Corovarus pandemic Bay Museum partial reopening.

Corovarus pandemic Bay Museum partial reopening.

 

With effect from 1st August 2020 the Bay Museum will be partially reopening.

 

On account of the small size of the building and the age of the curatorial staff the Bay Museum can be opened on a pre booked appointment basis only.

 

All visitors must wear a face mask and gloves.  Each group should also have hand sanitizers.

 

Only one group to a maximum of four in total can be allowed in the museum at any one time.

 

To arrange your appointment please phone 07899 674630 at least 48 hours and preferably longer before your proposed visit to ensure we have the staff available.

 

As the Museum will appear shut please phone when parking so that we will know that you have arrived and we can open the door for you.

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service September 1940.

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service September 1940.

 

 

Date                Time   Location         Damage

 

01/09/1940    11.20  Thundersley Plate glass window 7ft x 6ft broken by concussion.

Gun fire in the distance.  No casualties.

01/09/1940    11.21  Ingrave           1 – H.E. unexploded (or shell) between Blaydale’s

Wood and Grave Wood on McClure’s Heron Hall Farm.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 23.6.41

02/09/1940    08.15  Rochford       German Dornier 17 crashed and burnt out at

Rochford Aerodrome.  Crew 1 killed, 3 prisoners safe.

02/09/1940    16.35  Vange            Roof of Churchill & Johnsons Timber Yard Wharf

Road. Damaged by shrapnel

02/09/1940    16.40  Laindon         German Messerschmitt 110 crashed and burnt out

in the South East Corner of Frith Wood.  2 bodies recovered.

02/09/1940    16.40  Brentwood     Fire in a barley field near Sawyers Hall Farm

Doddinghurst Road. 3 cocks of barley destroyed.  Cause unknown (during an air raid).  No casualties.

02/09/1940    17.05  Little                Body of a German Airman found at Sudburys

Burstead        Cottage, Nirege Farm.  Parachute failed to open.

02/09/1940    17.06  Vange            1 – A.A. unexploded shell in School gardens

Claylands.  No damage or casualties.

02/09/1940    17.07  Potton Island 1 – H.E. unexploded 250 yards South of Sea Wall.

North end of Island.  No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    07.30  Canewdon    British Spitfire smashed 1/2 mile North East of Air

Ministry Experimental Works.  Pilot safe at Rochford Aerodrome.

03/09/1940    10.20  Canewdon    British Pilot down by parachute at Sealdhurst

Farm.  Face burnt.  RAF on spot.

03/09/1940    10.20  Canewdon    British Pilot baled out.  Safe at Lower Raypits

Farm.  Machine North of River Roach.

03/09/1940    10.20  Ingrave           British Spitfire burnt out 300 yards East of

Handleys Dairy Farm.  Pilot Sergt. Fopp of Debden safe.

03/09/1940    10.30  Church End  1 Cannon Shell unexploded at “Eltham Lodge”

Hawkwell Park Drive. No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    10.30  Hullbridge     5 – I.Bs 1 at Mayfields Avenue and 4 at Malyons

Farm.  No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    10.40  Canewdon    British plane crashed at Canewdon Hall Field.

Pilot safe.

03/09/1940    10.40  Mountnessing          1 – H.E. exploded in a field 150 yards South

West of Bacons Farm.  No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    10.45  Canewdon    British plane burnt out 200 yards East of Apton

Hall.  Pilot safe.

03/09/1940    10.50  Canewdon    German Messerschmitt 110 wrecked at Snowhills

field.  North of Canewdon Hall.  Crew 1 injured (serious) 1 uninjured taken prisoner.

03/09/1940    10.50  Foulness       British plane wrecked 1/4 mile East of Brickhouse

Island             Farm.  Pilot dead.  Parachute failed to open.

03/09/1940    11.00  Hockley          British plane burnt out at Beckney’s Farm.  Pilot

safe.

03/09/1940    11.00  Sutton            2 – H.Es unexploded in a market garden field near

Temple Farm Cottage.  No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    11.00  Canewdon    2 – I.Bs at The Kennels.  No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    11.25  Mountnessing          1 I.B. unexploded found at Swallows Cross,

in field 300 yards West of Burnthouse Lane.  No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    12.12  Margaretting  Pilot Officer David W Hunt wounded in Billericay

Hospital.  Plane crashed in Chelmsford Division.

03/09/1940    12.13  Ingrave           1 – H.E. unexploded at Childerditch Hall Farm, 400

yards West and 500 yards North of Arterial Road.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 13.5.41

03/09/1940    12.14  Shenfield       1 – Cannon Shell unexploded on greensward at

Alexander Lane.  No damage or casualties.  Taken by Military

03/09/1940    12.15  Rayleigh        Grass fire at Cressays Farm Wickford Road.

Supposed cause cannon shell.

03/09/1940    12.16  Canewdon    1 – I.B. at Pudseys Hall gate, Larks Hill.  No

damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    19.00  Canvey          1 – A.A. unexploded shell, 50 yards West of Eaton

Island             Lodge.  Central Wall Avenue.  No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    21.00  Mountnessing          3 – I.Bs unexploded at Mountnessing Hall,

400 yards West of the Farmhouse.  No damage or casualties.

03/09/1940    21.00  Hutton            1 – H.E. unexploded at The Willows.  Slight

damage to property.  No casualties.

03/09/1940    21.00  Mountnessing          50 – I.Bs burnt out in fields and 1 I.B.

Unexploded 300 yards West of Peagrims Farm.  No damage or casualties

03/09/1940    23.10  Laindon         1 – H.E. in the road B.1007 High Road Laindon

250 yards South of the Fortune-of-War P.H.  Electric and telephone wires down and water main damaged.  No casualties.  (Single line traffic 21st inst.)

03/09/1940    23.10  Laindon         2 – H.Es exploded 100 yards East of High Road

Schools.  Gas main, electric cable and surrounding property damaged.  No casualties.

04/09/1940    01.10  Ramsden       9 – H.Es exploded and I.Bs (a number) burnt out in

Heath             Jackson’s Meadow 1/2 mile North of the Village.  No damage or casualties.

04/09/1940    09.30  Canewdon    5 – H.Es exploded in a field between Bolt Hall

House and the Sea Wall.  No damage or casualties.

04/09/1940    09.30  Foulness       3 – H.Es exploded.  One at Nazewick Farm.  One

at Frenches Works & One at Little Newlands Farm.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

04/09/1940    09.30  Great              1 – H.E. exploded in a field 250 yards East of

Wakering       Friends Farm.  No damage or casualties.

04/09/1940    09.45  Barling           1 – H.E. exploded at Bolt Farm.  One slight

casualty.  No damage.

04/09/1940    09.45  Great              2 – H.Es exploded at Pinches Farm.  No casualties

Stambridge    or damage.

04/09/1940    09.46  Mountnessing          1 – H.E. unexploded at Arnolds Farm.

Arnolds Lane closed.  No damage or casualties.

04/09/1940    09.47  Hutton            1 – H.E. unexploded in a field 250 yards North from

end of Goodwood Avenue.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 30.4.41

04/09/1940    13.15  Rochford       British Spitfire crashed and burnt out 150 yards

East of Rectory Road Railway Bridge.  Pilot safe.

04/09/1940    13.16  Rochford       1 Cannon Shell unexploded at “Dunrovin” Oxford

Road.  No damage or casualties.

04/09/1940    21.00  Mountnessing          1 – I.B. unexploded 300 yards West of

Peagrims Farm.  No damage or casualties.

04/09/1940    22.20  Herongate     1 – H.E. unexploded 200 yards to the rear of

Salmons Farm.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 3.5.41

04/09/1940    22.30  Laindon         1 – A.A. Shell exploded on the Arterial Road 350

yards West of the Fortune-of-War P.H. Crossroads.  Slight damage to Road.  No casualties.

04/09/1940    22.30  Laindon         1 – A.A. Shell unexploded in a field 300 yards

North East of Frenches Farm and 300 yards East of Noak Hill Road.  No damage or casualties.

04/09/1940    23.00  Vange            1 – A.A. unexploded Shell on the greensward in

Victoria Road.  100 yards West of Rickfield Road.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940    11.52  Rochford       1 – H.E. unexploded 50 yards West of Stacks at

Samuels Field, Landwick.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940    11.53  Rayleigh        Shed burnt out at Dorothy’s Farm.  Cause

unknown.

05/09/1940    15.00  Rochford       2 – H.Es unexploded 400 yards North East of the

Rectory Hall Road.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940    15.07  North              British Spitfire burnt out at Bonvilles Farm.  Pilot

Benfleet         Robert Durham Number 42574 injured.

05/09/1940    15.07  Nevendon     British Spitfire crashed and blew up 1/4 mile South

East of Nevendon Hall.  Pilot Officer Webster killed.  Parachute failed to open.

05/09/1940    15.20  Canvey          Aeroplane crashed at speed in the centre of the

Island             River Thames 1000 yards South East of Scars Elbow Fort

05/09/1940    15.20  Bowers           German Messerschmitt 109 crashed and burnt out

Gifford            at Little Chalvedons Hall 1/2 mile West of Ilfracombe Avenue, Pilot dead.

05/09/1940    15.20  South             British Spitfire burnt out at Kimberly Road.  Pilot

Benfleet         Officer Lovell of Hornchurch safe.  Electric cables damaged.

05/09/1940    15.20  Canvey          H.Es number unknown exploded in the River

Island             Thames 400yards South East of Scar Elbow Fort.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940    15.20  Raweth          Grass fire at Dollymans Farm.  Cause not known

(during an air raid)

05/09/1940    15.27  Rayleigh        1 – Cannon Shell unexploded in High Street.

Taken away by Military.  No damage or casualties

05/09/1940    15.30  Raweth          British Pilot landed safe by parachute at the

Carpenters Arms P.H.

05/09/1940    15.30  Rayleigh        A partly burnt German parachute found in a field at

rear of Fairview Club Arterial Road

05/09/1940    15.30  Laindon         1 – I.B. burnt out on the road opposite “St Cads”

Darnley Avenue.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940    15.30  Runwell         2 – I.Bs near the Hospital.  No damage or

casualties

05/09/1940    15.32  Hadleigh        1 – Cannon Shell unexploded in a garden of

“Homesliad” Lynton Road.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940    15.45  Hawkwell       A Polish Pilot Lapkonski from North Holt

Aerodrome landed by parachute in the Brickfields Rectory Road.  Received a broken arm.  Conveyed to Southend Municipal Hospital Rochford.

05/09/1940    16.00  Wallasea        British Hurricane crashed near the Yacht Club.

Island             Plane slightly damaged.  Pilot Officer Robinson safe.

05/09/1940    17.00  Great Warley 1 – Cannon Shell unexploded in the garden of 63

Mount Crescent.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940    17.05  Laindon         British Hurricane crashed and badly smashed in a

field North of Markham Chase.  Pilot Officer Robert Barton of North Weald safe.

05/09/1940    21.30  Raweth          2 – H.Es exploded 1 at Box Farm Water Lane.

Slight damage to Farm and 1 in Water Lane.  Single Line Traffic 1/4 mile from the junction of Hullbridge Road.  Telegraph pole broken.  No casualties.

05/09/1940    22.20  Shenfield       6 – I.Bs 5 unexploded and 1 exploded and burnt

out in Hall Lane a mile North of the Chelmsford Road.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940                Mountnessing          50 – I.Bx burnt out in fields at Swallows

Cross Farm.  2 Pig sties and a haystack fired.  No casualties.

05/09/1940    22.30  Doddinghurst            1 – H.E. unexploded in a field behind

Batey’s bungalow.  Harpers Lane Peartree Green.  No damage or casualties.

05/09/1940                Billericay        1 – H.E. unexploded in a field 350 yards South

East of Salmons Farm (exploded the 14.9.40)  No damage or casualties.

06/09/1940    01.35  Great              16 – I.Bs burnt out at Barling Road.  Barns, pig

Wakering       sties and a stable damaged.  No casualties.

06/09/1940    02.40  Canvey          3 – H.Es in Tilburg Road, Denham Road and

Island             Urmond Road.  Some bungalows completely wrecked.  No casualties.

06/09/1940    02.40  Canvey          3 – H.Es exploded in a field at Little Gypps Farm

Island             near Furtherwick Gun Site.  2 cows badly injured

06/09/1940    02.55  Little Warley  8 – H.Es 1 is unexploded near Whips Wood Off

Bird Lane.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 13.3.41

06/09/1940    02.56  Hutton            2 – I.Bs in the garden of “Holderhurst”, Park

Avenue and 1 in Hanging Hill Lane.  No damage or casualties.

06/09/1940    04.08  Canvey          2 – H.Es at 40 Acres and Sea Wall.  Sea Wall

Island             damaged.  No casualties

06/09/1940    10.00  Pitsea             1 – Cannon Shell unexploded.  No damage or

casualties.

06/09/1940    12.00  Raweth          1 – Cannon Shell unexploded in a field at

Chichester Hall, London Road.  No damage or casualties.

06/09/1940    14.18  Wakering       3 – H.Es 1 is unexploded 1/4 mile East of Rushley

Farm Rushley Island.  No damage or casualties.

06/09/1940    15.20  Basildon        British Spitfire made a forced landing.  Under

carriage damaged Pilot Officer MacKenzie safe ( engine trouble).

07/09/1940    01.00  South             1 – H.E. or A.A. unexploded Shell in the centre of

Benfleet         Brook Road.  Brook Road closed.  Damage to the road.  No casualties.

07/09/1940                Hutton             2 – H.Es unexploded in Brook Meadow behind

stack yard at Cresseys Farm.  No damage or casualties.

07/09/1940    17.10  Laindon         German Twin Engine Bomber crashed 300 yards

West of Noak Hill Road.  Machine burnt out.  2 of crew baled out and are safe.

07/09/1940    17.15  Laindon         German Bomber crashed at Calvers Farm Dunton

Road.  Machine burnt out.  2 of crew killed 1 safe.

07/09/1940    17.15  Downham     German Dornier crashed and burnt out between

De Beavoir Chase and Railway Bridge.  1 of crew dead and 1 safe.

07/09/1940    17.30  Barling           I.Bs number unknown.  At Robers Farm and

Sewerage Works.  No damage or casualties.

07/09/1940    18.00  Rayleigh        British Spitfire burnt out at Louis Drive Wickford

Road.  Pilot safe

07/09/1940    18.00  Great              British Spitfire made a forced landing in Kimberly

Wakering       Field Star Lane.  Under carriage damaged.  Pilot safe.

07/09/1940    19.30  Pilgrims          1 – Cannon Shell unexploded at Wainsfords Crow

Hatch             Green Lane.  No damage or casualties

07/09/1940    20.30  Great              Barrage Balloon grounded at Alexander Road.  No

Wakering       damage or casualties.

07/09/1940    23.15  Pitsea             1 – H.E. exploded between “Lyrette” & “Glencre”

bungalows Junction Road.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

08/09/1940    00.05  East                2 – H.Es exploded in a field 500 yards West of East

Horndon        Horndon Crossroads and 150 yards North of the

Arterial Road.  No damage or casualties.

08/09/1940    00.40  South Weald I.Bs a number in fields between Spital Lane and

Vicarage Lane.  In the vicinity of The Tower Arms P.H.  No damage or casualties.

08/09/1940    00.40  Brentwood     I.Bs a number near St Faiths Poultry Farm.  No

damage or casualties.

08/09/1940    00.43  South             I.Bs a number, 200 yards North of the junction of

Weald             Hillside Walk and Weald Road.  No damage or casualties.

08/09/1940    00.45  Pitsea             3 – H.Es exploded on Marsh Land.  No damage or

casualties.

08/09/1940    00.45  Crays Hill       I.Bs a number at Crays Hall.  No damage or

casualties.

08/09/1940    00.50  Crays Hill       3 – H.Es unexploded in Friends Field Church Lane.

No damage or casualties.

08/09/1940    01.15  Billericay        2 – H.Es 1 is unexploded at Randall’s Nurseries,

Cox Farm Road, 2 casualties (slight).  Gas main and road damaged.  Cox Farm Road closed ( road open 9.9.40)

08/09/1940    01.15  Bowers           I.Bs about 100 on South Staines Farm.  No

Gifford            damage or casualties.

08/09/1940    01.25  South             3 – H.Es 2 exploded in a wood between Benfleet

Benfleet         Road and Kiln Road 300 to 500 yards North East of Water Lane.  Also 1 unexploded in middle of the road at the top of Vicarage Hill ( road closed).  Electric cable damaged.  No casualties.

08/09/1940    02.05  Billericay        I.Bs about 600 between Billericay and Crays Hill in

six fields.  Two stacks of clover fired at Gurnards Farm, South Green.  400 yards North of Billericay to Wickford Road.  No casualties.

08/09/1940    02.37  Coxtie Green 1 – I.B. at Ensworth Randalls field.  Stack fired.  No

casualties.

08/09/1940    03.30  Canvey          2 – H.Es 1 is unexploded in the centre of Canvey

Island             Road between Northwick Corner and Canvey Bridge.  Road closed.  Telephone wires down.  No casualties.

