a flying bomb landed on. The Close was part of a development of Council Houses along the north side of Twickenham Road. To the east of The Close the houses were set back from Twickenham Road behind a broad grass verge. Joey Hawkes was in that bombing. He was a casualty and he came back to school after a while, but his face was always marked by burn scars after that. Terry Lansley, a good little footballer who played for Hanworth, he was killed. A Land Mine fell into one of the back gardens of the houses south of the Rex Cinema on Hampton Road West – they’re set back from the main road and face onto a service road. The Land Mine didn’t go off. The man there got up and went to feed the chickens he was keeping in his garden and found it sitting there. A lot of houses were evacuated while they made it safe. Winslow Way, where I lived, that was cleared. It wasn’t for long so they didn’t take us anywhere, they just told us to clear out for a while. A Spitfire knocked a chunk out of the spire of Hanworth Church one day. And Lord Haw Haw, he said on the radio that he knew that the clock on Hanworth Church was five minutes out; people went out to look – and he was quite right too! I don’t know where he got his information from? It was the same everywhere; if the air raid siren went when you were on your way to school you had a right to turn around and go home and take shelter with your parents. You were supposed to be less than half-way to school when you did that. But the rule was stretched as far as the school gates. If you hadn’t gone through the school gates when the siren went, then 62

you could go home. I sometimes went home and didn’t hear the all-clear sound, so I stayed there and never went back to school that day. Post War There weren’t so many cars on the road in those days and on a bank holiday Monday, Ling, the horse slaughterer would challenge some of his friends to a Trotting match – a specialised form of a horse racing which the horse pulls a lightweight cart with the Jockey seated on it. Ling would put up £50 in prize money, a lot of money in those days and the trotting horses would race from the bridge over the Longford River near the Hope & Anchor public house, to the big pumping station on the Sunbury Road (Kempton Water Works) The whole of the population of Hanworth seemed to turn out and watch those races, and bet on the result too. Ling’s horse races always drew a big crowd. You couldn’t do it on the roads as they are today! **********


10. Extract from Church Minutes of the Feltham Congregational Church, Victoria Road, of a meeting of members, dated 2nd August 1944 Bomb Damage to Church and School Buildings. It was reported that damage had been done to the Church and School Buildings as the result of a Flying Bomb falling near Florence Villas on Wednesday morning August 2nd. As a result of this bomb a considerable number of the houses of our members had received damage. It was agreed to record the sympathy of the Church Members for those who had thus suffered. On the motion, moved by Miss King and seconded by Mrs. Jaquet, the special thanks of the Church Members was passed to Mrs Tabor for the splendid way in which she had tackled the mess caused by the glass window etc., and also to Mr and Mrs Holden for dealing with the situation on the day, and cleaning the window frames of the splinters. **********


11. CHRIS HANKS Born in Guildford Avsnue in 1940 Our family lived in Guildford Avenue, Feltham and with the strategic targets of the rail marshalling yards and an airfield close by it was only to be expected that this area would experience concentrated attacks. The family home was equipped with protection against an air raid, which consisted of a steel plate which was placed over the kitchen table and when the sirens were sounded it was time to retreat under the shelter. At my tender age it was treated as a game, which, no doubt, was what my parents had contrived so as not to frighten me. On the particular night that this story took place, my father was at home and we were all under the shelter when we heard an explosion which sounded close and immediately afterwards the whole skyline was lit up. An incendiary bomb (V1, 19/20 July 1944) had hit the RAOC depot in Elmwood Avenue and drums of paint and fuel were exploding continuously. Naturally, before realizing what had happened, we thought we were in the centre of a concerted bombing raid with all the explosions. But that was the only hit of the night. My father leapt out of bed and raced outside to see what was happening, as did our neighbours. What they all saw was a huge conflagration and what the neighbours saw was that my father had forgotten to put on his pajama trousers in his panic. A little humour to brighten a very dark period! I cannot be precise with the date, but I imagine it was around August. I can remember coming home from Cardinal Road School and hearing the sirens go. I am unable to explain why there would have been sirens in 1946, but it took me just a few minutes to run from the railway crossing, down the back alley and home. To be truthful I don’t remember if they had stopped by the time I reached ‘safety’ but it was a scary journey home. There was also a good time to be had after the war when the air raid shelters in Grosvenor Park were demolished and it was a free-for-all to collect bricks which were then used for making walls and pathways in the emerging gardens of Guildford Avenue! Pleasure in simplicity ........ahh! **********