08/09/1940    06.30  Canvey          Barrage Balloon grounded at Waterside Farm.

Island             Secured to a telegraph pole.

08/09/1940                Canvey          1 – A.A. unexploded Shell at rear of garage at

Island             Russets House, Canvey Road.  No damage or casualties.

08/09/1940                South             2 – H.Es unexploded in a field by the side of Essex

Benfleet         Way.  Road B.1014 closed.   H.Es 3 feet from the road and 300yards from the Water Tower.  No casualties.

08/09/1940    11.00  Doddinghurst   1 – Canon Shell unexploded.  No damage or

casualties.

08/09/1940    12.09  Coxtie Green 1 – I.B. and 7 Cannon Shells unexploded in fields

near Canterbury Tye.  No damage or casualties

08/09/1940                Great Warley 1 – A.A. unexploded Shell near New Cottage by

side of road at Hole Farm.  No damage or casualties.

08/09/1940    16.15  Great Warley Body of a German Airman found on Goodchilds

Farm.  Captain Kuet Mescheder, 20 years.  Parachute failed to open.

08/09/1940    21.18  Great              20 – I.Bs between Crays Hill and Barleylands

Burstead        Farm.  No damage or casualties.

09/09/1940    00.05  Laindon         1 – A.A. unexploded Shell fell in “Springfield”,

Basildon Rise.  No damage or casualties.

09/09/1940    02.15  Doddinghurst   1 – H.E. exploded near Wacketts Farm.  2

cottages demolished.  Chickens and animals buried.

09/09/1940    15.00  Pitsea 3 – H.Es 1 exploded and 2 unexploded found at Blue

House Farm Pitsea Marshes.  No damage or casualties.

10/09/1940     00.45  East                1 – H.E. exploded in a field 20 yards East of Tilbury

Horndon        Road and 400 yards South of the Arterial Road.  Telephone wires down.  1 cow killed.

10/09/1940     03.25   Basildon        2 – H.Es exploded, 1 in pond South of the Arterial

Road at Brook Mount Estate between Arterial Road and Basildon Road and 1 exploded on the North side of the Arterial Road at junction of Ladysmith Avenue.  Slight damage to cycle track and gas main.  No casualties.

10/09/1940     03.30  Billericay        1 – H.E. exploded 20 yards from “Grassland”, The

Risings.  Part of house blown down.  Overhead electric cable damaged.  No casualties.

10/09/1940    05.00  Vange            1 – H.E. exploded in a field at the rear of “Thames

View” Bell Hill Road.  Slight damage to house.  No casualties.

10/09/1940    09.30  Pitsea             1 – H.E. exploded 1/2 mile South of Railway line at

Blue House Farm  Pitsea Marshes.  No damage or casualties.

10/09/1940                Hadleigh        1 A.A. unexploded Shell in the front garden of

“Pinecot” Benfleet Road.  No damage or casualties.

10/09/1940    10.00  Foulness       Body of a German Airman found on the foreshore

Island             of Potton Island.  Parachute attached.  Been in water a few days.  No Identity Card.  Moved to Southend Municipal Hospital Rochford.  Name Horst Klaff.

10/09/1940    16.30  Little Warley  1 – H.E. unexploded in a field opposite Rectory

Chase 300 yards East of the road.  No damage or casualties.

10/09/1940    22.50  Hutton            2 – H.Es exploded in a field 1/4 mile West of

Hutton Rectory.  No damage or casualties.

10/09/1940    23.00  Downham     2 – H.Es exploded, 1 at The Elms, Brook Hill and 1

150 yards West of Brook Hill.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

10/09/1940    23.10  Great Warley 50 – I.Bs in the vicinity of Headley Common.  North

Lodge Warley Place set on fire.  No casualties.

10/09/1940    23.30  Great Warley 1 – H.E. exploded and 1 Oil I.B. burnt out on a

footpath between Holt Farm and Cranham Road.  No damage or casualties.

10/09/1940    23.40  Mountnessing          10 – H.Es, 1 is unexploded in Hare Spring

Wood and 1 Oil I.B. burnt out at Lawness Farm.  No damage or casualties.

10/09/1940    23.45  Mountnessing          1 – H.E. exploded in stack yard at

Mountnessing Hall Farm.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

10/09/1940                Great  1 – A.A. unexploded Shell near a haystack

Burstead        at Granite Chase.  No damage or casualties.

10/09/1940                North              1 – A.A. unexploded Shell 300 yards East of

Benfleet         Fentons Hall.  No damage or casualties.

11/09/1940    00.10  Brentwood     I.Bs ( a number) Baptist Chapel, extensive

damage.  Shenfield Common, no damage.  120 & 125 High Street, slight damage and 2 unexploded I.Bx Running Water Corner.  No damage.  Police property, slight damage.  London Co-operative Stores, Brandons, Woolworths and Ursuline Convent, serious and extensive damage.  Gas Company’s Sports Ground.  No damage.  Also in fields at Coxtie Green.

11/09/1940    00.10  Coxtie Green 10 – H.Es 2 exploded in fields adjoining Coxtie

Green Road Navestock end.  7 unexploded in the vicinity opposite Oakhurst Farm, 1 unexploded 100 yards from the entrance of Giffords Poultry Farm, slight damage to property.  No casualties.  Road closed from the White Horse to Wheelers Corner (road open 14.9.40) 5 of the unexploded H.Es exploded B.D.S. 16.10.41.

11/09/1940    00.30  Canvey          6 – H.Es exploded at Hole Haven Creek.

Island             No damage or casualties

11/09/1940    01.15  Herongate     4 – H.Es exploded and 1 Oil I.B. burnt out in fields

at Fouchers Farm near Reservoir.  No damage or casualties.

11/09/1940    01.30  Dunton          20 – I.Bs burnt out in fields North and South of the

Arterial Road near the Union Jack Café.  No damage or casualties.

11/09/1940    02.00  Great Warley 2 – H.Es exploded in a field 1/4 mile West of the

junction Warley Lane and Codham Hall Lane.  No damage or casualties.

11/09/1940    16.15  Great              British Spitfire crashed and burnt out 200 yards

Burstead        South of Will Farm Church Street.  Pilot baled out safe at Pipps Hill Basildon.

11/09/1940    16.20  Shenfield       British Spitfire crashed.  Machine badly damaged

in field 1/2 mile South West of Palmers Farm.  Pilot safe.

12/09/1940    03.15  Dunton          12 – I.Bs burnt out in fields adjoining Lower Avenue

and Marylands Chase.  No damage or casualties.

12/09/1940   03.15  Nevendon     2 – H.Es unexploded 200 and 250 yards North of

the Arterial Road opposite the Police houses.  No damage or casualties.

12/09/1940                Ramsden       1 – H.E. unexploded near De Beavois Chase.  No

damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 6.3.41

12/09/1940    03.15  North              1 – H.E. unexploded at Brickfields Farm Burnt Mills

Benfleet         Road 150 yards from road.  No damage or casualties.

12/09/1940                Ramsden       1 – H.E. or A.A. unexploded Shell in back garden

of “Rose Lodge”.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 6.3.41

12/09/1940    03.48  Rochford       I.Bs (a number) in a field at the bottom of Oak

Road 200 yards from Railway.  No damage or casualties.

12/09/1940                Rochford       1 – H.E. unexploded 400 yards West of Mucking

Hall Wood.  No damage or casualties.

12/09/1940    04.45  Brentwood     1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in the back garden of

Hills Cottage, Warley Mount.  No damage or casualties.

12/09/1940                Ingrave           1 – H.E. unexploded in a clover field at Thorndon

Park.  No damage or casualties.

13/09/1940    11.30  Laindon         I.Bs (about 100) at Laindon, Langden Hills and Lee

Chapel.  11 houses slightly damaged and 2 seriously.  No casualties

13/09/1940    12.45  East                I.Bs (about 50) in a field at the junction of Tilbury

Horndon        Road and East Horndon round-a-bout.  No damage or casualties.

13/09/1940    12.45  East                5 – H.Es exploded to the rear of a bungalow called

Horndon        “Joslyn” Cadogan Avenue.  No damage or casualties.

13/09/1940                Basildon        1 – H.E. or A.A. unexploded Shell at Canes Farm.

10 yards from bungalow.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 6.3.41

13/09/1940    23.25  Hadleigh        1 – H.E. exploded on path at the Post Office at the

junction of Broughton & London Roads.  Overhead telephone wires down.  Damage to property.  Footpath blocked.  No casualties.

14/09/1940    03.10  Canewdon    I.Bs (about 40) on Marshes between Norpits and

RaypitsFarm.  No damage or casualties.

14/09/1940   03.30  Bowers           1 – H.E. exploded in back garden of 34 Highlands

Gifford            Road Pound Lane.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

14/09/1940    05.20  Canvey          5 – H.Es 1 unexploded in Canvey Island Bus Coy

Island             Garage. Leigh Beck, Point Road.  Road B 1014 closed and 1 in High Beck School grounds.  1 exploded in the mud and 2 on the sea wall near the Casino.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.  Safe B.D.S. 4.11.40 road & school open.

14/09/1940    06.00  Vange            Barrage Balloon grounded near Vange School.

Telephone and electric cables damaged.

14/09/1940               Lee Chapel   1 – H.E. unexploded in a field off Green Lane.  No

damage or casualties,

14/09/1940               Basildon        1 – A.A. unexploded Shell 200 yards South East of

junction Gardeners Lane and Basildon Road at Irverns Farm.  No damage or casualties.

14/09/1940    Vange                        1 – A.A unexploded Shell in garden of “Eden

Lodge” Timberlog Lane.  No damage or casualties.

14/09/1940    16.15  Rochford       British Spitfire crashed and burnt out in a field

adjoining Rochford Aerodrome 100 yards West of Ann Boleyn P.H.  Pilot killed.

14/09/1940   22.00  Hadleigh        2 – H.Es unexploded at the end of Rushbottom

Lane.  No damage or casualties.

14/09/1940   22.00  Wickford        1 – H.E. exploded on a bungalow in Rectory Road.

Extensive damage.  1 slight casualty.

14/09/1940   22.05  North              6 – H.Es 1 unexploded opposite junction of Old

Benfleet         Harrows Road and Arterial Road, 1 unexploded and 1 I.B. burnt out at Bonvilles Farm.  No damage or casualties.  Dealt with by B.D.S. 6.3.41

14/09/1940    23.00  Rochford       1 – H.E. exploded in the garden of a house in

Shopland.  Slight damage to property (Motor cycle blown onto shed roof).  No casualties.

14/09/1940   23.50  Hawkwell       2 – H.Es, 1 unexploded 100 yards West of Church

in a field (exploded at 08.20 the 15.9.40), 1 exploded 250 yards West of the Church.  1 slight casualty.  Church spire broken off.  Damage to a cottage and overhead electric cables.

14/09/1940   23.59  Little Warley  3 – H.Es exploded in a field 1/4 mile East of Hall

Lane and 500 yards South of Arterial Road.  1 cottage slightly damaged.  No casualties.

15/09/1940    14.30  Vange            7 – H.Es unexploded, 1 side of road Claremont

Road, 50 yards South of Clay Hill, 1 in front of “Tolange” Collingwood Road, 1 in garden of “Oaklands” Bull Road, 1 in back garden of “William Cottage” Pitseaville Grove, 1 in orchard at Ravenscourt Drive, 50 yards South of Bull Road, 1 in road outside “St Ives” Rushleigh Drive and 1 in a field off Milemay Road.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 14.10.40

15/09/1940    14.30  Pitsea             5 – H.Es unexploded, 1 in back garden of

“Kamarhate” Stanley Road, 1 in garden of “Kathleen Villa” Pitsea Road, 1 in garden of “Strathlene” The Avenue (safe 1.10.40) 1 in garden of “Herongate” Northlands Drive.  No casualties.  (Area declared safe by B.D.S. 26.9.40 Bull Road, Church Road and Clay Hill open)  No damage.

15/09/1940                Fambridge     1 – H.E. exploded on the sea wall 1/2 mile to the

rear of Fambridge Hall.  No casualties or damage.

15/09/1940    14.30  Pitsea             British Hurricane crashed and burnt out at Majolica

Drive.  Polish Pilot 302 Squadron from Duxford safe.

15/09/1940    14.36  Langdon        German Dornier Bomber crashed and burnt

Hills    out at Gladstone Road.  Crew 3 dead, 1 baled out and captured at Cory Works Thames Haven.

15/09/1940    14.45  Raweth          Flight Lieut. Chopik.  No 76691 A Polish

Pilot from Leckonfield killed at Forty Acres.  Removed to Southend Municipal Hospital Rochford.  No trace of aircraft in this Division.

15/09/1940    14.45  Billericay        British Hurricane crashed and burnt out in Smith’s

meadow, 300 yards West of “Archers Hall”.  Pilot Officer Hessee bailed out safe.

15/09/1940   14.50  Foulness       German Bomber crashed on the mud at Asplins

Island             Head.  Plane 500 yards from sea wall.  Crew 3 injured and 2 uninjured (prisoners),

15/09/1940    14.50  Pitsea             1 – H.E. unexploded on L.M.S. Railway

embankment, 100 yards East of Timberlog Lane Bridge.  No damage or casualties.

15/09/1940    15.30  Herongate     British Hurricane made a forced landing at the rear

of “The Willows Farm”.  Machine and Pilot safe.  Short of petrol.  Took off at 19-40.

15/09/1940    16.50  Basildon        1 – H.E. unexploded in the garden of “Alicia” Clay

Hill.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 5.4.41.

15/09/1940    20.25  Basildon        1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field opposite

Basildon Hall near “Beresford”.  No damage or casualties.  (safe 16.12.40).

16/09/1940    02.40  South Weald 1 – H.E. unexploded in a field adjoining Spital Lane

1/4 mile from A 12.  No damage or casualties.  Lane open disposed of B.D.S. 30.3.41.

16/09/1940                Herongate     1 – A.A. unexploded Shell 14 yards from Billericay

Road opposite Mount Thrift Farm.  No damage or casualties

16/09/1940   11.55  Foulness       8 – H.Es exploded and about 1000 I.Bs burnt out

Island             near Small Gains Farm.  No damage or casualties.

16/09/1940    21.30  Canvey          5 – H.Es exploded near No 8 Gun Site of

Island             167th R.A. Battery at Northwick.  Slight damage to property, 1 slight casualty (a soldier).

16/09/1940    22.35  Brentwood     1 – A.A. Shell exploded by side of Priests Lane.

Slight damage to property.  1 fatal casualty (Mr Burges)

16/09/1940   23.30  Thundersley 1 – H.E. unexploded in a field at rear of “The

Rookery” Church End.  No damage or casualties.

16/09/1940    23.35  Brentwood     5 – H.Es exploded in Mascalls fields.  2 South of

L.N.E.R. and 3 20 yards North of L.N.E.R. 300 yards West of Mascalls Bridge.  Telephone wires down on Railway.  Damage to property.  4 horses wounded one had to be destroyed.

16/09/1940    23.35  Thundersley 1 – H.E. exploded near Nortons Depository, Bread

& Cheese Hill.  Gas main, overhead telephone and electric cables damaged.  London Road partly blocked.  Depository completely wrecked and a bungalow badly damaged.  1 slight casualty (a female)

16/09/1940    23.40  Thundersley 1 – H.E. unexploded in a field East of “Acacia

Lodge” Mount Road (exploded 08-09 the 17th)  No damage or casualties.

16/09/1940    23.45  South             3 – H.Es exploded in a field near Water Tower.  No

Benfleet         damage or casualties.

16/09/1940    23.55  Thundersley 1 – H.E. unexploded between 2nd & 3rd bungalow

Downer Road, South side of Bread & Cheese Hill.  Damage to property and gas main.  No casualties.

16/09/1940    23.55  Brentwood     1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in back garden of

Carlton Mansion Warley Hill.  No damage or casualties.

16/09/1940    Pitsea                         1 – H.E. exploded on Marshes 600 yards North of

Land Reclamation Works.  No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940    00.01  Childerditch  1 – H.E. exploded 200 yards East of Church, also

12 I.Bs in the vicinity and 1 Oil I.B. burnt out in a field 20 yards East of Childerditch Road opposite the Church.  No casualties.  Windows broken in the Rectory.

17/09/1940                Hadleigh        1 – H.E. exploded and 2 Oil I.Bs failed on Marshes.

50 yards from sea wall and 150 yards West of Fambridge Ferry Steps.  Also 7 I.Bs between Droughton, Seymour, London & Chelmsford Road.  No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940    00.30  Hadleigh        I.Bs (a number) at “Olaf” Woodfield Road &

vicinity.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

17/09/1940    03.00  North              2 – H.Es exploded in a field at rear of “Homewood”

Benfleet         Thistle Drive & adjoining South View Avenue.  1  Bungalow badly & others slightly damaged.  No casualties.

17/09/1940    03.00  Langdon        5 – H.Es 3 exploded in fields at junction Lewooton

Hills                Land & 2 unexploded at rear of Fobbing Farm.  No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940    03.30  Bowers           1 – H.E. exploded and 1 I.B. burnt out in a

Gifford            field, 150 yards from Arterial Road in Church Road.  No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940    04.25  Canvey          6 – H.Es exploded, 2 at Westwick Farm, 2 at

Island             Hole Haven Creek and 2 H.Es and 1 Oil I.B. burnt out 50 yards of land side of sea wall, 1 mile North of Lobster Smack.  Also a large number of I.Bs near No 8 Gun Site and at Dutch Village.  Damage to property. 2 slight casualties at Winter Gardens.

17/09/1940                Pilgrims          1 – H.E. exploded near The Forge Coxtie Green

Hatch             Road.  Overhead electric and telephone cables down.  No casualties.

17/09/1940    04.30  Nevendon     2 – H.Es exploded, 1 at Romford Farm and 1

opposite the Post Office.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

17/09/1940                North              2 – A.A. unexploded Shells, 1 is 150 yards North

Benfleet         and 1 1/4 mile North West of “Mona-Bene” Holmfield Avenue.  No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940                Billericay        Three cows electrocuted due to drifting Barrage

Balloon fouling electric cables.

17/09/1940                South             1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in the garden of

Benfleet         “Rosemead” London Road.  No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940    04.30  Pitsea             1 – H.E. exploded in a field at Blue House Farm 20

yards North of Railway and 300 yards West of Church Road.  No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940                Ingrave           1 – H.E. unexploded in Old Hall Wood Thorndon

Park near Hatch Farm (believed fell 12th).  No damage or casualties.  Not dealt with 23.7.41

17/09/1940   04.45  North             I.Bs (a number) near North Benfleet Hall Bardfields

Benfleet         Farm Smith’s Farm, Fanton Hall & Cotswold Farm.  No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940    05.55  South             4 – H.Es exploded in fields at Jotmans Farm.  No

Benfleet         damage or casualties.

17/09/1940    09.20  Rayleigh        3 – H.Es exploded in a Nursery off Downs Road.  1

slight casualty.  Slight damage to property.

17/09/1940    12.28  Pitsea             Body of German Airman found on Marshes behind

the Land Reclamation Works Ltd.  Parachute partly open.  Rank Captain Ludwig Dethner.  Identity Label A.B.L. 51578 Disc 27697

17/09/1940    20.00  Ingrave           1 – H.E. unexploded 500 yards to rear of Thrift

Cottage.  Also 1 A.A. unexploded Shell in Thrift Wood behind Thrift Cottage Hanging Wood Lane.  No damage or casualties.  A.A. B.D.S. 2.12.40?

17/09/1940   20.30  Herongate     1 – Oil I.B. burnt out in garden of “Berrie House”.

No damage or casualties.

17/09/1940   20.50  Shenfield       1 – H.E. exploded in garden of “Clifton House”

Worrin Road.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

17/09/1940   20.50  Ingrave           2 -H.Es exploded near The Rectory.  Damage to

property.  Electric and telephone cables down.  1 slight casualty.

17/09/1940   21.00  Crays Hill       1 – H.E. exploded in a garden of “Outlands”

Gardeners Lane.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

17/09/1940    21.10  Basildon        1 – H.E. exploded near The Rectory.  Water and

Gas mains damaged.  Sewer damaged.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

17/09/1940    21.20  Basildon        2 – H.Es unexploded in fields at Bury Farm, 1 West

side of Gardeners Lane, 500 yards North of Arterial Road and 1 120 yards South of Farm.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    00.05  Shenfield       2 – H.Es exploded at “Hillrise” & “Kynnersley”

Worrin Road.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

18/09/1940    00.15  Brentwood     1 – H.E. unexploded in a field at Calcott Hall Farm

Ongar Road.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940   01.35  North              1 – H.E. exploded in a field at Bardfield Farm.  2

Benfleet         Poultry houses destroyed and windows broken in bungalow.  No casualties.

18/09/1940    01.35  Vange            1 – H.E. exploded 50 yards South of Railway line

and 2 Oil I.Bs burnt out in fields 50 yards East of “Gordon House” Timberlog Lane.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    01.40  Pitsea             1 – H.E. exploded in a field at May Farm Briscoe

Road.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940   01.48  Pitsea             1 – H.E. exploded in a field 200 yards from

Felmores Farm Briscoe Road.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

18/09/1940    02.15  Great Warley I.Bs (a number) in vicinity of Headley Common.

Hedge on fire.  No casualties.

18/09/1940   03.00  Raweth          I.Bs (a number) burnt out in fields at Humas’s

Farm Water Lane.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    03.15  South Weald 2 – H.Es unexploded and 1 Oil I.B. burnt out in

fields at Boyles Court.  Water main damaged.  No casualties.

18/09/1940    03.45  Canvey          I.Bs (a number) burnt out at Hole Haven Creek.

Island             No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    12.30  Nevendon     1 – H.E. exploded in a field 120 yards at rear of

Police houses.  Slight damage to Police property.  No casualties.

18/09/1940    16.00  Hawkwell       1 – Cannon Shell unexploded in garden of

“Eltham”.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940                Basildon        1 – A.A. unexploded Shell 100 yards North of

Rectory Road.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940   17.20  Hadleigh        1 – H.E. exploded in a field on West Hill Salvation

Army Colony, 200 yards North of Railway lines.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    17.30  Rayleigh        German Airman landed by parachute in a field by

Old Barn Farm Wickford Road.  Abrasions on face.

18/09/1940    17.30  Bowers           German Junkers 88 bomber crashed and burnt out

Gifford            on Marshes South of Railway lines and 1 mile West of Church.  Crew 2 bailed out.  1 Jacob Wene 28 years safe at Maldon, 1 dead at Vange and Gefrey Hans Bushbeck 23 years dead at Billericay Hospital.

18/09/1940    17.30  Thundersley German Airman’s broken parachute straps found

in garden of “Great Tarpots”.  Thought to belong to the dead German at Vange.

18/09/1940                Canvey          1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field 300 yards from

Island             Central Avenue Winter Gardens.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    20.30  Great Warley 6 – H.Es exploded in vicinity of Susses Road.  6

slight casualties.  Extensive damage to property.

18/09/1940               Rochford       1 – A.A. unexploded Shell on path in allotments at

back of Slomans Cottage Ashingdon Road.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    20.30  Brentwood     2 – H.Es 1 exploded and 1 unexploded in a field off

Honeypot Lane 20 yards North and 400 yards East of Hill Road.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940                Vange            1 – H.E. unexploded in a field 50 yards South of

Railway Lines Timberlog Lane.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    20.30  Brentwood     1 – H.E. exploded in a disused well at rear of 22

Cromwell Road.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    20.32  Shenfield       I.Bs (a number) on Shenfield Common on grounds

of Ursuline Convent & Cornslands.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    20.45  South Weald 1 – H.E. exploded in a field North of Half-way

House Farm 150 yards from Weald Road.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    20.58  Rayleigh        A German white silk parachute found at Walfords

Farm Hullbridge Road.

18/09/1940   22.30  Mountnessing          1 – A.A. unexploded Shell 15 yards to rear

of 5 Tobey Lane.  In a field of Bakers Farm.  No damage or casualties.

18/09/1940    23.15  Brentwood     1 – H.E. unexploded behind Sports Pavilion on Gas

Company Sports Ground.  No damage or casualties.

19/09/1940    00.30  Little Warley  4 – H.Es exploded in a field North side of Arterial

Road 1 is 200 yards East and the remainder 500 yards West of Warley Street.  No damage or casualties.

19/09/1940    04.00  Hutton             2 – H.Es unexploded, 1 in garden of “Normanhurst”

and 1 in garden of next house.  No damage or casualties.  (Disposed of by B.D.S. 18.10.40?)

19/09/1940    04.00  Shenfield       1 – H.E. unexploded in garden of “Oddicom”

Shenfield Gardens.  No damage or casualties

19/09/1940    04.00  Hutton             7 – H.Es unexploded at Hutton Residential

Schools.  1 through a shelter causing 3 slight casualties.  Slight damage to property.  B.D.S. ?  Some outstanding.

19/09/1940    04.00  Wickford        10 – H.Es, 1 is unexploded.  All in fields 100 yards

from Cemetery Nevendon Road.  No damage or casualties.  17.1.41 B.D.S.

19/09/1940               Wickford        2 – H.Es exploded in a field near “Brentford Lodge”

Nevendon Road.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.

19/09/1940    05.00  Brentwood     1 – H.E. exploded 30 yards North of Railway lines

near Nags Head Lane.  No damage or casualties.

19/09/1940   05.00  Little Warley  3 – H.Es exploded, 1 on road and 2 in fields 150

yards West of Warley Crossroads.  Up track S.L.T.  Telephone cables damaged.  No casualties.

19/09/1940   14.00  Basildon        1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field at Friens Farm

400 yards South West of Farm house.  No damage or casualties.

19/09/1940    21.30  Ramsden       1 – H.E. exploded at rear of “Cassels” Church

Bell House    Road.  Slight damage to property No casualties.

19/09/1940    21.40  Crays Hill       1 – Oil I.B. burnt out in garden of “Woodside”

London Road.  No damage or casualties.

19/09/1940    21.40  Foulness       2 – H.Es 1 exploded and 1 unexploded and 1 I.B.

Island             burnt out at Nazewick Farm.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 8.11.41

19/09/1940    21.45  Crays Hill       3 – H.Es exploded on main road.  Crays Hill.  Road

blocked for 500 yards West of Gardeners Lane A.129.  Water and gas mains damaged.  No casualties.

19/09/1940    21.48  North              3 – H.Es 2 exploded and 1 unexploded in Little

Benfleet         Hills meadow Fanton Hall Farm.  1  two near Pylon SEE/PD.11.  Unexploded 50 yards South of Railway bridge (taken away by B.D.S. 12.10.40).  No damage or casualties.

19/09/1940    21.50  Doddinghurst            I.Bs (a number) in fields between Outings

Land & Church Lane.  No damage or casualties.

19/09/1940    22.05  Downham     I.Bs ( a number) in fields near Hawkeswood Road

& De Beanwood Lane Crows Heath.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940    00.45  Pitsea             1 – H.E. unexploded 3/4 mile along inner wall of

Small Gains Creek, East of “Creek House”.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940    01.00  Basildon        1 – H.E. exploded at “Gordon Lodge” Rectory

Road.  House demolished.  Road blocked (open 20.9.40).  Water and gas mains damaged, electric cables down.  Slight damage to other houses, 2 slight casualties (shock).

20/09/1940   01.30  Bowers           1 – H.E. exploded 40 yards North of Laindon Road

Gifford            and 70 yards East of Sadlers Farm.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940    03.15  Vange            1 – H.E. exploded in a field at Marsh Farm

Brickfields Road.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940    04.00  Bowers           2 – H.Es exploded 400 yards South and 250

Gifford            yards South West of Smoky Farm.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940    04.49  Canvey          I.Bs (a number) at Waterside Farm.  No damage or

Island             casualties.

20/09/1940    04.50  Canvey          2 – H.Es exploded 300 yards East of No 8 Gun Site

Island             Northwick.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940    05.00  Canvey          I.Bs (a number) in fields at Leeches Farm.  No

Island             damage or casualties.

20/09/1940    22.50  Wickford        I.Bs (a number) 75 yards East of Railway Station,

No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940                Brentwood     1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in garden of 88 Costead

Manor Road.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940               Little Warley  1 – H.E. unexploded in a field 300 yards South of

“Beredens” Front Lane.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 3.5.41.

20/09/1940                Ingrave           1 H.E. unexploded in a field at Botany Hill Farm,

35 yards East of Blind Lane & 300 yards North of Botany Hill.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940   23.00  Crays Hill       I.Bs (a number) burnt out in a field off Church

Lane.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940   23.00  Mountnessing          1 – H.E. unexploded in a field North East of

Westlands Farm.  No damage or casualties.

20/09/1940   23.15  Wickford        I.Bs (a number) at rear of “The Chase” London

Road.  No damage or casualties.

21/09/1940    03.00  Great              1 – H.E. unexploded in a field at Stony Hills Farm.

Warley            No damage or casualties.

21/09/1940    03.00  Little                2 – H.Es 1 exploded and 1 unexploded on

Burstead        greensward 400 yards North of junction Dunton and Rectory Roads.  Slight damage to road (the unexploded H.E. exploded 5.10.40 road open).  No casualties.

21/09/1940    03.30  Pitsea             The roof of 8 houses damaged by shrapnel from

A.A. gun fire at Howards Crescent.  No casualties.

21/09/1940   04.00  East                1 – H.E. unexploded on footpath South side of

Horndon        Arterial Road 300 yards East of Moor Lane.  (A.127 closed).  Telephone cables down.  No casualties.

21/09/1940    04.00  Billericay        I.Bs (a number) at Outward Farm.  No damage or

casualties.

21/09/1940    04.20  Crays Hill       I.Bs (a number) between Crays Hall Farm and

“The Parsonage”.  Slight damage to Crays Hall.  No casualties.

21/09/1940               Shenfield       1 – H.E. unexploded under floor of room of “Tirley”

Priests Lane.  Damage to property.  No casualties.  (removed 8.10.40 by B.D.S.)

21/09/1940    20.30  Wickford        1 – H.E. exploded in mid-air at “Westview”, The

Chase London Road.  1 slight casualty.  Slight damage to property.

21/09/1940    21.30  Hockley          1 parachute mine unexploded in garden of

“Mornings Quest” Aldermans Hill Road B.1013 blocked.  No damage or casualties.  (Rendered harmless by Admiralty 22nd removed 24th)

21/09/1940   21.45  Great Warley 2 – H.Es exploded near the Church, Warley Street.

Structural damage doors and windows blown in.  Slight damage to cottages.  No casualties.

21/09/1940    22.00  South             2 – Parachute mines, 1 exploded and 1

Fambridge     unexploded on Beckney Marshes.  11/4 miles South West of South Fambridge Ferry Steps (the unexploded was exploded by B.D.S. 6.10.40).  No damage or casualties.

21/09/1940    22.09  Rayleigh        1 – Parachute mine unexploded at entrance of the

Recreation ground.  (Rendered harmless by Admiralty 22nd).  No damage or casualties.

21/09/1940    22.20  Basildon        Damage to roof of Post Office Church Road by

shrapnel  No casualties.

21/09/1940    22.28  Wickford        1 – Parachute mine exploded 100 yards West of

Elder Avenue.  Damage to property, 3 slight casualties.

21/09/1940   22.35  Nevendon     1 – Parachute mine exploded in mid-air 50 yards

South of Nevendon Hall Farm.  No damage or casualties.

21/09/1940    22.50  Laindon         1 – Parachute mine unexploded 75 yards North

West end of Bourne Avenue (exploded by Admiralty 27th).  Extensive damage to property.  No casualties.

21/09/1940               South             1 – Parachute mine unexploded at Jotmans Lane

Benfleet         300 yards from Railway bridge and 40 feet from Railway.  Train service suspended  (rendered harmless by Admiralty and burnt by B.D.S. 7.10.40)  No damage or casualties.

21/09/1940    23.00  Basildon        1 – Parachute mine exploded 50 yards West of

Honeypot Lane Basildon Road (rendered safe by Admiralty 26th and burnt by B.D.S. 26th November 1940)  No damage or casualties.

21/09/1940    23.00  Basildon        1 – Parachute mine unexploded in a field 70 yards

East of Honeypot Lane.  No parachute attached (rendered safe by Admiralty 23rd and destroyed by burning by B.D.S. 7.10.40).  No damage or casualties.

21/09/1940   23.00  Laindon         1 – Parachute mine unexploded in a field North

side of Dunton Road 300 yards West of Fortune-of-War P.H.  (Dunton Road blocked between Fortune-of-War and Rectory Road)  Mine exploded 16-00 the 22nd.  Damage to 30 houses 2 children killed (Patrick G Cooksey, 15 years and James H Howard 14 year)  Identification circumstantial.

22/09/1940    00.27  Canvey          1 – H.E. exploded on a domestic shelter in garden

Island                         of “Fenwick” Church Parade Winter Gardens.  Damage to property.  No casualties.

22/09/1940    21.00  Pilgrims          1 – H.E. unexploded in part of field 200 yards North

Hatch             of White Horse P.H. and 300 yards from road.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940    08.30  Laindon         Electric cables damaged by shrapnel from A.A.

gun fire in Elizabeth Drive 100 yards East of Northumberland Avenue.  No casualties.

23/09/1940               Laindon         1 – H.E. exploded in a field 300 yards South of

Arterial Road and 50 yards West of Lower Dunton Road.  Slight damage to property, no casualties.

23/09/1940               Coxtie Green 1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field 100 yards

South of Coxtie Green Road and 100 yards East of Park Lane.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940               North              1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a ditch on North side

Benfleet         of Burnt Mills Road.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940                Great Warley 1 – H.E. and 1 – A.A. Shell both unexploded in

garden of “Woodside Cottage” Warley Road Upminster Common.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940   21.30  Little Warley  1 – Parachute mine exploded near Little Warley

Hall.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940    21.30  South Weald 1 – H.E. unexploded in Workers field 100 yards

from Lincoln Road and 100 yards from Workers Cottage.  No damage or casualties (exploded by B.D.S. 24.9.40).