12. SYDNEY GEORGE HILL ‘Castledene’ house and the petrol station at the junction of Swan and Twickenham Roads in Hanworth, is where Val and I lived when Raymond and Sandra were born. Danny and Joan lived with Gary in one room, about 15 feet by 15 (bottom right hand front of photo). Mum lived in one room, about 12 feet by 12; and Val and I lived in the two rooms upstairs. Most of my childhood was spent during the war years. Being children, at times it all seemed like a game; apart from when the sirens sounded and the anti-aircraft guns started firing. It was hard to distinguish between bombs falling and anti-aircraft guns. At night we would stand by the back door and look towards London and the whole sky would be red like a sunset, and the fact that there were no other lights due to the blackout made it even more dramatic. The German Luftwaffe decided to send the bombers over at the same time every night, which was 7.30p.m. They would go away at 9.30 p.m. My father made up mine and Danny’s bed under the stairs with scaffold planks as protection, and we got into bed dreading 7.30 coming. During the war one of my mother’s jobs was as cook at the British Restaurant. This was a place which was opened to feed the population. It was a large building (Feltham Parish Hall), which stood on the land that is now Tesco’s in Feltham High Street. Lots of people from all walks of life would go there, such as school children, for a meal. Danny and I went there and a lunch would cost 9d (£0.4p). It was quite a task to make any food interesting since things were on ration and you had to make do with what was available. Mum’s specialty was “Nelson tart” which was concocted out of dried fruit and other “secret” ingredients and put into a pastry tart. It was quite a treat and became famous in Feltham. Later in the war she also worked at the G.A.L. (General Aircraft Limited) which was a big factory and workshops attached to what was then Hanworth Air Park, now Hanworth Park. They were involved in the repair and maintenance of Spitfire fighter planes and it was a hive of activity with the Spitfires taking off and landing over Feltham. The test pilot who was attached to the works was a man called Woods, his nickname was “Timber”, and now and then he would wait for all the people to be leaving the works in droves, down Browells Lane, then he would swoop down very low over them, and they would all dive for the ground. Then he would come back waggling his wings and everyone would be shaking their fists at him. He must have thought it great fun! Mum was the pastry cook in the canteen at G.A.L, which was very hard work since about 2,000 people worked there, but I suppose, on looking back, they were all part of the team which helped fight the “Battle of Britain”, which was the turning point of the war. Everything was on ration during the war, food was short and everyone kept chickens and grew their own vegetables. People were always very friendly and helpful and there was always plenty 66

to talk about. The papers would print the latest war front maps showing the advance or retreat of the allies. We would stand in the gardens watching the dog fights between the Spitfires and the German fighters. When a German one got shot down, everyone would cheer. We thought one had been shot down one day because it went into a dive and everyone cheered, but then it came out of the dive and went off and we heard later that it had machine gunned thee children coming out of a school. Even the police on duty were fainting. During the war there were always lots of soldiers around, together with sailors and airmen, and a lot of American troops. They were well paid and had good food and their uniforms were flashy, so all the girls went for them, which made our boys very jealous. People would ask them into their houses for tea and most people had American friends. The Canadians were very well thought of and we knew a couple of them. Feltham was a garrison town where troops were kitted out at the army depot before going overseas. We would be sitting at home and a knock would come at the door. When answered there would be a sergeant with some soldiers asking how many rooms we had. When mum said three bedrooms and two living rooms, the sergeant would send four soldiers in and they would be billeted with us for about fortnight. They used to come into the house with their kitbags and rifles and you could hardly move, but it was all very friendly and quite exciting. I went to Cardinal Road School, which was about 1.5 miles from home. Quite often whilst on the way to school the sirens would sound for an air raid and we would go into the nearest air raid shelter, we always carried a gas mask with us in a small cardboard box over our shoulder and we would be in trouble if we got caught without it. Our teacher’s name was Miss English and she was 20 years old and very pretty. Occasionally, her boyfriend, who was in the RAF, would drop into the school and they would kiss and cuddles in front of the class. We would all sit there watching with our mouths open! Most of the day was spent down the air raid shelter. On one occasion I helped myself to a large bottle of cochineal (red food coloring) from Woolworths. Only a minute amount was needed to color food, and I put the whole bottle in the Feltham pond, which turned red and was the talk of the town. They must have thought it was some terrible omen! We were always looking for souvenirs of the war such as shrapnel (parts of shells or bombs) and one day we took a short cut to school which meant jumping across the electrified railway lines as we often did, then crossing the allotments. During the night there must have been an incendiary raid and hundreds of small bombs weighing about 5 pounds (2kg) each were dropped by the German planes. They contained phosphorous which burned fiercely for a while and then exploded sending burning phosphorous everywhere. The allotment ground was soft where it had been dug over, and the devices had not “gone off”, so we got very excited about finding them. We pulled up six each (there was Danny and myself, and our friends the two Askew brothers), which made a total of 24 bombs in all, found some string and rope and tied them up and made our way home 67