23/09/1940    21.30  Coxtie Green 1 – H.E. unexploded in a field 200 yards West of

Lincoln Farm.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940    Night  Vange            Horse killed by shrapnel 4 inches long through

corrugated iron roof of stables at “Longmond” Ravens Court Drive.

23/09/1940   22.30  South Weald I.Bs (a number) in fields and gardens at Weald

Side.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940    22.30  Shenfield       3 – H.Es exploded and 3 Oil I.Bs burnt out in fields

at Palmers Farm.  4 cows, 2 heifers and 1 bullock slaughtered and 1 heifer slightly injured.

23/09/1940                Mountnessing          1 – H.E. unexploded at South West corner

of field at junction of Mountnessing Road and Padhams corner near Buttsbury Wash.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940   22.35  Herongate     3 – H.Es exploded in a field 30 yards South of “Old

Ship Cottage” Hatch Farm.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940               Mountnessing          3 – H.Es exploded in a field 500 yards East

of Westland Farm.  No damage or casualties.

23/09/1940   23.40  Billericay        1 – H.E. exploded and 1 Oil I.B. burnt out on lawn

of “Norsey Manor”  Slight damage to property, no casualties.

23/09/1940    23.59  Billericay        2 – H.Es exploded in gardens of “Belvedere” and

“Banlah” Jacksons Lane.  Shed demolished and slight damage to other property.  No casualties.

23/09/1940   24.00  Ingrave           1 – H.E. exploded in a field 40 yards from

Childerditch Hall and 2 Oil I.Bs burnt out in Wilson’s Orchard Childerditch.  No damage or casualties.

24/09/1940    08.45  Herongate     1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in garden of “Lokaja”

No damage or casualties.

24/09/1940    09.00  Billericay        A British aeroplane engine found in a field 300

yards West of Mill Hill Wood.

24/09/1940    09.30  East Horndon           1 – A.A. unexploded Shell near hedge on

West side of Moor Lane opposite Folfs Farm (road closed) open 18-10 24th.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 16.10.41

24/09/1940                Laindon         1 – A.A. exploded Shell in garden of

“Avonlea” Highwich Drive Primrose Estate.  No damage or casualties.

24/09/1940    20.45  Raweth          11 – H.Es 1 exploded between Council houses and

Gooses Cottages, 8 exploded and 2 unexploded in fields between Burrels Farm and Beeches Road Crossing Road A. 130.  No damage or casualties.  (Unexploded disposed of by B.D.S. 4.10.40)

24/09/1940                Coxtie Green 2 – A.A. unexploded Shells at Coxtie Green Farm,

100 yards from road.

24/09/1940   21.30  Great Warley 1 – Parachute mine unexploded in Hartswood.  No

damage or casualties.  (exploded 29th by R.Es damage to property).

24/09/1940   21.45  Little Warley  Damage to roof and windows at Little Warley Hall

and cottages nearby.  Cause (H.E. on Upminster beat. No casualties.

24/09/1940   21.45  East Horndon           2 – H.Es exploded on permanent way of

LMSR 200 yards West of bridge over Little Warley Lane.  Light engine derailed.  No casualties.  (Line open 26th)

24/09/1940    22.00  Wickford        2 – H.Es exploded in a field West of 5th Avenue

Shotgate.  No damage or casualties.

24/09/1940    22.55  Little                1 – Parachute mine exploded in a field 400 yards

Burstead        South West of St Margarettes Farm.  6 sheep destroyed.

24/09/1940    23.05  Little                I.Bs ( a number) in fields at Botony Hill Farm.  No

Burstead        damage or casualties.

24/09/1940    23.10  Crays Hill       1 – Parachute mine unexploded 30 yards from a

house and 100 yards South of A.129 Wickford to Billericay (road blocked)  (exploded 4.10.40 by B.D.S.)  Telephone wires down 50 houses damaged, 7 seriously.   No casualties.

25/09/1940   08.05  Hutton            1 – A.A. unexploded Shell 20 yards North of Collins

Farm.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 30.4.41

25/09/1940                Laindon         1 – A.A. unexploded 70 yards South of junction Dry

Street and Leawooton.  No damage or casualties.

25/09/1940                Laindon         1 – A.A. unexploded Shell on footpath outside

“Fraji”.  No damage or casualties.

25/09/1940    13.30  Raweth          1 – H.E. exploded 100 yards East of Highlands

Farm.  No damage or casualties.

25/09/1940   21.30  Coxtie Green 2 – H.Es exploded in a field opposite Gilstead Hall

300 yards from road on Mc Turks land.  No damage or casualties.

25/09/1940   22.30  Mountnessing          1 – Parachute mine exploded in mid-air over

fields at rear of Woodlands Farm.  No damage or casualties.

25/09/1940   22.30  Mountnessing          1 – Parachute mine unexploded in a field at

rear of Bullmans Farm Swallows Cross.  No damage or casualties.

25/09/1940   23.20  Billericay        1 – Parachute mine exploded in mid-air between

Mountnessing Road and Western Road.  No damage or casualties.

25/09/1940    23.25  Billericay        1 – Parachute mine exploded at rear of “Kiaora”

South Green 1 slight casualty 25 houses badly damaged.

25/09/1940   23.30  Great              1 – Parachute mine exploded 100 yards South of

Burstead        road A.129, opposite Culle’s Metal Works.  Factory damaged extensive damage to houses.  40 people homeless, 6 slight casualties.

26/09/1940    01.15  Foulness       8 – H.Es exploded near Military Road at Landwick.

Island             No damage or casualties.

26/09/1940    02.15  Vange            1 – H.E. exploded in garden of “Parva” South View

Road.  Extensive damage to property.  No casualties.

26/09/1940               Little                1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in garden of “Clements”

Burstead        Broomhill Estate.  No damage or casualties.

26/09/1940                Pitsea             1 – A.A. unexploded Shell 500 yards North of Land

Reclamation Works Ltd. And 400 yards East of Sea Transport Stores.  No damage or casualties.

26/09/1940    15.25  Basildon        1 – H.E. exploded in a field 500 yards North West

of junction Gardeners & Rectory Lanes.  No damage or casualties.

26/09/1940                Great Warley 1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field 40 yards South

of Codham Hall Lane and 1/4 mile West of Warley Street.  No damage or casualties.

26/09/1940    21.40  Vange            1- Parachute mine exploded in a field at Tomkins

Farm 600 yards from A.13.  1 horse and 7 cows killed others injured.  Extensive damage to property.

26/09/1940    22.00  Downham     1 – Parachute mine exploded near “Kites”.  No

damage or casualties.

26/09/1940   22.00  Ramsden       1 – Parachute mine exploded in a field 300 yards

Heath East of Church Road.  Damage to Police houses.  No casualties.

26/09/1940    22.00  Laindon         1 – Parachute mine unexploded in a field between

Leatwooton Lane and Bell Hill Road 600 yards North of Dry Street.  Road closed.  (rendered safe by Admiralty 27th, road open exploded 5.10.40.  No damage or casualties.

27/09/1940    02.00  Pitsea             3 – H.Es exploded on Marshes 1/4 mile East of

Sea Transport Stores.  No damage or casualties.

27/09/1940                Hutton            1 – H.E. exploded 100 yards North and 1 – A.A.

unexploded Shell 1/4 mile West of Cresseys Farm.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 30.4.41

27/09/1940                Thundersley Damage to roof and property by shrapnel at

“Highfield” Rayleigh Road.  No casualties.

27/09/1940    Night  Brentwood     1 – Parachute mine unexploded in Donkeyland

Plantation.  No damage or casualties.  (exploded by R.Es 29th Damage to surrounding property).

27/09/1940               East                1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field 1/4 mile East of

Horndon        Dunton Hills Farm house.  No damage or casualties.

28/09/1940    01.25  Ramsden       2 – H.Es exploded.  1 Fourty acre plantation and 1

Heath             in field off Outward Common Road.  Slight damage to property.  Telephone wires down.  No casualties.

28/09/1940    02.15  Great Warley I.Bs (a number) in vicinity of Woodman Road and

Headley Chase.  No damage or casualties.

28/09/1940    02.20  Downham     5 – H.Es exploded. 1 is 10 feet from Railway 300

yards West of Castledon Road Bridge and 4 in lane to “De Beavoir House”.  Extensive damage to property.  No casualties.

28/09/1940   04.00  Pitsea             No 4 Haywards Crescent (Council Property)

damaged by shrapnel to roof.  No casualties.

28/09/1940    04.05  Ramsden       I.Bs (a number) in a field 1/4 mile North of the

Heath             Searchlight Post near Mill Lane.  “Longleigh” a bungalow burnt out.  No casualties.

28/09/1940    09.00  East                1 -A.A. unexploded Shell in a field 100 yards North

Horndon        of L.M.S. Railway and 100 yards West of Hall Lane.  No damage or casualties.

28/09/1940   23.10  Thundersley Roof of “Hillside” Rayleigh Road damaged by

shrapnel.  No casualties.

29/09/1940    06.45  Rayleigh        1 – I.B burnt out in a garden at rear of bungalow in

Nelson Road.  No damage or casualties.

29/09/1940    07.15  Hockley          I.Bs (a number) burnt out in fields of Lovedowns

Farm Lower Road.  Also machine gunning of cattle and buildings.  No damage or casualties.

29/09/1940                Rayleigh        1 – I.B. unburnt in hedge at Trinity Road.  No

damage or casualties.  (deposited at Rochford Police Station)

29/09/1940                South             1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field at “Rochetts”

Weald             Near Searchlight Post 30 yards from road.  No                                                              damage or casualties.

30/09/1940                Great Warley 1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field 10 yards South

East of electric light pole at corner of wood near “Warley Lodge” stables.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 28.4.41

30/09/1940    17.35  Nevendon     Parachute of pilot and engine of a Spitfire which

crashed 5.9.40, found in a field at Nevendon.

The Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain has been described as the first major military campaign fought entirely in the air. The Royal Air Force (RAF) defended Britain against large scale attacks by the Luftwaffe, Germany’s air force. The battle’s duration lasted from 10th July 1940 until the 30th October 1940 which was overlapped by the period of The Blitz. Lasting from the 7th September 1940 until the 11th May 1941 the Blitz was an attack of continued night-time bombing operations on Britain when daylight attacks proved to be unsustainable. The Battle of Britain and the Blitz marked the first major defeat of Germany’ military forces when their operations failed to give Germany air superiority over Britain. The planned land invasion of Britain, code-named Operation Sea Lion, was cancelled on 17th September 1940 and was never put into action.

——————————–

With the fall of France in June 1940, German dictator Adolf Hitler wanted to humiliate France by having them sign the surrender document in the same carriage and the same siding that Germany had signed the Armistice in 1918. Hitler then turned his attention to Britain where he believed he could attain a swift victory to concentrate on territories to the east. He ordered the occupation of the Channel Islands. On the 28th June 1940 the Germans bombed the islands and full occupation was completed by the 4th July 1940. The Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to be occupied.

On the 2nd July 1940 Hitler ordered the German “High Command of the Armed Forces” to begin preliminary planning for the invasion of Britain code-named Operation Sea Lion. The Luftwaffe bombed the Welsh city of Cardiff on the 3rd, 10th and 12th July 1940 with the dock areas primarily the target as they were the largest coal-port in the world. Cardiff was confirmed as the capital of Wales in 1955.

Further bombing by the Luftwaffe targeting mainly coastal-shipping convoys and ports began on the 10th July1940. The Royal Air Force (RAF) defended the attacks on the south coast. The forthcoming battle took its name from Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s speech to the House of Commons on the 18th June 1940. Churchill’s speech was – “What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin”.

Failure to achieve air superiority and bad weather over the Channel resulted in the postponement, on the 5th August 1940, of the invasion of Britain. The Battle of Britain began on the 13th August 1940 when the Luftwaffe began a two week assault which focussed their bombing raids on British airfields and radar stations in preparation for an invasion. German bombers, even though they had fighter escorts, took massive losses when British fighters were waiting for them owing to the information received from their radar stations. Downed RAF pilots on home soil could fight again while German pilots became prisoners of war. By the 15th August 1940 the Luftwaffe abandoned the air attacks on the radar stations to concentrate on RAF bases. They were hampered by poor aircraft range and the British extensive use of radar.

In a speech to the House of Commons on the 20th August 1940 Churchill gave his famous speech about “The Few” referring to the RAF crews who were fighting the Battle of Britain.

On the 25th August 1940 the Luftwaffe bombed St. Giles Cripplegate Church located in the City of London at Moorgate. Whether the bombing was deliberate or not will never be known but the target was well away from any industrial sites. On the 25th August 1940 Churchill ordered the bombing of Berlin as retaliation and on the 26th August 1940 British bombers flew over for the first time. Only superficial damage was done but the raid was a success. Inefficient use of searchlights and anti-aircraft guns enabled the British bombers to return

On the 3rd September 1940 having failed to gain control of the skies over Britain Hitler ordered a postponement of the invasion of Britain. By the 10th September 1940 Hitler agreed the invasion should begin on the 14th September 1940. The navy proposed a revised date of the 24th September 1940 as they did not have sufficient landing craft ready and were waiting for the correct tides in the Channel and hoping for decent weather. In the meantime, the Luftwaffe was instructed to intensify the air raids on Britain. By the 17th September 1940 Hitler was convinced Operation Sea Lion was not viable and therefore postponed the invasion of Britain indefinitely.

On the 10th September 1940 the Corpa Aereo Itataliano (CAI) was formed after Italian dictator Benito Mussolini insisted an element of the Italian Air Force should assist his German ally during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.

On the night of the 24th /25th October 1940 the Italian Air Force conducted their first raid on Britain when they attacked Harwich and Felixstowe. Their next major operations on the 29th October 1940 when Italian bombers escorted by fighter aircraft bombed Ramsgate.

The Battle of Britain ended on the 31st October 1940 when just 3000 RAF pilots broke the will of the Luftwaffe. The bombing raids were changed from day-light to night-time attacks against London on the 7th September 1940 known as the Blitz.

——————————–

BATTLE OF BRITAIN DAY

Battle of Britain Day is given to the day of the large-scale aerial battle that took place on the 15th September 1940. The climax of the Battle of Britain was when the Luftwaffe embarked on a large all-out attack against London where 1,500 aircraft took part in the air battles, which lasted until dusk. The designated annual commemoration of BATTLE OF BRITAIN DAY is therefore the 15th September.

——————————–

 

 

THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

A major part of the naval history of the Second World War was the Battle of the Atlantic. Included in this theatre of war was the North Sea. The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign running from 1939 to the defeat of Germany in 1945.

—————

1940

(July to December)

On the 2nd July 1940 Adolf Hitler ordered the German High Command to prepare for Operation Sea Lion. Part of the preparation was that minefields and U-boats would be positioned in the English Channel to limit the threat posed by the Royal Navy.

—————–

On the 1st August 1940 the Italian Royal Navy established a submarine base at Betasom near Bordeaux. In accordance with the signing of the Pact of Steel with Germany in June 1939, Italy was expected to participate in the Battle of the Atlantic when they entered the war in June 1940 on the side of the Germans.

A British destroyer flotilla sailed from Immingham to the Dutch coast to lay mines on the 31st August 1940. Reconnaissance aircraft had located a German force heading for Britain. The flotilla was ordered to intercept but before engaging with the enemy they ran into an unchartered minefield. Two destroyers were sunk and another had to be towed back to their base. The German invasion force turned out to be a small mine-laying unit transferring from Cuxhaven to Rotterdam.

American President Roosevelt approved the “Destroyer for Bases Agreement” on the 30th August 1940. America exchanged fifty destroyers for the right to operate, either naval or air bases, on nine various British colonies near the U.S. eastern coastline.

—————–

In the month of October 1940 German U-boats inflicted heavy convoy losses in the Atlantic as they sank 39 allied vessels.

—————–

Acting Captain Edward Steven Fogarty Fegan was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the 5th November 1940. Fegan commanded the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay who was escorting a convoy of thirty seven ships in the North Atlantic. When they were attacked by German pocket Battleship Admiral Scheer, Jervis Bay immediately engaged with the enemy head on and maintained an unequal battle for three hours. This engagement gave the convoy time to scatter. When the out-gunned and burning Jervis Bay finally sank, the badly wounded Fegan went down with his ship.

—————–

During the course of December 1940 a total of forty one ships (234,707 tons) were sunk by German U-boats with a further nine ships (73,141 tons) damaged. The total number of ships damaged or sunk in 1940 was five hundred and sixty three.

 

 

.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR September 1940

 

THE SECOND WORLD WAR September 1940

(Britain)

Radio Belgique was established on the 18th September`1940 and the first broadcast from the BBC in London was on the 28th September 1940 to Nazi-occupied Belgium. The broadcast was in French and Dutch with Victor de Laveleye in control of the French service and Jan Moedwil in control of the Dutch service. The Germans immediately created a collaborationist radio station to the Belgian audience to obviate the potential effect Radio Belgique could have on their control of information broadcasted to the occupied country.

On the 23rd September 1940 the British and Free French Force troops attempted landing at the port of Dakar in French West Africa. Brigadier Charles de Gaulle believed he could persuade the Vichy French forces in Dakar to join the Allies as this would have caused a great deal of political upset for the Vichy French colony. To achieve this the Allies decided to send a task force, accompanied by the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal, to Dakar with orders to negotiate with the Vichy French governor for a peaceful occupation. If this proved not to be successful the city would be taken by force. British Fleet Air Arm aircraft dropped propaganda leaflets over Dakar followed by Free French aircraft flying off HMS Ark Royal and landing at Dakar airport and whose crews were immediately taken prisoner. A boat with a representative of General de Gaulle entered the port but it was fired on by the Vichy French defenders. An engagement between the British fleet and the shore batteries lasted for several hours. Vichy destroyer L’Audacieux was hit and had to be beached and two Vichy submarines were sunk. Overall, the attack on Dakar did not go well for the Allies as the Vichy forces did not back down. Of the Allied battleships, HMS Resolution was torpedoed and HMS Barham was hit by two shells from the shore batteries. British cruisers HMS Australia and Cumberland were also damaged. Simultaneously an attempt was made by Free French troops to attack coastal defences but fog and the Vichy defenders continued to halt the attack. Eventually General de Gaulle called off the assault on the 25th September 1940, leaving Dakar and French West Africa in Vichy hands.

 

King George VI inaugurated the award of the George Cross on the 24th September 1940 in recognition of the bravery of civilians. An important factor for keeping up public morale was when the King and Queen Elizabeth stayed in London during the Blitz. On the 10th September 1940 Buckingham Palace was bombed and the Royal Chapel was destroyed on the 13th September 1940. After the raids Queen Elizabeth declared:  “I’m glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face”. German dictator Adolf Hitler considered the Queen ‘to be the most dangerous woman in Europe’ with her ability to boost the morale of her citizens during their darkest hour.

Following the attack by the Germans and retaliation by the British for the bombing of Cripplegate Church in London in August 1940, Britain began large scale bombing raids on Berlin in September 1940. Little damage was achieved owing to inferior nocturnal navigation and bomb aiming and daylight raids produced unacceptable heavy losses to British aircraft. Following the fall of France, Britain had no other means of carrying the war to Germany and therefore bombing was seen as the only option. When the Second World War began American President Roosevelt requested that all major participants confined their air raids to military targets. America it this stage of the war was neutral. Britain and France agreed to this request providing their opponents did the same.

September 1940 saw the escalation of heavy losses to convoys in the Atlantic by German U-boats. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote that “the only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril”. While Britain was winning the Battle of Britain in the air the U-boats, using their brand new bases in France, attacked ships almost at will. The Royal Navy was at full stretch with patrolling the Atlantic and the Mediterranean since Italy had joined forces with Germany.  For the first time in September 1940 the U-boats began using “wolf pack” tactics to attack convoys sailing from North America to Britain. The convoys at times suffered as much as 20% losses of heavily-laden cargo ships.  During the period from July to September 1940 German naval commanders referred to these times as “the happy time” with the main target being oil tankers. The highest recorded losses were 11 ships on the 26th September 1940 and 12 ships on the 7th September 1940.

———-

(France)

In retaliation for the assault on Dakar by the Allies on the 24th September 1940 the Vichy French Air Force, based in North Africa, bombed the British base at Gibraltar. Fifty aircraft dropped 150 bombs on the dockyards and harbour and on the 25th September 1940 a further one hundred aircraft dropped 300 bomb on the same targets. Some damage was caused but there were few casualties suffered as most of the bombs missed their targets.

———-

(Germany)

On the 1st September 1940 the German government ordered all Jewish people to wear yellow stars of David. After the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, France and Belgium during May/June 1940, anti-Jewish policies were gradually implemented. Racial legislation and discrimination became more prevalent with all Jews forced to register with the German authorities. The dispossession of Jewish assets was the beginning of the preparation for the deportation to the Death Camps.

Hitler called for Operation Sea Lion to be postponed on the 3rd September 1940. Operation Sea Lion was the German codename for the invasion of Britain. With the Luftwaffe struggling for air supremacy over Britain, Germany was ill-prepared for an invasion. They were ill-prepared because of the waning strength of the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine (Germany Navy) having suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Norway a few months earlier. Without any practical experience to land an amphibious attack, and lacking purpose built landing craft, the Kriegsmarine assembled over 2,000 river barges which would need to be towed by tugs. Although modified the barges had poor seagoing characteristics totally unsuitable for the bad weather that can occur in the English Channel in September. By early September 1940 Germany had also assembled 168 transport ships. For the tides to be right to facilitate landing troops on the south coast of England they would have to wait until late September 1940. The invasion was not a practical proposition and was postponed.

The invasion plans having been suspended, Hitler turned his attention to destroying London in an attempt to demoralise the population and force the British to come to terms. Hitler’s determination to disable Britain may actually have strengthened Britain’s determination to fight. From the 7th September 1940 bombing raids on London began. German Dictator Adolf Hitler had ordered a new policy the previous day that the strategy, known as “The Blitz”, whereby London was to be attacked in order to draw RAF Fighter Command away from the airfields of southern England. London was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe for 56 out of the following 57 days or nights.

The German high command had agreed the invasion of Britain should begin on the 14th September 1940. The navy made revisions to their schedule and set the date back until the 24th September 1940 when the tides would be favourable for a German invasion. Air superiority had not been achieved by the 14th September 1940 and Hitler ordered Hermann Göring, commander of the Luftwaffe, to intensify the air raids.

The large-scale daylight attack of London on 15th September 1940 was the most notable but the Luftwaffe suffered significant losses for very little lasting gain. In order to evade attack by RAF fighters the Luftwaffe gradually decreased their daylight raids. By October 1940 the Blitz became a night bombing campaign. The 15th September annually is remembered as the Battle of Britain Day.

By the 17th September 1940 Hitler was convinced the invasion was not a viable proposition as the three branches of the armed forces had not co-ordinated their plans properly. He therefore postponed Operation Sea Lion indefinitely.

In Berlin on the 27th September 1940 the Tripartite Act was signed by Germany, Italy and Japan. The pact was an agreement directed primarily at the United States of America. As the theatres of war were on the opposite sides of the world the practical effect of the pact was minimal. The pact stated that Japan recognised the leadership of Germany and Italy in the establishment of a new European order. Conversely, Germany and Italy recognised the leadership of Japan in the establishment of a new Greater East Asia order. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the declaration of war in 1941 against the United States, the Tripartite Act did not require a similar declaration of war from Germany and Italy.

———-

(Italy)

The Italian invasion of Egypt lasted from the 13th to the 16th September 1940 and was a strategic operation against the British. Italy had enjoyed a long term presence in North Africa as they had occupied Libya since 1932. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was determined to expand that presence by invading and seizing Egypt during the North African campaign. In 1936 a British-Egyptian agreement was signed whereby Britain had the right to occupy Egyptian territory in the event of a threat to the Suez Canal. Following Italy’s declaration of war against Britain the Egyptian parliament broke off diplomatic relations with Italy. On the 9th September 1940 bombers of the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) attacked British airfields in Egypt and the British retaliated by launching air strikes against Italian airfields , supply  points and the concentration of troops. Although vastly outnumbered the small British defence force resisting the Italians were forced to retreat to the east. When the Italians occupied the previously held British territory the British retreated further until they reached the prepared positions near the city of Mersa Matruh. The Italians followed but the invasion of Egypt had stalled on the 16th September 1940. After the Italians had followed the British retreat having marched approximately 50 miles they halted and called off the invasion. The Italians were not able to achieve success during this operation owing to the indecisiveness of the Italian command coupled with the fact they had insufficient armament and transportation.

On the 9th September 1940 a bombing raid on Tel Aviv caused the death of 137 civilians. In Palestine the Italian Air Force bombed the city in an effort to strike at Britain and the Commonwealth throughout the Middle East. Tel Aviv was targeted because the Italian bombers were intercepted by British aircraft. The bombers were forced to turn back from their intended targets of port and refineries of Haifa and received orders to drop their bombs on the port of Tel Aviv. The civilian area was where the bombs landed instead of the intended target of the port of Tel Aviv.

On the 10th September 1940 the Corpa Aereo Italiano (CAI) was formed after Mussolini insisted that an element of the Italian Air Force should assist his German ally during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. The CAI achieved limited success during its brief existence as it was generally hampered by the inadequacy of its equipment.

———-

(Other Theatres of War)

In Romania on the 6th September 1940 King Carol II abdicated. During the coup d’état of 1930 Prince Carol declared himself King Carol II. He encouraged the development of a modern economy, cultural initiative and maintained alliances with France and her allies in Eastern Europe. His growing admiration of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and the increasing agreements with Nazi-Germany including anti-Semitism plus the political unrest in Romania he declared himself a dictator. Following disagreements with France in July 1940 King Carol II announced that Romanian alliance would be with Germany but political unrest demanded his abdication in favour of his son King Michael I. After the abdication King Carol II went into exile settling in Mexico.

In America on the 16th September 1940 selective peacetime conscription began with the “Selective Training and Service Act of 1940”. President Roosevelt signed this act which was the first peacetime conscription in United States history. Conscription required the registration of all men between the ages of 21 and 35 with the selection for one year’s service by national lottery. When Germany conquered France many Americans supported the return of conscription as they believed that a German-Italian victory would endanger the U.S.

The Japanese invasion of French Indochina began on the 22nd September 1940 and the fighting continued until the 28th September 1940. The fighting was an undeclared confrontation and the main Japanese objective was to prevent the Republic of China from importing arms and fuel and thereby blockading China. On the 25th September 1940 the French administration in Indochina officially handed over the territory to Japanese control. In the meantime, Japanese troops occupied the airfield outside Hanoi together with several rail marshalling yards and by October 1940 the Japanese were running Indochina.

On the 28th September 1940 German- occupied Norway appointed Vidkun Quisling as Head of State who led his fascist collaborationist government to power. The Quisling Regime, as it became known, was to remain in power until May 1945 when the Second World War in Europe ended.

—————————-

 

 

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service August 1940.

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service August 1940.

 

 

Date                Time   Location         Damage

 

01/08/1940    02.04  Little Warley  4 – H.Es Whistling type in orchard at Little Warley

Hall.  No damage or casualties.

02/08/1940                Hadleigh        1 – H.E. unexploded in a field 30 yards East of

Florence Gardens.  No damage or casualties.

03/08/1940    21.00  Canvey          Barrage Balloon drifting from barge.  Struck by

Island             lightening and destroyed off Coryton.

03/08/1940    21.45  Hutton            4 – H.Es 2 are unexploded in garden of Hillwood

and Redbourne.  Garage damaged.  1 exploded at Pea Hill Wood (slight damage to house)  1 exploded at junction of Hillwood and Ridgeway.  Gas water and telephone wires damaged.  Hillwood Grove closed.

03/08/1940    21.50  Langdon        5 – H.Es 1is unexploded near Goldsmiths.  No

Hills                damage or casualties.

03/08/1940    23.35  Rochford       British Spitfire crashed at Tinkers Lane.  Squadron

Leader Sayers killed.

06/08/1940    10.43  Canvey          Barrage Balloon grounded at Hole Haven.

Island

09/08/1940    22.45  Foulness       6 – H.Es 5 in a field and 1 in the sea at Fishermans

Island             Head.  No damage or casualties.

09/08/1940    23.35  Barling           3 – H.Es (Whistling Type) unexploded in fields near

Kingsmead Cottage and Ropers Farm.  No casualties or damage.

10/08/1940    01.09  Downham     4 – H.Es 1 unexploded in a field at Fremnetts Farm

(Safe 11th Inst)  House damaged.  Telephone, electric cable and gas main damaged.  3 horses injured.

10/08/1940    01.35  Brentwood     Barrage Balloon grounded in cricket ground of the

Mental Hospital.

10/08/1940    08.15  Sutton            Barrage Balloon caught and grounded on

Overhead Aeroplane Trap wire at Fleet Hall Farm.

14/08/1940                Paglesham    1 – H.E. unexploded near High House Farm.  No

damage or casualties.

15/08/1940                South Weald 3 – I.Bs between Spital Lane and Park Farm

Doddinghurst.  No damage or casualties.

16/08/1940    12.40  Crays Hill       1 – A.A. unexploded shell at Gurnards Farm near

White Bridge.  No damage or casualties.

16/08/1940    13.55  Little Warley  2 – H.Es unexploded in field.  1 150 yards South

and 1 200 yards South East of Blue House Farm.  No damage or casualties.

18/08/1940    13.15  Pitsea             3 – A.A. unexploded shells.  2 on Marshes and 1 in

garden of Springfield.  No casualties or damage.  B.D.S. 18/8/40

18/08/1940    17.35  Foulness       German Heinkel bomber shot down at Gains

Island             Farm.  Crew 2 injured and 3 uninjured taken prisoner.

18/08/1940    17.40  Fambridge     British Spitfire shot down.  Plane landed in Malden.

Squadron Leader J. Gordon of North Weald landed by parachute, suffering slight burns.

19/08/1940    00.10  Canvey          A.A. Nose Cap at “Shell Beech”.  Telephone and

Island             house rafters damaged.  No casualties.

19/08/1940    00.10  Canvey          6 – H.Es 1 is unexploded in a lake at Lakeside

Island             End.  2 exploded North of Dutch Village, 1 at Tewkes Creek, 2 in garden of “Meleta” Liege Avenue (slight damage and 1 slight casualty a female of 34 years) also a large number of I.Bs at the Winter Gardens.  Grass fires and haystack damaged by fire.

19/08/1940    01.00  Paglesham    7 – H.Es 1 is unexploded in a pool and 5 exploded

in Waterside Lane.  Tiles and windows broken in cottages.  Also 20 I.Bs on South Hall Marshes.  No casualties.

19/08/1940    01.00  Potton Island 1 – H.E. unexploded in a field opposite Oyster Bed.

No damage or casualties.

19/08/1940    01.00  Paglesham    I.Bs 60 or 70 at East End.  No casualties or

damage.

19/08/1940    01.20  Potton Island 1 – Oil I.B on North side of Sea Wall.  Slight

damage to sea wall.  No casualties.

19/08/1940    01.21  Foulness       1 – H.E. unexploded in a field between Little and

Island             Great Shalford.  No damage or casualties.

20/08/1940    17.00  Haven Gore British Spitfire shot down. Pilot safe, slight injury.

Island

21/08/1940    12.44  Brentwood     2 – H.E.s 1 is 300 yards East of Railway Station on

embankment. L.N.E.R. partly blocked by a tree and debris And 1 at Myrtle Road.  4 houses demolished and 4 badly damaged.  5 slight casualties.

23/08/1940    06.15  Laindon         Barrage Balloon drifting in a South Easterly

direction.

24/08/1940    16.00  Barling           I.Bx number unknown.  No casualties.  Gorse fire.

24/08/1940    16.01  Canewdon    German Messerschmitt 109 crashed 400 yards

outside RAF Station.  Pilot safe.

24/08/1940    16.02  Great              German Bomber shot down at Senns Farm.  Crew

Wakering       3 captured.

26/08/1940    15.25  Pitsea             British Hurricane crashed.  Number of plane

P.3966.  Pilot safe.

26/08/1940    15.25  Great Warley 70 – H.Es 51 in the vicinity of Warley Common, 14

at Pump Farm.  2 unexploded at the Croft and 1 100 yards South of Horton Road.  Also 17 I.Bs between The Mental Hospital and Warley Barracks.  Water main damaged.  Road A.186 closed, 1 house badly damaged and 5 slightly.  5 casualties, 2 serious (Road open 29/8/40).  Bombs safe 13/9/40.

26/08/1940    15.25  South Weald 13 – I.Bs 4 at Rochetts, 9 in fields between Spital

Lane and The Vicarage Lane.  No casualties or damage.

26/08/1940    15.45  Rochford       German Dornier 17 crashed on Aerodrome.  Crew

2 injured and 2 prisoners safe.

26/08/1940    15.46  Foulness       British Hurricane crashed.  Machine badly

Island             damaged.  Pilot safe.

26/08/1940    15.47  Little Warley  1 – H.E. unexploded in a field at Little Bassetts. No

damage or casualties.

26/08/1940    15.48  Rochford       Machine gun bullets.  Civilian wounded.

27/08/1940    02.20  Mountnessing          2 – H.Es 1 is unexploded in garden of “The

Rest” and 1 exploded on greensward at Fitzwalters Corner.  Gas, water and telephone cable damaged.  No casualties.  Road A.12 partly closed.

27/08/1940    02.21  Coxtie Green 2 -A.A. unexploded shells 1st Big field C/Green

Farm 2nd front Meadow Lincoln Farm.

28/08/1940    12.53  Great              1 – A.A. unexploded shell in cabbage field 150

Wakering       yards North West of Trotters Farm.  No casualties or damage.