dragging them through the streets. How no one saw us I don’t know, as it was a trip of about a mile. When we got home we put the bombs down the bottom of our respective gardens and when the Askew’s parents got home and found them, all hell broke loose. The Air Raid Police were called in to evacuate the houses while the bomb disposal squad took the bombs away, and we were never allowed to take any more “souvenirs” home. A big treat for us was going to the cinema to see the Saturday matinees, showing such things as Flash Gordon the Space Man. We would never have believed that man would travel in space for real in the future. We would also have a weekly visit to the cinema to see a “big” film. The more popular the film, the more people wanted to see it, and the bigger the queue. The tickets were 9d, 1/3d (£0.6p) and 2/3d (£0.11p); and sometimes we would have to queue for an hour in the rain. We would stand there wishing we could afford to go in the 2/3d seats; or sometimes we would go round the back of the cinema and sit by a back door and listen to the sound, trying to figure out what was happening. One of the things we did was “bunking in,” in other words, getting in without paying. We would have a collection to pay for one ticket and when the chosen boy was inside, he would make pretend to go to the toilet and then open the emergency door to let the others in. This was always risky because the door man and usherettes were always on the lookout. The hardest cinema to bunk into was The Playhouse in Feltham, which stood at what is now the entrance to Tesco’s. We found a window open which was into the toilets, and although it had bars up, Harry reckoned he could squeeze through. The four of us managed to squeeze through one by one, but unbeknown to us, the doorman knew what we were up to , so he waited behind the door until we were all in, then he burst in and said “caught you – now get out the way you came in”. As we were squeezing back out of the window, he proceeded to kick us all up the backside, so we never tried again! Another thing we were always doing was scrumping. We knew where every fruit tree in the district was, as well as all the orchards. It was quite a treat to have an apple or pear and we would go to all sorts of lengths to get some. All the householders knew this, so they were well guarded by fences and wire etc., but we had ingenious ways of getting the fruit. One of these was getting fishing net with a long pole and passing it under an apple on the tree from over the fence and knocking it off with a stick into the net. We also thought it was a treat to “have a ride” on something. We used to hang on to the back of lorries as they were delivering round the houses. There was a railway line which had a siding on the main railway and a separate line running into the army depot via the High Street. It ran for about a mile and sometime we would jump on the back of trains for a ride. One day my friend Brian Bateson, who lived just down our road, was riding on the back of a train when it reversed. He fell off and was chopped up in front of my other friend Lenny Askew. Lenny was struck dumb and did not talk for about a fortnight from the shock. Quite a few boys from the estate got killed. We used to play around the railway lines and cross them every day on the way to school. It 68

was an unprotected crossing. We also used to play and swim over the gravel pits, making rafts etc. It was about this time my mum was always saying she would like a café, but my dad would say don’t be silly, we don’t have the money. One day she came home and said she had found a shop on the Great West Road in Heston and the estate agent said she could have it rent free for six months if she could repair the bomb damage, which was mainly the ceilings, so Dad, Doris and a friend made all he necessary repairs and Mum and Doris opened the café with cups and saucers from home. Before long, because mum was a good cook, it became very busy. Sometimes a convoy of troops would pull up and it was packed out. Years later, in 1979, Sandra was taken to an Italian restaurant by her boss, and I told her it was the very same shop where we had our café. My grandfather on my Dad’s side was a caretaker of a synagogue in Streatham with his second wife (my dad’s mother died) and we started to live in the flat above the café and my Dad let granddad live in the house at Feltham. They thought it was wonderful to have a house with a garden. The café got so busy that mum decided to open next door as a restaurant and Doris lived in the other flat with Harry Craske and her daughter Drucilla.

A Memory of Wartime Heston
By this time bombing was almost over, but the Germans started to send VI’s over, which were known as ‘doodlebugs’. These were pilotless planes packed with high explosives and you could stand outside and watch them in the air. Once they ran out of fuel the engine would stop and everyone would run for cover and they would crash to the ground. One night we heard one overhead and the engine stopped so we rushed under the stairs. Dad said “hold hands this one’s ours” then there was an almighty bang and all the windows blew out and the walls shook like an earthquake, but we were O.K. The following day the very same thing happened, it was a very near thing. An unexploded bomb landed in the garden and the bomb disposal squad was called. They evacuated everyone as they were disarming the bomb but it blew up and killed all five of them. When the VI’s stopped, the Germans started firing V2 rockets at us. These were less frightening since you did not hear them coming. They travelled faster than sound. One landed on Packard’s, which was just down the Great West Road, and they were laying all the bodies out on the grass verge as Danny and I went past on our bikes. I remember, at one time during the war, looking up to see the sky full of Flying Fortress bombers. It was the first of many daylight 1000 bomber raids going to Germany. When the Germans saw them coming, they must have been terrified. We also saw waves of planes towing gliders, along with other bombers carrying paratroops. When they reached the French coast, they released the gliders and that was the start of the D-Day invasion of Europe. ***** ***** 69 *****