28/08/1940    12.54  Rochford       58 – H.Es 18 on Aerodrome, 2 unexploded on Golf

Course, 3 on Southend Road B.1013 at Warners Bridge, 2 Ashingdon Road, 6 exploded and 1 unexploded on Railway Lines and 26 in vicinity of Rectory Road.  Railway Line blocked near aerodrome.  Rectory Road and B.1013 blocked.  Water, gas, electric and telephone services damaged.  Farm buildings on golf course damaged.  3 houses demolished, 6 badly damaged 2 stacks fired.  The Oxford Social Club demolished, 4 casualties slight.  Rectory Road open 5/9/40

28/08/1940    12.58  Hawkwell       5 – H.Es 2 unexploded and 1 exploded in garden at

Harwood Avenue and 2 exploded between Old Cottage, Iron Lane and Railway Station.  Damage to property.  No casualties.

28/08/1940    12.59  Rochford       1 – H.E. unexploded in a field near Showman

Cottage Asking Road, 200 yards South of Holt Farm.  No damage or casualties.

28/08/1940    13.00  Wallasea        33 – H.Es 17 are unexploded 200 yards East of

Island             Tile Barn Farm.  No damage or casualties.

28/08/1940    13.00  Foulness       5 – H.Es 1 is unexploded at Rugwood.  Remainder

Island             at White Houses and Marshes.  No casualties or damage

29/08/1940    00.12  Sutton            4 – H.Es2 are unexploded at Flat Hall Farm.  No

damage or casualties

29/08/1940    00.12  Shopland      2 – H.Es unexploded at Mucking Hall Wood Farm.

No damage or casualties

29/08/1940    02.22  Rochford       2 – H.Es 1 is unexploded at Hillfield 300 yards

South East of Senior School.  Sewer damaged at Hillfield.  No casualties

29/08/1940    03.10  Foulness       3 – H.Es 1 unexploded 1/4 mile South East of

Island             Landwick Police Post, 1 is exploded at Friends Farm and 1 exploded 300 yards East of Friends Farm.  Also 1 I.B. 100 yards West of Coopers Slaughterhouse.  No casualties or damage.

29/08/1940    03.20  Canvey          10 – H.Es at Winter Gardens and 40 and 60 acres.

Island             Florence and Bankside bungalows badly damaged.  Gas main damaged, 1 slight casualty (shock).

29/08/1940    03.26  Vange            4 – H.Es 1 is unexploded 100 yards South of

Vange Camp.  No damage or casualties.

29/08/1940    19.20  Basildon        British Hurricane shot down.  Pilot from South

Weald safe.

30/08/1940    16.30  Rochford       British Spitfire wrecked at Cherry Orchard Lane.

Pilot safe.

30/08/1940    16.35  South             1 – H.E. exploded in a garden in Benfleet Road,

Benfleet         B.1014 closed.  Slight damage to property.  No casualties.  Also 1 I.B. near Bardfield Farm.

30/08/1940    16.35  Basildon        4 – H.Es 2 exploded in Gardiners Lane and 2 in

Burnt Mills Road.  Gardiners Lane blocked (open 5.9.40).  No casualties.

30/08/1940    16.35  Wickford        13 – H.Es 3 exploded near Warners Garage.  4 in

Chelmsford Road and 6 unexploded in fields at Castleton Farm, Castle Road.  1 house damaged in Chelmsford Road.  No casualties.

30/08/1940    16.35  Ramsden       12 – H.Es in vicinity of Glebe Road, 2 in drive of

“Highcliffe” Langden Avenue, 1 house damaged in Glebe Road.  No casualties.

30/08/1940    16.40  Canvey          1 – H.E. unexploded near Number 3 Gun Site, 96th

Island             Light A.A. Battery, 200 yards East of London Coastal Oil Wharf.  No damage or casualties.

30/08/1940    16.40  Thundersley Grass fire and damage to electric cable.  Cause

unknown.

30/08/1940    16.45  Hadleigh        1 – Cannon Shell making hole in roof of

“Woodlands” Gleve Way and 1 unexploded A.A. shell in garden of the Willows.  Also roofing and ceilings damaged by shrapnel at “Conifers” and “Egerton” Milton Road.  No casualties.

30/08/1940    16.45  Canvey          Machine gun bullets through the roof of the

Island             Dewdrop Inn, Urmine Road.  Tiles and ceilings damaged.  No casualties

30/08/1940    16.50  Hutton            3 – Cannon Shells in drive of “Retlaw” “Middleton”

and “Oxford”.  Shrapnel through roof of garage at “Retlaw”.  1 slight casualty P Smith gardener wounded.  Also dog wounded at “Retlaw”.

30/08/1940    17.00  North              2- H.Es unexploded between Smilers Farm and

Benfleet         Lower Avenue ? Pound Lane.  No casualties or damage.

30/08/1940    17.00  Rochford       2 – H.Es 300 yards North of Butlers Farm, Sutton.

No casualties or damage.

30/08/1940    17.00  Pitsea             1 – H.E. unexploded at “The Willows”, The

Crescent.  No damage or casualties.

30/08/1940    17.00  North              15 – H.Es 14 unexploded in fields near Bardfields

Benfleet         Farm.  Also 1 exploded and 1 I.B. burnt out.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S 6.3.41

30/08/1940    17.00  Nevendon     6 – H.Es in a field near Cranes Farm, 1 is

exploded.  No damage or casualties.  B.D.S. 6.3.41

30/08/1940    17.00  Crays Hill       4 – H.Es in a field near Great Wasketts Farm,

Gardiners Lane.  Slight damage to 2 cottages.  No casualties.

31/08/1940    00.05  Billericay        3 – H.Es 2 are unexploded, 1 at Cowbridge Grange

and 1 at Haven Gore, 1 exploded at Blunts Wall Farm.  No damage or casualties.

31/08/1940    01.00  Hutton            2- H.Es at Hunters Chase.  No damage or

casualties.  Also a Cannon Shell at “Homestead” Mount Avenue.  No damage or casualties.

31/08/1940    01.55  South Weald 4 – H.Es at Rochetts.  Windows broken and

ceilings down at Farm House.  No casualties.

31/08/1940    02.00  Little                1 – H.E. unexploded in a field 200 yards to rear of

Burstead        Winger Farm.  No damage or casualties.

31/08/1940    10.25  Foulness       British Hurricane crashed near the Repair

Island             Experimental Works.  Machine damaged.  Pilot injured and moved to Shoeburyness Municipal Hospital.

31/08/1940    13.14  Brentwood     4 – H.Es unexploded on L.N.E.R. line 300 yards

East of Three Arch Bridge.  Rail traffic suspended.  Road A. 128 closed (Rail & road open 2.9.40).  No casualties

31/08/1940    13.15  Little                1 – H.E. unexploded 150 yards South West

Burstead        of Bullers Farm.  No damage or casualties.

31/08/1940    13.25  Ingrave           British Spitfire crashed at Thorndon Park.

Machine burnt out.  Pilot safe.

31/08/1940    13.25  Rayleigh        Pilot injured landed by parachute moved to

Southend Municipal Hospital Rochford.  From plane which crashed at Leigh-on-Sea.

31/08/1940    13.31  Thundersley 1 Incendiary bullet causing grass fire near the

School, Rushbottom Lane.  No casualties.

31/08/1940    14.45  Rayleigh        Grass fire at Kenworth Gardens (cause unknown)

31/08/1940    18.00  East                9 – H.Es in vicinity of Railway Station, 3 cottages

Horndon        demolished, 1 uninhabitable, 1 casualty (female 50 years). 1 exploded near The Ropary Hoes Factory (Factory damaged).  Also 30 I.Bs on fruit farm and in fields off Hall Lane 150 yards North of Railway.

31/08/1940    18.01  Shenfield       A.A. unexploded shell in the garden of “Minster”.

No damage or casualties.

31/08/1940    18.25  Wickford        British Spitfire crashed and wrecked at Fanton

Chase Shotgate.  Number of plane 2544.  Pilot safe.

31/08/1940    21.45  Hadleigh        Suspected chlorine gas.  Mr & Mrs Potter and Mr

Phillips and son with symptoms.

31/08/1940    23.05  Nevendon     1 – H.E. unexploded South of Arterial Road and

300 yards off Nevendon Road.  No damage or casualties.

31/08/1940    23.20  Little                1 – I.B. burnt out in a field North East of Abbotts

Wakering       Hall Farm.  No damage or casualties.

31/08/1940    23.20  Wickford        11 – H.Es 2 exploded near Cotwold Farm and 8 in

the vicinity of Welbeck, Cranfield Park Road, Welbeck extensively damaged, 1 exploded near Copfold Farm.  No damage or casualties.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR August 1940

THE SECOND WORLD WAR August 1940

(Britain)

Carrier HMS Argus, loaded with a dozen Hawker Hurricane and two Blackburn  Skua fighters of 418 Flight RAF, was part of Operation Hurry heading for Malta on the 1st August 1940. Argus was escorted by HMS Arc Royal, three Battleships, two cruisers, and ten destroyers forming Force H. 0n route from Gibraltar they were attacked by two waves of Italian aircraft but the attacks were successfully repelled. Of the twelve Hurricanes which flew from Argus two crashed on landing and the remainder were used as defence against aerial attack during the Siege of Malta.

On the 14th August 1940 Sir Henry Tizard departed England for Washington in the USA. He travelled with Royal Air Force (RAF) Group Captain Pierce on the day following the Battle of Britain effectively began. Tizard was an English chemist, inventor who developed the classification of petrol octane rating. He was also the Rector of Imperial College London which was the centre for scientific research, and was also involved in the development of radar. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was finally convinced that Tizard should go to the U.S. to obtain the technical research on which the British radar system could be improved.

During the Battle of Britain, on the 13th August 1940 the Luftwaffe began to focus on bombing raids upon British airfields and radar stations. With the radar systems Britain possessed an effective air defence system and although the Luftwaffe air strikes did substantial damage to radar sites they were able to continue operating. The information received provided sufficient warning to enable British fighters to be in the air to attack the assaulting bombers and fighters. By the 15th August 1940 the Luftwaffe abandoned the air attacks on the radar stations and concentrated on RAF bases. On the 18th August 1940 due to heavy losses of German bombers, Luftwaffe fighters were ordered to protect the bombers. Both sides suffered heavy losses with the RAF losing 21% of their fighter pilots and the Luftwaffe losing 16% of their fighter pilots. To overcome British losses fighter construction was increased but it was more difficult to replace pilots.

In his speech to the House of Commons on the 20th August 1940 Churchill included his famous address about “The Few”, referring to the efforts of the RAF crews who were at that time fighting the Battle of Britain. On the 16th August 1940 Churchill visited the operations room in the Battle of Britain Bunker at RAF Uxbridge. He was so moved by what he saw that he composed the words “Never in the history of mankind has so much been owed by so many to so few”. In his speech he changed the phrasing of the wording in the section:- “The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to British airmen, who undaunted by odds, unweary in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few”. Officially the Battle of Britain ended on the 31st October 1940 as Germany’s attention was aimed at the large scale night time bomb attacks on London known as The Blitz.

On the 25th August 1940 Churchill ordered retaliation bombing of Berlin following the attack and destruction of St. Giles Cripplegate Church and surrounding area on the previous day. The church stands within the City of London at Moorgate which is well away from any strategic industrial sites. It was the first area in the city that was hit by a German bomber. Just after midnight on the 26th August 1940, for the first time, British bombers flew directly over Berlin and dropped bombs. Anti-aircraft fire and searchlights were ineffective because not one British aircraft was brought down and all air crews returned safely to their bases. The occupants of Berlin were stunned as they had been told enemy planes would not break through Berlin’s anti-aircraft defence system. Restoration of St. Giles began in 1965 and was incorporated in the modern Barbican Estate.

On the 31st August 1940 the British Destroyer Flotilla sailed from Immingham to the Dutch coast north-west of Texel to lay mines. The flotilla was joined by part of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla and while they were laying mines they were ordered to intercept a German naval force heading toward Britain. En-route to intercept the flotilla ran into a newly laid uncharted minefield. HMS Express was badly damaged causing many casualties after running into a mine where she lost most of bow. HMS Esk came to assist but also hit a mine and swiftly sank. The whole crew but one was lost. HMS Ivanhoe was badly damaged when hitting another mine whilst transferring the wounded from Express, causing more casualties. On the 1st September 1940 HMS Kelvin fired on Ivanhoe to scuttle her and the remainder of the flotilla returned to port including Express which was towed in. In all approximately 300 sailors were killed with another 100 being injured or taken prisoner of war when their rafts drifted onto the Dutch coast and were detained by the German authorities. The German invasion force the air reconnaissance had detected turned out to be a small mine laying unit transferring from Cuxhaven to Rotterdam.

………..

(France)

Following the surrender of France to Germany in June 1940, Brigadier General Charles de Gaulle departed to London rather than surrender. On the 2nd August 1940 the Vichy French government sentenced de Gaulle to death for treason against France because he had formed the Free French movement in London. He had called for the French people to resist the Germans in his radio broadcast on the BBC. He also claimed sovereignty over France by forming a second government-in-exile.

General Phillippe Le Clerc landed at Douala in French Cameroon on the 27th August 1940 where he rallied the Free French to capture the town. French Cameroon was overseen by the pro-Vichy governor Richard Brunot. He was forced to hand over the civil administration of the state to Le Clerc and the Free French who had moved into Yaounde following the landing.

………..

(Germany)

German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler gave the Luftwaffe’s commander-in-chief Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring a directive (Directive No. 17) to launch an assault against Britain on the 1st August 1940 with RAF Fighter Command being the prime target. Göring promised Hitler the assault would achieve the required result within days but certainly within weeks. The 5th August 1940 saw the first of a number of postponements owing to bad weather in the channel. The 13th August 1940 marked the start of the German’s Battle of Britain codenamed “Adlertag” (Eagle Day). Over a ten hour period waves of bombers were launched against British airfields in Essex, Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. The intention was to test British capability to subdue widely separated attacks. They only achieved moderate success but it did demonstrate to British Fighter Command the difficulty in engaging German bombers in sufficient numbers to inflict significant losses. On the 24th August 1940 St. Giles Church Cripplegate and surrounding areas in Moorgate was attacked with considerable destruction imposed.  Hitler had given instructions that St. Paul’s Cathedral was not to be damaged and as St. Giles is only a short distance away it is possible the bombers were jettisoning their bombs or just experiencing navigational errors. Hitler was outraged when Britain retaliated with the first night time bombing mission on Berlin and ordered the bombing of London to be intensified. On the 31st August 1940 the Germans mounted their largest operation in which Fighter Command losses were the heaviest of the whole Battle of Britain. Thirty nine British aircraft were shot down and fourteen pilots killed. On the same day Göring believed the attacks on British Radar stations were ineffective and decided to abandon these attacks to concentrate on the bombing of British cities. This error of judgement gave Fighter Command the opportunity to have fighters in the air to intercept the oncoming bombers.

On the 17th August 1940 Hitler ordered a total blockade of Britain as a means to the weakening of the island prior to Operation Sea Lion. On the 22nd August 1940 German coastal long range artillery pieces, sited at the Pas-de-Calais in France, began to shell the Dover area aiming for both the town and any shipping located nearby. Over a thousand rounds were fired up to 1944 when the Allied invasion of Europe began. A major problem with the long range super-heavy guns was their barrels wore out relatively quickly therefore they could not fire very often as the barrels were difficult to make and expensive to replace.

Under the 1939 Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact Russia had territorial rights granted over part of Romania who therefore lost all the territory gained by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. At the outbreak of the Second World War Romania had adopted a policy of neutrality which was guaranteed by Britain and France. Following the fall of France and Britain being besieged by the Germans the Romanian government turned to Germany to obtain similar guarantees. On the 30th August 1940 Adolf Hitler and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini dictated to Romania they must hand over the Northern Transylvanian territory to Hungary. Romania agreed to the terms of the partition and the territory was handed over to Hungary.

………..

(Italy)

On the 1st August 1940 the Italian Royal Navy established a submarine base at Betasom near Bordeaux in France. Italy and Germany had signed the Pact of Steel in June 1939 and following Italy’s entry into the war the Germans allocated a sector of the Atlantic south of Lisbon in Portugal for them to patrol. Betasom was selected to be their base which was in the German occupation zone. Italy played their part in the Battle of the Atlantic from 1940 to 1943.

The Italian conquest of Brtish Somalia was part of the East Africa Campaign which began on the 4th August 1940. Italy with Eritrean and Somali forces of Fascist Italy confronted British Commonwealth and Somali irregular troops. Rainy weather and the British defence of the colony hampered any speed and mobility of the Italian expedition. The Italian forces headed for Tug Argan (tug is the local word for dry riverbed) with only the local police force conducting a delaying action while the British and Commonwealth troops retreated to Tug Argan. The Battle of Tug Argan was fought between the 11th -15th August 1940 when the Italians overran the colony and the British were ordered to evacuate the area and arrived at the port of Berbera on the 19th August 940 where the Royal Navy evacuated the British troops. Italy had won a decisive victory over the British.

The Greek cruiser Elli was at anchor off the island of Tinos on the 15th August 1940 when she was sunk by Italian submarine Delfino. Three torpedoes hit Elli and she caught fire and sank killing nine petty officers and sailors and wounding a further twenty four. However, the sinking of Elli took place in peacetime two months before the outbreak of the Greco-Italian war.  The Greek government, in the meantime, were aware of the perpetrator but did not want confrontation with Italy. They announced the nationality of the attacking submarine as being unknown.

…………

(USA)

U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy reported from London that a British surrender was inevitable unless Britain had military assistance from the United States. On 16th August 1940 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt that if Britain was defeated her colonial islands nearest America could become a direct threat if they fell into German hands. Although not wanting to get involved in another European war Roosevelt proposed a “Destroyers for Bases Agreement” and on the 30th August 1940 he approved the deal. On the 3rd September 1940 destroyers, that were not vital to U.S. security, were transferred to the Royal Navy. In exchange for fifty destroyers Britain granted land, rent-free on 99-year leases, in nine various British colonies. These bases were available either for naval or air force facilities.

…………

(Russia)

The Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed a constitutional republic of the Soviet Union on the 2nd August 1940. The new republic consisted of the Romanian regions of Bessarabia and North Bukovina and was occupied by the Soviet Union military in June/July 1940. The Soviet Union occupied the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the 3rd August 1940, where they were incorporated into the Soviet Union as constituent republics. Recognition of this incorporation was never accepted by most western powers. The military annexation of these states was part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939.

————————————

 

 

 

 

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service July 1940.

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service July 1940.

 

 

Date                Time   Location         Damage

 

08/07/1940                Great              1 – A.A. unexploded shell on Marshes at rear of

Wakering       Home Farm.  No damage or casualties.

09/07/1940    03.00  Foulness       7 – H.Es.  3 near Court End Village.  3 centre of

Island             Experimental Station.  3 horses and 4 sheep killed.  Crops fired.  Slight damage to a house.

09/07/1940    23.00  South             24 – H.Es in vicinity of Essex Way Water Tower

Benfleet         and Highwood.  6 houses damaged some seriously.  2 slight casualties.  Telephone wires, electric cables and gas main damaged.  Essex Way closed.

13/07/1940                Paglesham    1 – A.A. unexploded shell in field at South Hall

Farm East End.  No damage of casualties.

13/07/1940                Vange            1 – H.E. unexploded in a field off Paynters Hill.  No

casualties or damage.

17/07/1940    23.15  Foulness       7 – H.Es on Saltings.  No damage or casualties.

Island

17/07/1940    23.16  Eastwood      Rayleigh Road A.1015 closed.  Burst water main.

19/07/1940                Pitsea             London Shoeburyness Road A.13 closed.  Bridge

reconstruction.

21/07/1940    01.50  Potton Island 2 – H.Es 1 is unexploded opposite the creek

between New England and Foulness Island.  No damage or casualties.

21/07/1940    01.50  Paglesham    2 – H.Es  1 is unexploded at West Hall and about

30 I.Bs at Stennetts Farm.  No casualties.  Slight damage to Barley crop.

21/07/1940    01.50  Stambridge    2 – H.Es 200 yards South East from Sewage

Disposal Works.  No damage or casualties.

22/07/1940    23.47  Thundersley 1 – H.E. at Old Brickfields 50 yards from Birches

Road.  Telephone wires down and a few windows broken.

26/07/1940    22.20  Great Warley 5 – H.Es in garden of The Goldings.  Outhouse                                                             demolished.  Slight damage to the house.  5 cows

killed.  2 had to be destroyed.

27/07/1940    01.15  Canvey          17 – H.Es 1is unexploded at Marine Approach

Island             (Safe 30th Inst)  9 exploded in fields of White

Farm between Vicarage and Meynell Avenue.  8 exploded on Labworth Estate.  5 slight casualties.  3 houses badly damaged, 5 slightly.  Damage to gas and water mains.  Meynell Avenue closed ( open 18/8/40)

 

WOMEN IN CIVILIAN LIFE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

WOMEN IN CIVILIAN LIFE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon became Queen when her husband King George VI was forced to accept the throne after his brother abdicated in 1936. The King and Queen became the national symbol in the fight against fascism when the Second World War began. It was thought the Queen and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret would be evacuated to America or Canada. Her reply to the suggestion was: “The children won’t go without me, I won’t leave the King, and the King will never leave”. The first few months were fairly quiet in Britain until the 7th September 1940 when the Luftwaffe began their Blitz of Britain. For the next fifty-seven nights London was bombed consecutively and part of the city was completely destroyed, but the British Monarchy remained intact. At the height of the raids the King and Queen spent their working days at Buckingham Palace and their nights at Windsor Castle. Buckingham Palace was bombed several times and Queen Elizabeth declared:  “I’m glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face”. The King and Queen had chosen to stay in London and endure the hardships of their subjects rather than be evacuated to safety. Because of this Adolf Hitler called her the “most dangerous women in Europe”. He considered her to be one of the biggest morale boosters for her subjects during the darkest days and viewed her popularity as a threat to German interests. When the Second World War ended on the 8th May 1945 the King and Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to the rapturous applause of the waiting crowds. Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret had been allowed to wander incognito in the crowds and take part in the celebrations. The Second World War officially ended on 15th August 1945 with the victory in Japan.

Until the last 36 hours of her life, Eva Braun’s relationship with Adolf Hitler went unacknowledged. Only a handful of his most trusted associates knew of her existence. She was born in February 1912 to a devout Catholic mother and strict Protestant father. She developed an early interest in in photography which led her to becoming Hitler’s court photographer. Hitler first noticed her in October 1929 as she was precisely the sort of pretty unthreatening girl to appeal to him. Two years later he began to take her seriously and she gradually consolidated her place in his affections. From 1935 she was the effective hostess at Berghof, Hitler’s Alpine retreat where she established a relaxing atmosphere for him to enjoy. It will never be known whether Hitler’s interest in Eva was paternal or sexual. By being excluded from official functions and Hitler’s increasing absences she was frequently bored but she remained fiercely loyal to him. With Germany almost defeated in April 1945, Eva travelled from Munich to Berlin to be with Hitler at the Führerbunker. She refused to leave as the Red Army closed in on the capital. After midnight on the night of the 28th/29th April 1945, Hitler and Eva were married in a small civil ceremony within the Führerbunker. The event was witnessed by Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann. Shortly after Hitler hosted a small wedding breakfast with his new wife. After 1.00 pm on the 30th April 1945, Eva and Hitler said their farewells to staff and members of the inner circle. Later that afternoon, at approximately 3.30 pm, several people reported hearing a gunshot. After waiting a few minutes, Hitler’s valet and SS adjutant entered the small study and found the lifeless bodies of Hitler and Eva on a small sofa. Eva had bitten into a cyanide capsule and Hitler had shot himself in his right temple. The corpses were carried up the stairs and through the bunker’s emergency exit into the garden of the Reich Chancellery, where they were set alight and burned so they did not fall into the hands of the approaching Russians. Eva was 33 years old when she died.

Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was born at the Loire area of Saumur in France in August 1883. She and her two sisters were brought up in a convent orphanage after their mother died of Tuberculosis and had been abandoned by their father when she was aged 12. Her two brothers were sent to work as farm labourers. At the orphanage she learnt how to sew which enabled her to become a future fashion designer and business woman. Aged 18 Coco went to live in a boarding house for Catholic girls and found employment as a seamstress. When not sewing she sang in a cabaret frequented by cavalry officers. She acquired the name “Coco” when singing the song ‘Who has seen Coco’. She moved to the town of Vichy in an attempt to have a singing career but was not successful. She moved back to the Loire area and aged 23 she met a young textile heir and ex-cavalry officer Étianne Balsan and became his mistress. In 1908 Coco had an affair with Balsan’s friend, Captain Arthur Edward Capel, who was a wealthy member of the English upper class. She was installed in an apartment in Paris by Capel and he financed her first shops. She broke free of the convention that women should wear corsets and be subservient to men with her style of clothes she designed and made. Whilst living with Balsan she began designing hats and obtained a milliners licence enabling her to open a boutique in Paris. As an advertising and marketing aid Coco instructed master perfumer, Ernest Beaux to develop a new fragrance to enhance her new dress collection which was being presented on the 5th May 1921.  The new perfume, Chanel No. 5, was named after the fifth day and the fifth month, and it is still called Chanel No, 5. Coco’s fashion industry expanded into a formidable business at the beginning of the Second World War. During the German occupation of France she closed her shops in Paris stating it was not a time for fashion. She resided at the Hotel Ritz and her controversial romantic liaison with Baron Hans Günther von Dincklage made her accommodation arrangements far easier. Dincklage reported directly to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. The Ritz was the preferred place of residence for upper-class German military staff. Declassified archival documents have indicated that Coco had links to the Abwehr (German military intelligence) and that she was enlisted in the summer of 1941 and working as a spy. There is still some doubt as to whether she was listed as an agent. Her first mission appears to be that she went to Madrid to identify Nazi sympathisers and recruit them as potential spies. In 1943 she travelled with Dincklage to Berlin for the bungled “0peration Modelhutt” (Model Hat) in which she acted as a messenger for Walter Schellenberg, head of foreign S.S. intelligence. The aim was to try to persuade Winston Churchill that elements of the Nazi party wished to seek peace with the Allies.  Coco seemed to be the perfect person to deliver the message to Churchill as they had been friends before the war. The plan failed in because Churchill did not respond to the request. A fortnight after Paris was liberated in August 1944, two French resistance officers escorted her from the Ritz to the offices that dealt with Nazi collaborators. A few hours later she was released and it has been assumed Churchill intervened when she should have been punished as collaborator. She promptly fled to Switzerland with her lover Dincklage and   returned to France in 1949.  Coco’s comeback collection of couture debuted in 1953 and within three seasons she enjoyed new found respect. She lived permanently at the Hotel Ritz in Paris from 1954 until her death at the age of 87 on the 10th January 1971.

Irene Coffee (nee Brann) was a German-Jew born in Dresden in 1912. Nazi Germany was determined to exterminate the Jewish population, and after her father died in 1933 she eventually left for London in 1937. She entered into a marriage of convenience with a man called Aaron Coffee but the couple did not live together. Her new civil status enabled her to bring her mother safely to England. Although Irene found employment she did not feel secure, as she was regarded by her neighbours as being German not Jewish. By October 1941 the Germans had overrun most of Europe, and Irene imagined a German invasion of Britain and consequently the deportation to a concentration camp. In 1941 overcome by despair Irene and her mother took an overdose of sleeping tablets. This proved fatal for her mother but Irene survived and she was brought to trial for the murder of her mother and attempted suicide. She was found guilty and sentenced to death. The presiding judge, although he had passed the sentence had misgivings and wrote to the home secretary recommending commuting the sentence to life imprisonment. In due course King George VI granted this request. As a result of further representations by her lawyers she was released. After being freed she moved to the North of England then to Switzerland and finally to Australia. It is doubtful she succeeded in making a proper new life even though she remarried, and on the 30th September 1968 she again took an overdose of sleeping tablets. This time they achieved the desired effect.

The Diary of Anne Frank, is a book of the writings from the diary kept by Jewish Anne Frank while she was in hiding with her family for two years during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam the capital of the Netherlands. For her thirteenth birthday Anne received a red chequered autograph book and she began writing in it on the 14th June 1942. Anne’s older sister Margot received an official summons to report to a Nazi work-camp in Germany on the 6th July 1942 and the following day the family went into hiding, together with her father’s business partner and family. Their hiding place was in the sealed-off upper rooms of the annex at the back of the Frank’s company building. The family dentist joined them four months later, making a total of eight in hiding, and they remained hidden for two years and one month with the assistance of the trusted colleagues of Anne’s father. In August 1944 they were discovered and deported to several Nazi concentration camps. It is not known whether they were betrayed or whether a police raid accidently discovered them. Of the eight people who went into hiding, only Anne’s father Otto survived the war. Anne died when she was fifteen in Bergen-Belsen of typhus sometime between February and April 1945. After confirmation of her death the diaries were given to Otto and he duly had them published in 1947.

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Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren, both international film actresses were children when Germany had occupied Holland and with Italy’s assistance occupied Italy itself.  Both countries were liberated by the Allies. The two girls went on to international acclaim after the war.

Audrey Hepburn was born near Brussels in Belgium in 1920 and moved with her family to Arnhem in Holland during 1937, as her mother was a Dutch noblewoman. Her father, who was English, was living in Britain and Audrey and her mother joined him, but in 1938 her parents divorced. After two years living in Britain, prior to the outbreak of war, Audrey and mother re-located to Arnhem. After the invasion and occupation of the Netherlands, Audrey attended a local school and continued the ballet lessons she had started whilst living in Britain. It has been rumoured but not confirmed that she participated in the Dutch resistance as she had frequently witnessed the transportation of Dutch Jews to concentration camps. She was especially traumatised by seeing children being taken away from their parents and wearing clothes far too big for them. Living conditions became steadily worse after D-Day and Arnhem was heavily damaged during Operation Market Garden. From her experiences and malnutrition she was to suffer health problems for the rest of her life.

Sophia Loren was an illegitimate child born in Rome during 1934, and before the Second World War started, her family moved and lived with her grandmother in Pozzuoli near Naples. During the Second World War, the harbour and munitions plant in Pozzuoli was frequently bombed by the Allies and during one raid Sophia was struck by shrapnel and wounded on the chin. Distant relatives took the family in when they moved to Naples. After the war Sophia’s family moved back to Pozzuoli where her grandmother opened a bar with Sophia waiting at tables and washing up. The place was popular with American GI’s who were stationed nearby.

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Wallis Simpson, later known as the Duchess of Windsor, was an American socialite whose intended marriage to British King Edward VIII caused a constitutional crisis that led to Edward’s abdication. She was born Bessie Wallis Warfield on the 19th June 1896 and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Her first marriage to U.S. Naval officer Win Spencer ended in divorce owing to the long separations entailed in a naval career. During her second marriage to Ernest Simpson she met Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1931. After Edward’s accession to the throne in 1936 Wallis divorced her second husband to marry Edward. Her aim was to be Queen hence her willingness to marry Edward. A constitutional crisis developed in the United Kingdom and the Dominions over the King’s desire to marry a woman who had two living ex-husbands. In December 1936 Edward abdicated to marry Wallis. His brother King George VI created the title Duke of Windsor for Edward and upon their marriage Wallis was formally known as the Duchess of Windsor but did not achieve “Royal Highness” status. Leading up to and during the Second World War the British government suspected Edward and Wallis of being Nazi sympathisers as they had travelled to Germany and met Adolf Hitler. In 1940 the Duke was appointed governor of the Bahamas and the couple moved to the islands until he relinquished the office in 1945. Shuffling between Europe and the United States in the 1950s and 1960s they lived a life of leisure as society celebrities. When the Duke died in 1972 Wallis lived in seclusion and was suffering ill health and rarely seen in public. Aged 89 she died on the 24th April 1986 at her home in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris. Wallis remains a controversial figure in British history as her private life has been a source of much speculation.

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Women’s role in the first half of the Twentieth Century had seen a dramatic change. When the Suffragette‘s first came to prominence women had not been encouraged to show their potential, apart from relatively few women throughout history. The main women forerunners in history were either Royalty or from aristocratic backgrounds whilst the remainder of the female population were looked upon as homemakers and mothers. There were stirrings of the change of attitude in women during the Nineteenth Century, but the Suffragette movement began to alter the public’s attention. Eventually the Suffragette movement secured the vote for women. The First World War provided the opportunity for women to prove what they could achieve. They took on more traditionally accepted female roles such as nursing serving in overseas hospitals administering to injured soldiers. They also filled the vacancies in the factories and on the land that were needed filling when the men went to war to fight. During and after the war, women began to relish the freedom that their experiences had given them. Many women were not prepared to return to the role of servant to aristocratic families as the social system had been eradicated by the war. They realised they could achieve different roles. Women’s lives were to alter dramatically during the Roaring Twenties with the onset of new fashion, new music and more money being available. Most of the population were to suffer during the depression years of the Thirties. With the onset of the Second World War, women again came to the fore in the manufacturing and agricultural industries and generally performing many traditional male orientated roles. In addition there were many more military positions available and women not only took advantage of, but successfully managed to reach a position of authority. Present day women now have the opportunity to succeed where in the past they were frowned on. They excel in universities, become doctors, lawyers and barristers and often run their own companies. There is still a long way to go before women achieve parity and there will always be the problems of acceptance. Both male and female must agree that there are differences between the two genders and total equality is not possible. However, an acceptable compromise can be achieved by encouraging females to be feminine and males to be masculine and allowing both sexes to perform what they are best at. Most of these opportunities have been achieved by the efforts of women throughout the first half of the Twentieth Century.