13. BARRIE LAMBERT I was born at Hampton Road (now Hampton Road East) on 12th April 1939 and I remember a few happenings whilst I was there, during the Second World War. I remember walking a few hundred yards from my house to see the bomb damage, which happened the night before on Gresham’s Factory; and the destruction of a few houses in a row called Glebe Cottages, in Twickenham Road, Hanworth. I saw a flying V1 rocket whilst I was in the back garden with my mother. My mother grabbed my wrist and we ran inside the house. The crash happened a few seconds later and we went into the street. The owner of the small convenience store opposite - a Mrs. Morris’ - called out and pointed “it’s landed in my back garden”. I believe it actually fell a little further back of her place and landed near the Longford River. There were anti-aircraft guns in Chertsey road and half the road was blocked off; it was manned by the U.S. military. Just after V-Day there was a street party in both Hampton Road and Twickenham Road and I was fortunate enough to go to both. I remember one particular boy who lived in the same street as me picking up radishes out of a bowl on the table and throwing them at the cheering military personnel as they drove past. There was a bomb shelter in the middle of the roundabout at the junction of Hampton Road, Chertsey Road, Twickenham Road and Staines Road. My mother used to carry me home after the “all clear” was sounded. My father served in the Fire Service and was away from home a lot of the time. The buses were painted grey and had “blackout” blinds in their windows. There are many other small incidences that I remember: such as my friend’s fathers coming home on leave in their soldier’s uniforms; and the names of the people in the streets. The two main things I remember are the factory bombing and the V1 sighting. **********


14. MAUREEN MAXWELL We lived in Denison Road; there was my Mum and me; and my two sisters. Mother didn’t like going down the garden to use the Anderson Shelter when there was a raid on, so we sat under the stairs or under the big table in the kitchen. We were there that night when the bomb came down, the whole house shook and all the windows rattled. I think it was a German aircraft that should have been bombing London, but it had become a bit lost and it decided to get rid of its bomb load. My grandma and my aunt both lived in Railway Terrace at the other end of Feltham High Street. They both ran all the way down the town to us, a soon as they heard that a bomb had fallen in our part of Feltham. They didn’t stop to dress, except perhaps to put a coat on, I remember that they were still wearing their night clothes and bedroom slippers with fluffy bobbles on the uppers – and they had come all the way down the High Street like that. They were very anxious to know if we were alright. They stayed with us for 3 hours, arguing that we should all go back to Railway Terrace with them. But mother didn’t want to leave the house and in the end they walked all the way back to Bedfont Lane in their night clothes and slippers, just as they had come. The next afternoon, our Uncle, who was in the ARP, walked us round so that we could see the big crater that the bomb had made. The two Allen girls died with their family, we went to school with them at Feltham Hill School and were friends with them. We went to their funeral too. I think Mr. Allen was home on leave from the Army when the bomb fell and he was killed with the rest of his family. People said it was probably better that way – better than being abroad and receiving a telegram to say that your whole family had been killed and you had been left alone in the world. I went to see the grave in Feltham Cemetery a while ago. I was sorry to see that it had sunk a lot on one side, it’s a big grave. It’s a shame that it is not regularly looked after. **********


15. EDDIE MENDAY Feltham has grown out of all recognition in the 20th century, from the little town of the late 1930’s that had only just become an Urban District , to the 21st century town it is now. The Depot of the Royal Army Services Corps had been established just after the First World War, in Elmwood Avenue, and Feltham was considered to be military town. Many civilians from the local area, worked at the Depot, on the lorries, which were brought in for repair and overhaul in the large sheds there. These were then driven down the narrow High Street on their way to other Army Depots around the country. There was a railway line, branching off the main line from Waterloo to Windsor and Reading. This ran through Highfield and emerged at Feltham High Street, where Barclays Bank is today. It crossed the main road into Browells Lane to disappear through large metal gates into the Depot. There were khaki uniforms to be seen everywhere, and at 10 o’clock each evening, the Last Post was sounded, on a bugle, at the Guard House. Trains carrying goods into the Depot became more numerous, which set tongues wagging that there would be a war, as the Army was stocking up with supplies. As the crisis in Europe became more serious, surface shelters were erected round Feltham Green. Air Raid Sirens were placed a strategic places round the town, and Anderson shelters were delivered to residents’ houses. When war broke out in September 1939, the local Civil Defence went into action. Training was given in the use of stirrup pumps at the Civil Defence H.Q., close by Bridge House Council Offices. Churches were put on alert in case their halls were needed for housing families bombed out from London. Ration Books and Gas Masks were issued from the Council Offices, and the dreaded blackout was put into operation. Petrol rationing was brought in for those with cars. Eventually, the coupons were only given to the emergency services and doctors. There was a small ration for the local taxi service, again only for an emergency. The Feltham Railway Marshalling Yard was filled with wagons and vans of all sorts, and was working day and night. If, at night, the lights were to be seen, then there was an ‘all clear’, but if the marshalling yard lamps were turned-off one could expect an air raid that night. Back gardens were turned into allotments, and vegetables grown beside the Anderson shelter. Chickens were also kept where there was room, to help out the egg ration. The Army Depot was full to overflowing with troops, and many soldiers were billeted-out with local families. To help with meals, British Restaurants were set up by the Government as eating places for a nourishing meal at a reasonable price. Feltham’s was known as the Spelthorne Restaurant and was housed in the newly opened Parish Hall, which was at the rear of the Playhouse Cinema, where the Tesco’s car park is today. The first bomb in the West London area was relatively small one, dropped randomly, one Friday evening, in Feltham High Street, close to Elmwood Avenue and the Army Depot. 72

Bedfont Recreation Ground became the home of an anti-aircraft unit with a very loud gun, which rattled the area when it was fired. Although life was restricted and long hours were worked, the local population did the best they could and tried to get on with life. Cinemas were opened, and showed a small slide if an air raid warning had been sounded. National charities such as War Weapons Week and Spitfire Week were well supported. The General Aircraft Company at the end of Victoria Road was also working day and night repairing Supermarine Spitfire Aircraft, these were often seen flying over Hanworth Air Parks after repair and overhaul. Later, the Hamilcar and Horsa Gliders were to be seen overhead. These gliders were designed and developed at G.A.L. and a number were built at the Feltham factory. Other factories were working full blast. The Minimax Fire Extinguisher Company was on full production on the extinguishers; and also developing a de-salination gadget that could be placed in lifeboats, for anyone found adrift without water. This could turn sea water into a drinkable solution. Little factories on the edge of the Air Park were turning out nuts and bolts by the thousand, and other essential items. As trains arrived at Feltham Station, crowds would be seen making their way to the factories in and around the town. Many of the residents worked on the Great West Road and spent long hours in the factories of the Golden Mile. Feltham people were proud of their war effort which helped gain ultimate victory. **********


16. DAVID OLIVE At 14 years of age, I left school in July and shortly after went to work at Gresham Transformers in Hanworth, making these huge things for fitting in our Bombers. Raids were a nightly occurrence and during one night, we received a near miss from a 500 lb bomb doing a little damage to our factory. The last piece of repairs was done and off we went for the weekend. What a shock Monday morning, coming into work to find a direct hit had been made on the winding shop were I worked. I used to make up sleeving along with two lovely ladies and dear old Alf, who used to sweep up and tidy in general. It was Dot’s turn, with Alf, that night, to stay on after work to take their turn in fire watching. Lucky for Dot, she had gone to the other end of the factory, when the bomb hit! Poor Alf did get blown into pieces! Can you imagine? At 14 years old, I went round with Dot and Marge, picking up pieces of Alf and putting them in a bucket. We lived at 69 Swan Road, Hanworth; Dad had been picked for Post Warden, he was in charge of the post at the junction between Main Street and Swan Road. I have a lovely picture of him outside the post along with his fellow wardens, ladies and gents! (Main Text page 11) Being near to Feltham we had a lot of the fall out from raids made on the General Aircraft and the marshalling yards in Feltham. As a general rule, dad used to go to the post. We stayed in bed when the sirens went, but this night, police came into the house and insisted we should go round the shelter. Flares over head lit the area like day light, and then the incendiary bombs came next! The raid was local. Our small estate received many high explosives. Going round to the shelter was so dangerous, what with shrapnel coming down like rain; and as we went round the corner of Swan Close a huge mobile (anti-aircraft gun) was pumping-up shells at the bombers. The brass cases were a danger themselves, flying out as we squeezed by. Shortly after entering our shelter there was a huge explosion! The house at the end of the shelter had a direct hit. The bodies of William and Catherine Smith were put in the other side of the shelter, in full view of us. We could see them through the square hole cut between the two halves of the shelter, for escape purposes. It hardly seems possible but we did get a laugh a little later. One of the dads, who was a warden, called in to see if we were alright in the shelter. In the confusion he had forgotten the soil he had placed in his tin helmet, to put on to fire bombs, and he put his helmet on, with the resulting cascade of earth all over him! One morning after a local raid, while walking to school, eyes open for shrapnel. I found an unexploded bomb in the ditch opposite our house. I found the fin a foot or two away. It looked like an incendiary bomb, but much larger. The fuse holes were just blackened. What a find! Off came my coat and I wrapped it round the bomb. I sneaked off back home to hide it from Mum, till Dad came home. I was surprised I did not get told off, but he took it to the post to get it emptied for me. (They actually did this in those days.) He brought 74

it back in the morning! This time I did get told off! The bomb had contained high explosives; later one of the wardens, Sid Weston, gave me ten shillings (£0.50p) for it! This was a lot of money in those days. The V1 hitting the shelter actually came very close to taking our roof off. We were all in the front room and we could hear it getting closer, and when it went over the noise was terrible; and the pressure; we all thought the windows had buckled in. I ran out, up to the cross roads just across the street from us and it had been a direct hit on this shelter! Dead bodies lay about, a woman lay screaming with the masonry on her head and every time they tried to move it, it bore more and heavier on her. A large piece of the V1 lay there smouldering; the actual cone containing the engine was still intact. ‘War or no war’ cycling still went on and regular trips to the coast! What a lovely site going through the Oxshott Woods, past Box Hill onto Leatherhead and Dorking; and for miles along the roadside there were amphibian craft waiting for the invasion. No one was about and what fun it was it to go into the shelters and look at equipment ready for the big push. I spent part of my time in the West Middlesex Hospital having my appendix out. There was local raid, the nurses’ quarters got bombed and one of the nurses (who got into lot of trouble for doing so) took me outside to see the Spitfires shooting at the Bombers in the glow of the search lights. A few more random thoughts: I remember all the shrapnel in the streets; and the danger from unexploded (anti-aircraft) shells on the roads. We were not allowed to have more than 1/5th of a bath’s hot water on bath night. Meat rationing meant that we seemed to have horse meat every week! **********