 

WOMEN OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE

WOMEN OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

The film Charlotte Gray is set in Vichy France during the Second World War. The story is based on the exploits of women in Great Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) who worked with the French resistance in Nazi occupied France. In July 1940 the SOE was set up as a top secret network of undercover agents whose tasks were to “set Europe ablaze”. All operatives were required to be bilingual and possess the ability to pass as a native citizen of the country in which they were deployed. The recruits were required to undergo tough commando training with the emphasis on Morse code, radio operating and proficiency with both guns and explosives. Upon completion of their training they were dropped behind enemy in Nazi occupied territory where they sabotaged supply lines, mobilised resistance and relayed intelligence back to SOE HQ. The work often involved the delivery of packages and women generally did not arouse any suspicion. However, if captured their fate would be terrible. In civilian clothes they were classified as insurgents and not combatants in uniform. They did not have the same protection as prisoners of war as the Geneva Convention did not make provision for women.

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The character Charlotte Gray is a composite agent based on such SOE agents as the following women:-

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Andrée Borrel who was born in a suburb of North West Paris in November 1919. She left school at 14 to help support her family after her father died. Just prior to the start of the Second World War Andrée travelled to Spain to help in the Spanish Civil War against the Nazi-backed fascists but the war was almost over. She returned to France and volunteered for the Red Cross. In October 1939 her mother was advised to move to a warmer area for her health so Andrée and her sister escorted their mother to Toulon on the Mediterranean. Whilst there Andrée enrolled in a crash course in nursing and eventually qualified her to work in various hospitals. Along with Lieutenant Maurice Dufour they started working for the underground resistance after the hospitals had closed down.

In late December 1941 the safe house she and Dufour had established as part of an escape network was compromised they evacuated to London where she tried to join Free French Forces. She was rejected by them but then was approached by SOE. Whilst officially an ensign in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) Andrée was trained by SOE to become a field agent. In September 1942 Andrée and Lisa de Baissac were the first female agents to be flown to occupied France. With her knowledge of Paris she was employed as a courier eventually becoming second-in-command of the Paris circuit. She helped set up circuits in Paris and northern France including many resistance activities until June 1943 when she was arrested by the Gestapo. She was interrogated but showed stubborn resistance and sent to Fresnes Prison before being transported to Germany with seven other SOE agents including Odette Hallows. On the 6th July 1944 Andrée with three other agent were transported to Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in France. The women were told to undress for a medical inspection and have an injection for medical reasons. The injections were lethal and their bodies were taken to the crematorium ovens. Andrée was posthumously awarded the Crois de Guerre and Médalle de la Résistance by France in recognition of her heroic defence of her homeland. Britain also awarded her the King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct (KCBC).

Yvonne Cormeau MBE, born Beatrice Yvonne Biesterfield was born in Shanghai, China in December 1909. Her father was a Belgian consular official and her mother was Scottish.  She was educated in Scotland and Belgium and in 1937 she married Charles Cormeau whilst living in London. Her husband was wounded in France in November 1940 after having enlisted in the The Rifle Brigade. He was sent back to the UK and was killed shortly after when their London home was bombed. A bath fell over Yvonne’s head which protected her and saved her life. In November 1941 she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in an effect to take her husband’s place in the Armed Forces, where she answered an appeal for linguists. She was recruited by SOE in February 1943 and trained as a wireless operator along with Noor Inayat Khan. She had volunteered to save France from the Nazis, leaving her two year daughter behind who was brought up in a convent by Ursuline nuns in Oxfordshire. Yvonne was parachuted north east of Bordeaux where she worked as a courier and wireless operator under the disguise of district nurse. She successfully made over 400 transmissions to London and assisted in various resistance sabotage activities. She had one narrow escape where she passed her wireless equipment off as an x-ray machine. She worked for thirteen months despite being betrayed and having “wanted” posters of her displayed locally. She evaded being arrested on a number occasions with some narrow escapes. A year after the war ended she was demobilised having attained the WAAF Rank of Flight Officer. After demob she worked as a translator with               SOE at the Foreign Office. She became a leading figure with the SOE veterans and arranged their annual Bastille Day Dinners. After the war she was appointed MBE and decorated with the Légion d’Honneur, Croix de Guerre, Médaille de la Résistance and Palmes Academiques. She was reunited with her daughter after the war and they lived in London. Yvonne was one of the earliest members of the Special Forces Club. She married James (Jim) Edgar Farrow when she was in her 70s and they lived in Derbyshire. In 1989 she was subject of “This is Your Life”. Yvonne had been invited to a cast ‘photo-call’ of the wartime series “Wish Me Luck” and was presented with the famous Big Red Book by Michael Aspell and Jane Asher, one of the stars of the series. After her husband Jim died she spent her remaining years at Fleet in Hampshire where she died on Christmas Day 1997 aged 88.

Christine Granville OBE, as she was known, whose real name was Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek, was born in Poland in May 1908. She legally adopted the name Christine Granville when she became a British National in December 1946. Christine was the daughter of an impoverished Count and Jewish mother who grew up on a country estate. She enjoyed the active sporting outdoor life of a tomboy until the 1920s when the family moved to Warsaw on account of financial problems. In April 1930 she married a young business man but they were found to be incompatible and the marriage ended in divorce. Christine met her second husband at a ski resort in Poland and after they married in 1938 they set off for Kenya in Africa. Her new husband was a globetrotter and diplomat who had been offered a post of consul in Kenya, but before they actually arrived the Second World War began. Upon arrival at Cape Town they boarded another ship and headed for England. She volunteered to help the British secret services by proposing an occupied-Polish/Hungarian escape route for Polish volunteers to fight in the west together with any other available information. She was then recruited into Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and given instructions to pass on any information to SOE. In February she made her first trip over the border and by early 1941 she was ordered to leave for Belgrade. The resistance group she was in contact with had been infiltrated as the Hungarians came under more German control. The British provided her a new passport naming her as Christine Granville enabling her to escape. The Polish resistance distrusted her in the circumstances of her escape from the Gestapo. She was prevented from getting involved in any of SOE’s further major missions. She spent nearly three years taking part in second-rate missions until 1943 when she replaced a courier in Southern France for resistance leader, Francis Cammaerts. She was introduced into SOE with extensive training and in July 1944 she was dropped into Southern France and blended in with the local resistance groups.  On the eve of the Allied invasion of Southern France in late 1944, Cammaerts was arrested alongside two other SOE agents. Having sequential numbered banknotes the local Gestapo officer ordered their execution in forty-eight hours. When Christine heard she presented herself as Cammaerts’ wife and the niece of General Montgomery. Informing him of the imminent invasion and the consequences of his actions, the Gestapo officer arranged for the three SOE agents to be released. A few weeks later she managed to convince 2,000 Polish men to dispose their uniforms and revolt against the Germans. She was successful as the Polish men were forcibly enlisted in the German Army. Shortly after Christine’s mission was over as the Allies had liberated France. She was recalled to London for de-briefing and again ordered back to Cairo where she stayed until the end of the war. She found she really wasn’t wanted anywhere after she arrived back in Britain. Poland was under Russian control and she couldn’t go there, while Britain was flooded with Polish ex- servicemen struggling to find work and who now were relegated to second-class citizens. Some SOE commanders managed to assist her in obtaining a British passport although they never employed her again. She had a series of mundane jobs until 1951 when she became entangled with Irishman Dennis Mulldowney. He became obsessed with her and on the 15th June 1951 he stabbed her to death after she told him of her plans to leave England for good. He waited by her body until the police arrived and admitted murdering her. He was tried and executed in 1952. For her wartime work in conjunction with the British Authorities in May 1947 Christine was made on Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). She was also awarded the George Medal for her bravery in the field. The French awarded her the Croix de Guerre for her contribution in the Liberation of France. Her medals and awards counted for nothing when she was of no further use to Britain.

Odette Hallows (maiden name Brailly) was born in the French town of Amien in April 1912, her father was killed during the Great War. She was convent educated then met Englishman Roy Sansom and they married in 1931. They moved to Britain and had three daughters. At the beginning of the Second World War Sansom joined the army and Odette with the children moved to Somerset for their safety. When Germany occupied France in 1940 she made contact with the Free French forces based in London and consequently was recruited into SOE. When she was recruited into SOE she left her daughters in a convent school.  With orders to help establish a new network in Burgundy she was sent by boat to France in October 1941. She worked as a radio operator alongside Peter Churchill the SOE’s organiser in that district. Radio operation was highly dangerous with the Gestapo constantly monitoring the airwaves. They were infiltrated by German Intelligence and Odette and Churchill were arrested on the 16th April 1943. They convinced the Gestapo they were husband and wife and were related to Winston Churchill which ensured they were not executed. Odette was sent to Fresnes Prison in Paris and was tortured by the Gestapo but did not divulge any information. Along with seven other SOE agents (including Andrée Borrel) Odette was transported to Nazi Germany on the 13th May 1944. She was eventually sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp until the end of the war. In 1946 she was awarded the George Cross for bravery and appointed MBE, she was also appointed the Chavalier de la Légion d’Honneur for her work with the French resistance. In 1947 she married Churchill after her marriage to Roy Sansom was dissolved. Churchill and Odette divorced in 1956 and she married Geoffrey Hallows, a former SOE officer. Odette died on the 13th March 1995 at Walton-on-Thames and was outlived by her third husband. Her wartime experience was the subject of the 1950 film “Odette”, in which the title role was played by Anna Neagle with Trevor Howard as Churchill.

Noor Inayat Khan was also known as Nora Baker and was born in Moscow on the 1st January 1914 to an Indian father and an American mother. Her father was a musician living in London and from a noble Indian Muslim family who met his wife during his travels in the United States. Just before the outbreak of the Great War the family left Russia for London. In 1920 they moved to France where she studied at the Sorbonne and began a writing career. When France was overrun by German troops at the beginning of the Second World War the family fled to Bordeaux and on to England thence Cornwall on the 22nd June 1940. In November 1940 she joined the WAAF as a wireless operator before being recruited into SOE. She was the first woman to be sent overseas purely as a wireless operator as all women agents before had been sent as couriers. In June 1943 she was flown to France band made her way to Paris. Sending messages back to Britain she was betrayed, arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo in October 1943. She did not give away any information. In November 1943 she escaped but was soon recaptured within the vicinity of Gestapo Headquarters. She was taken to Germany ‘for safe custody’ and kept in solitary confinement for ten months shackled at hands and feet. She was transferred to Dachau Concentration Camp and at dawn with three other agents on the 13th September 1944 she was executed. Noor Inayat Khan was posthumously awarded the George Cross in 1949 and a French Croix de Guerre avec étoile de vermeil (with Silver Star).

Eileen Nearne was born in 1921 in London to an English father and a Spanish mother and was the youngest of four children. Two years later the family moved to France, and Eileen became fluent in English and French. After the German invasion in 1940 Eileen and her sister Jacqueline made their way to London while the rest of the family remained in France. Upon her arrival in England she was recruited by the SOE and after training, was flown to France in March 1944 working as a wireless operator. Separately Jacqueline was also recruited by the SOE. The first message Eileen transmitted identified the location near Paris where 2000 London-bound V1 Rockets were hidden. She had an acknowledgement that the message was received by the BBC reply “Happy to know the duck had a good trip.” In July 1944 her transmitter was discovered. She survived the discovery, capture and torture by the Gestapo, escaping three times from prison camps to continue her work. By the time the war was over she had sent more than 100 coded messages across the channel. Eileen faded into virtual anonymity after the war, despite having been made an MBE, being presented with the French Croix de Guerre and winning citations for gallantry. She suffered a breakdown because of wartime experiences. After the war Eileen lived with her sister Jacqueline in London and moved to Torquay after her sister died in 1982. At the age of 89, having quietly living alone, she died of heart attack in September 2010 and at her funeral a Eulogy was read with the Royal Marines sounding the Last Post over her Union Flag draped casket.

“The love that I have, is all that I have, and the love that I have is yours” is a simple poem written by Leo Marks. The poem was given to Violette Szarbo as cipher for encoding messages. Marks was a cryptologist who wrote poems for each SOE agent in order to identify them. Violette Szarbo (maiden name Bushell) was born in Paris in June 1921 to an English father and French mother. In early 1940, whilst the family were living in England, she joined the Women’s Land Army but returned to London to work in an armament factory. She met Étienne Szarbo, an officer in the French Foreign Legion. After a whirlwind 42 day romance they married in August 1940. She was nineteen and he was thirty one. After a week’s honeymoon he returned to fight against the Vichy French. In September 1941 she enlisted in the Auxiliary Territorial Services (ATS) but soon realised she was pregnant. Étienne died of wounds received at the Second Battle of El Alemein and never saw his daughter. Violette accepted an offer to become an agent in the SOE and saw this as a way of fighting the enemy who killed her husband. On her second mission into occupied France, Violette was captured, interrogated, tortured and deported to a concentration camp in Germany and executed. Her five year old daughter Tania, was brought up by her grandmother and in December 1941 Tania received the George Cross from King George VI on behalf of her late mother. The film “Carve Her Name with Pride” was a 1958 British war drama where Violette Szarbo was played by Virginia McKenna.

The Gestapo’s most-wanted person was code-named “The White Mouse” because she had the ability to avoid capture, Nancy Wake was the Allies most decorated servicewoman in the Second World War. Nancy was born in Wellington, New Zealand on the 30th Aug 1912 and was the youngest of six children, and she appears to retain her maiden name all her life. In 1914 the family moved to Australia but shortly after her father returned to New Zealand leaving her mother to bring up the children. Using money she inherited from an aunt, she ran away from home at 16 years of age working as a nurse before journeying to New York and finally London where she found employment as a journalist. In 1937 Nancy met Henri Fiocca whom she married in 1939. They were living in Marseille when Germany invaded France. Before the fall of France she worked as an ambulance driver and after the fall she became a courier for the French resistance and the escape network. The Gestapo became aware of her and after the network was betrayed she decided to leave France. Her husband stayed behind but was captured and executed by the Germans but he did not betray her. She was unaware of his death until the war ended. Nancy made her way across the Pyrenees into Spain and returned to Britain where she joined SOE. She was parachuted into the Auvergne region of France in April 1944 where she remained until the Liberation of France. She became the liaison contact between London and the local maquis group which performed many successful attacks on the German forces in the area. With her coiffured hair and make-up she was a glamourous and feminine woman whose looks concealed her deadly ability. During one raid she killed an S.S. guard with her bare hands to prevent him raising the alarm. When her wireless operator had been forced to destroy vital codes during a Gestapo raid she cycled over 300 km (190 miles) through several German checkpoints to get to another group’s wireless operator to inform London of the situation. The total return journey of 380 miles took her 72 hours to complete. After the war Britain awarded her the George Medal, the U.S. gave her the Medal of Freedom and France honoured her with the Médaille de la Résistance, the Légion d’Honneur and the Croix de Guerre three times. Upon returning to Australia after the war she stood as a Liberal candidate in the 1949 election campaign and again in the 1951 federal election but was defeated in both. She moved back to England after the 1951 elections. In 1957 she married John Forward, a former RAF fighter pilot and they relocated to Australia. She had an uneasy relationship with her childhood country which led her to refuse any decorations from the Australian government. However, she did relent in February 2004 and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. Her husband died in 1997 and Nancy settled for the final time in London and at the age of 98 on the 7th August 2011 she died of a chest infection at a hospital in Kingston. It was in 1999 that Nancy’s story inspired Sebastion Faulks to write the novel Charlotte Grey.

Pearl Witherington was a British subject born in Paris to British expatriate parents in June 1914. When Germany invaded France in May 1940 she was employed at the British Embassy in Paris. With her mother and three sisters she escaped occupied France eventually arriving in London in December 1940. She found work with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) for the Air Ministry. In June 1943 she joined SOE determined to fight against the German occupation of France. On completion of training she was parachuted into France in September 1943 and joined up with Maurice Southgate, the leader of the SOE Station Network and working as his courier. When Southgate was arrested in May 1944 by the Gestapo Pearl became the leader of the new SOE Wrestler Network. She reorganised the network and fielded over 1,500 members of the Maquis (resistance). During the D-Day landings of June1944 Pearl’s network played an important role fighting the German Army, and were so effective that the Germans offered one million francs for the capture of Pearl. The Germans ordered 2,000 men to attack her small force and after a fourteen hour battle the Germans lost 86 men while the maquis lost 24 out of a possible 40 men. Pearl fled to a cornfield and waited until the Germans had vacated the area before moving away. She regrouped and set-up and launched large-scale guerrilla attacks among the German columns travelling through her operations area. As well as disrupting the marching columns she damaged key railway lines connecting Southern France to the Normandy battlefield. In mid-September 1944 Pearl’s Wrestler network helped to force the 18,000 German troops, who were still in her region, to surrender to the Americans. Having completed her mission at the end of the war she returned to London where she married her fiancée, Henri Cornioley in October 1945 and they had a daughter. France recognised her bravery and awarded her the Légion d’Honneur, the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de la résistance. After much discussion Britain offered her a civil MBE, which she refused. Her argument being there was nothing civil about her role as a guerrilla leader. On appeal she was awarded the military MBE. The family moved back to Paris and she began a long career in the World Bank. In 2004 her MBE was upgraded to a CBE and two years later the RAF finally awarded her with her most prized possession, her Parachute Wings. As one of only a few women to lead the maquis during the war, Pearl died in February 2008.

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