17. ROBIN RENDELL During my first year at school, Bedfont suffered its worst bombing of the war in the ‘flying bomb’ campaign (against) Southern England, from June 13th 1944...I remember very well, in 1944, a ‘flying bomb’ passing over our house. We all stood watching it fly over our heads barely missing the rooftops. Mum had assured us that as long as the engine remained droning we were safe. Little did we know that this one would devastate the next street, Northumberland Crescent. The sheer vibration of the explosion damaged houses in our street, cracking windows and shattering roof tiles. In Northumberland Crescent eight people were injured, four houses were destroyed, twenty houses were seriously damaged, and over a wider area eight hundred houses were slightly damaged. To this day the colour of the roof tiles can still be seen to differ in shade where they were replaced after the explosion. My father’s mother came to stay with us…Whenever the ‘alert’ signal sounded she remained in her place of safety – the bath! She was only with us for about one month when the flying bomb struck Northumberland Crescent. Mum took us all to the shelter and shouted to Nan...Nan, as usual, refused to leave home. When the flying bomb struck, roof tiles and windows went everywhere. We were all in the shelter when Nan, a frail old lady, went zooming by! I can remember her screaming “Christ” as she flew down Longford Avenue. Nan left our home after that. She thought that it was safer in her own home, in Acton. In June and July 1944 (the threat of flying bombs) forced Bedfont School to evacuate children to the shelters in the playground. This could happen several times a day. The school record for 11th July 1944 reads: “Alert 09.07 am (evacuated class) All Clear 09.50 am.” “Alert 10.40 am (evacuated class) All Clear 10.58 am.” “Alert 11.20 am (evacuated class) All Clear 12.35 pm.” “Alert 12.55 pm (evacuated class) All Clear 1.35 pm.” “Alert 2.40 pm (evacuated class) All Clear 3.35pm.”

(Ed: Although there was no government organised evacuation of families in Feltham Urban District in July 1944, many people from the surrounding districts were evacuated to Nottingham, Doncaster, Leeds and other towns outside the threatened South East of England. Robin Rendell’s family had a cousin living near Doncaster and his mother arranged a private evacuation. The family travelled on a train with many other evacuees.)
I can remember the huge, green, steam train waiting at the station in London. We eagerly scampered along the platform to get a closer look at this magnificent iron beast….Once aboard, Mum rushed to find us seats. The carriages were a mass of people. Most of the journey was spent in the corridor, but as Mum had two little children she was given a seat…As we arrived at Peterborough station the platform was full of people waiting to board. Some were 76

passengers; others were ladies with tea trolleys and snacks. Mum called us together and reached above her seat for her bag of bread and watered down orange drinks…we stopped at Peterborough for a quarter of an hour before steaming off again for Grantham. Grantham came and went and we were all now accustomed to the stop and teas and snacks being part of the little break. Next stop was Doncaster and this was where our family and most of the passengers on this mighty train were bound…We were going to stay with my mother’s cousin, Maggie…Maggie was married to Johnny, a pitman. The family lived at Moorends, which was not far from Doncaster.

The Rendell family were back in Bedfont in late October 1944. The Headmistress at Bedfont Infants School reported to the School Managers that, in October 1944: “The school accommodation is now 250. The number is increasing weekly as children return from evacuation and the majority of these children have not attended school since they were evacuated.”



18. SYLVIA SEANEY Memories of a Railwayman What I remember most about my childhood in Feltham during the war was my Dad never seemed to be at home. If he was, he appeared to be tired, and I have seen him fall asleep while eating his meal. He was a goods train driver for the Southern Railway, as they were then known. He drove a steam train out of Feltham Marshalling Yards, and I know he often took supplies into the army depot, crossing Feltham High Street on the special line that ran near to the Red Lion public house. He also did runs to Eastleigh and Southampton, working, sometimes, all night and through the following day. Dad never told my Mother much about his work; and after he died, before reaching retirement age, a letter was found from the Railway Company, thanking him for volunteering for driving ammunition wagons. We often wondered whether he knew what he was carrying, my Mother never knew. Unfortunately, Mother died shortly after Dad and the letter was lost. Another wartime memory of him was arriving home from the railway just in time to sit down for his Christmas Dinner with the family; and off again, back to his engine. How he loved those steam trains. We lived in Shakespeare Avenue. Dad told me about standing one night, talking to our next door neighbour, when he saw a V1 doodlebug bomb coming towards them from what he called the Glebe Land. They both thought: “this is for us!” Then it turned and went back the way it came. Who, I wonder was the unlucky person when the engine cut out and it exploded near them. Like most families, we kept chickens and rabbits in the back garden; and my job, whilst Dad was working, was to check on the young chicks, which he usually bought in Kingston Market. When old enough, they went into the run in the garden, so that we had good supply of eggs. One neighbour kept ducks as well; and another had a pig. I am sure he must have had special permission to keep it. It frightened the life out of me one evening when it suddenly started honking loudly while I was putting my cycle into the garden shed. **********


19. KEN SMITH Hanworth during the war

(Ed: The first memory is of the V1 incident in The Close, Hanworth, On 20th August 1944)
I was in my aunt’s house in Devonshire Road and it was daylight when the warning went. I ran out of my aunt’s house to go to our shelter, when I heard a loud noise above, I looked up to see a flying bomb heading towards me. Then the engine cut out and it started to drop, I ran back into my aunt’s house and fell flat on the floor when the flying bomb whistled over the rooftops. A couple of seconds later there was a terrific bang and the back of my aunt’s house came in, I was under a lot of bricks and window frames. I managed to get out and went outside to see what it had hit, and it was a shelter at the bottom of my aunt’s garden in a field. The Shelter that the bomb hit had my mate Joe Hawks in. He got out alive, but his parents were killed.

Air Raid Memories
We were in our shelter one night when the warning went. A few seconds after, we heard the German planes come over and they started dropping bombs. All of a sudden there was bombs whistling down and a big explosion. Although our shelter was underground, dust was everywhere. When the all clear went we went out to see what damage had been done. We could see flames and smoke coming from over the back of us from Devonshire Road. We found out later a bomb had a direct hit on a house and damaged other houses in the street, but lucky enough no-one was hurt they were all in the shelter. Most nights we would go and sleep in our shelter at the bottom of our garden that my dad had built. He was a bricklayer and he built it deep down so we would be safe. One night we were down there and it’s a night I will never forget, talk about a cat with nine lives. The warning went and in no time at all, we could hear bombs dropping, I must have just dropped off to sleep, the next thing I remember is my dad running into the shelter telling us to get out quick and make our way down to the shelters in Hanworth recreation ground. We didn’t know till later that we had been sleeping only 10 yards away from an unexploded bomb in next door’s garden. This is a night I will remember for the rest of my life. This particular day I was in the Rex Cinema with my mates when the screen went blank; then on the screen it said ‘file outside’. When we got outside, instead of turning right to go home, the Police told us to go left and go the other way home. We didn’t know at the time what was wrong, but I had just got home and was about to open the door when there was a terrific bang and my back door fell in and I was knocked to the ground with glass and bricks on top of me. I managed to get up with just a couple of cuts. My mum and dad were out at the time and we found out later that a land mine had come down and got stuck in some wire and cable and hadn’t touched the ground, but it sagged, touched the ground and went off.


This particular night the warning went and German planes came over and started dropping flares and incendiary bombs all around Hanworth, the sky was lit up, it was like daylight. We could see we were going to have a big raid so we all got in our shelters when all of a sudden we heard bombs whistling down. They were after the planes in Hanworth Airport. Next morning when we came out of our shelter there was debris all over the place, me and my mates use to go looking for bits of bombs and bullets and burnt out incendiary bombs. During the war, we had several dog fights in the sky above us. Planes from Hanworth Airport used to take off and you could hear them diving about and their guns going off. One day they shot down a German plane, which came down on a golf course on Twickenham Road. Me and my mates went along to see it, the police had put a rope around it to stop people getting too near, but we could see the skid marks it made when it came down and apart from bits of the plane missing, it was intact, but you could see the pilot was still in the cockpit, dead. We had a lot of barrage balloons all around us to protect the planes in Hanworth Airport, but I had never seen any planes get caught in them. **********


20. DAVE WISEMAN Feltham –The War Years As a schoolboy the terror of war did not strike home in spite of the fact we had been bombed out from London My route to school was along a footpath adjacent to the main railway line and when the troop trains past through carrying the American soldiers they would throw packs of chewing gum and sweets out of the windows to us, a real treat as sweets were rationed for us. If there had been an air raid the night before we would look for shrapnel (fragments of bombs and shells ). On some occasions we would find small incendiary bombs that had plugged into soft ground and failed to go off we would take these to school or give them to the Air Raid Warden, usually followed by a lecture about leaving them where they were and then telling a grown up.We were told that when the air raid siren sounded we were to go home if we were near home or to school if we were nearer to school but we used to wait outside the school gates hoping that the siren would go before the school bell then we would still go home and have a day off school. Feltham was a target for German bombers because of the railway marshalling yards which at that time were the largest in Britain, also there was a large garrison of soldiers at a depot in Elmwood Avenue together with an A.T.S. administration contingent. Further away towards Ashford was the Royal Engineers Depot. In Browels Lane was a factory which built building Mosquito aircraft in the area now known as Hanworth Park. As boys we would go to the factory to try and get offcuts of Balsa wood which was used to make the aircraft as it was ideal to make models from. From the army depot in Elmwood Ave, a railway line ran passing down Browels Lane and across the High Street by the pond and linking with the main railway line at the end of Railway Terrace. During the day it was used to bring supplies to the army depot and at night it would pull a long truck with an anti aircraft gun on to help protect the railway from air attack. The land from the main railway line to the back of the High Street was turned into allotments to enable people to grow more vegetables etc. hence the slogan “Dig For Victory” In most of the side roads air raid shelters were built of concrete blocks to enable people who were out shopping etc. could take cove if the siren went. At the latter end of the war part of Hanworth park area was used for German Prisoners and they were allowed out in the town with a military escort and were easily recognised as they wore a brown coloured boiler suit and on the back was a large black diamond patch. Food of course was rationed and our parents had to queue for nearly everything and toys for 81

us children were very scarce. I can remember the toy shop in the High Street wbBould have a delivery of toys about every six weeks and they would put a notice in the window when they would be sold and I would get up early in the morning to queue in the hope of getting a dinky toy of some description. My wife who lived in Feltham was evacuated to Scotland for part of the war but she remembers a few things about Feltham during this period. They were a family of 5 and each week her stepmother would divide their food rations up into individual portions. They each had a section of the larder with their names on. She thinks they shared their rations with a few mice as well!!! She recalls that her brother had not been well for several days and one night during an air raid his appendix burst and he had to be rushed to hospital and it was touch and go if he pulled through, fortunately he did. **********






I sendthis personalmessage you and to all other boys and girls at school. For you have shared in the hardships and dangers of a total war and you have shared no less in the triumph of the Allied Nations. I know you will alwaysfeel proud to belong to a country which was capable of such supremeeffort; proud, too, of parents and elder brothers and sisters who by their courage, enduranceand enterprisebrought victory. Muy these qualities be yours,r?S grow up and you join in the common effort to establish ---Amongthe nations of the world unity andpeaB.



Srp Srp I 939 r. Germany invaded Poland 3. Great Britain and France declared war on Germanyi the B.E.F. began to leave for France r 3. Battle of the River Plate r9+o Apn 9. Germany invaded Denmark and Norway Mey ro. Germanv invaded the Low Countries JuNe 3. Evacuation from Dunkirk completed Juxr 8.. British troopc evacuated from Norway JuNr r r. Italy declared war on Great Britain Juxr rr. France capitulated Juxr r9. Cermans occupied the Channel Isles Auc 8-Ocr 3 r. German air offensive against Great Britain (Battle of Britain) Ocr r8. Italy invaded Greece Nov rr-r2. Successful attack on the ltalian Fleet in Taranto Harbour. Dnc 9-r r. Italian invasion of F.gypt defeated at the battle of Sidi Barrani l 9+l r r . L e a s e - L e n dB i l l p a s s e di n U . S . A . r8. Battle of Cepe Matapan 5. Gerrnany lnvaded Greece r r-D:c 9. The Siege o{ Totrruk io. Formal surrender of remnants of Italian Army in Abys*inia M,tv zo-3r. Battle of Crete Mer u7. Gerrnan battleship Bisnrorcl sunk r:, Gcr'prasy invaded Russia Auc rz. Terms of the Atlantic Charter aqreed offensive launched i" Nov r 8. British th€ Wertern Desert Drc 7. Japanesc att ck€d Pearl Harbriur Dec 8. Great Britain and United States of America declaretl war on Japan | 942 r 9. Fall of Singapore 16. George Cross awarded to Malta r 1-Nov 4. German-ltali.rn arml deleated at El Alamein 8. British and American fbrces landed in North Africe r 9+l r . The remnants of the 6th German Army J^x 3 surrendered at Stalingrad Final vict<.rry over the U-lloats in the Mav Atlantic M,ry r 3. Axis forces in Tunisia surrenelered Jurv ro. Allies invaded Sicily Srp 3. Allies invaded ltaly Ssr, 8. ltaly capitulated Dec r5. Schornhorst sunk ofl North Capc t9++ Allied troops landed at Anzio Rome captured Allies landed in Normandy Flying-bomb (V. r ) attack on llritain started Defeat of Japaneseinvasion o[ lndia JuNr Auc r 5. Paris liberated Srp 1. Brussels liberated Srp t. The first rocket-bornb (V.t) fell on England. Srp r 7-16. The Brttle of Arnhom Ocr ro. The Americans re-landed in the Philippines J.tx zr. Juxe 4. Juxe 5. Jtrxr r 3. r9+9 J,rx M.rn' Men Arr. Mex M,rv Mry 17. ro. r3. r g" 2. 3, 5. Warsaw Iiberated British recaptured Mandalay Britidr cre*s€d the Rhine Opening of Confererrce of, United Nations at San Franci3co Cerman forces in ltaly surrendered Rangoon recaptured All the Gerrnan forcer in Holland, N"W. Germany and Dchmark surrendered unconditionallv Unconditional surrender of Germany to the Allies ratified in B€rlin Australian troops landdd in Borneo First atornic bomb dropped on Hiroshima Russia declared war on Japan Second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki The Emperor of Japan broedcast the unconditional sun'ender of his country British forces re-entered Singapore


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