December 31, 2018



His Majesty the King … – “We still have tasks ahead of us, we face these with confidence, for today we stand together, no longer alone. But as resolute as in the darkest hour to do our duty, whatever comes.”

Cinema – On Tuesday 5th January Ben Culey gave free entertainment to the school children of Brandon and Santon Downham, and also the Dr Barnardo children from Wangford, at his Avenue Cinema. Mr Culey also presented each child with a three-penny piece when they left.

Mildenhall Rural District Council – EMERGENCY POWERS (DEFENCE) ACTS, 1939 & 1940 Requisition of unnecessary railings.
Under the direction of the Commissioner of Works all unnecessary iron and steel railings, post chains, bollards, gates, stiles, etc., in the Rural District of Mildenhall will shortly be removed and collected for use in the national war effort in the steel works and foundries.
Notice is hereby given that on or about the 11th January, 1943, the work of removal will commence with the railings in the parishes within the Rural District.
It is hoped that owners will be prepared to make a free gift of their railings, etc., to the nation, but property owners and others whose interests are affected by the removal and who desire to claim compensation may obtain the appropriate form from:-
The Clerk of the Council, Council Offices, King Street, Mildenhall.

Claimed salvage – Almost £450 has been collected from the district.

P.O.W.s – The Red Cross has reported that there are 860 Suffolk men held as Prisoners of War in Germany and Italy.

Brandon A.T.C. – The Brandon flight of the Air Training Corps held their fortnightly dance at the Paget Hall, where a military band played.

Fund raising – Miss Neep raised, through her ‘Penny A Week’ scheme, £10 8s 9d for the Red Cross in the months of November and December 1942. This includes £2 6d raised by carol singing.

Medal awarded to Brandon man – A D.F.C. has been awarded to Acting-Flight Lieutenant William Johnson, R.A.F.V.R., 126 Squadron. He was born in Brandon in 1919 and enlisted during 1939, though by this time he was at Northampton. He was awarded the D.F.C. for action in Malta and was reported to have destroyed at least five enemy planes and proved himself to be a fearless pilot. At all times he displayed great gallantry, determination and skilful leadership.


A.T.C. – Brandon’s Air Training Corps are reporting that they are making good progress. Eleven members have passed their Proficiency Part 1 and Part 2 and of these two have actually now entered into the Royal Air Force. The rest of the Corps will sit their Part 1 later.

House auction – There was an auction held recently at the Ram Hotel where two cottages, 73 and 75 Thetford Road, were up for sale. Mr R Dixon bought them both for £365. The Seller was Messrs. Hawker and Witton and the solicitor was Mr T.E. Rudling.

P.O.W. – Private Bernard Westlake has been taken Prisoner of War by the Italians in North Africa.

The sad case of the death of a Brandon man – On Monday 15th February an inquest was held into the death of 44 year old Mr John Talbot, of Lode Street, Brandon. Mr Talbot was a member of the Railway Hotel darts team and had visited the Brandon House for a game. When it was Mr Talbot’s turn to play the witnesses realised that he was missing, and they assumed he had gone home. However, the next morning Mr Talbot’s hat and coat still remained in the darts room. His body was discovered the following evening at the bottom of the cellar stairs, his head lying in a pool of blood. It looked as though he had fallen down the stairs while mistakenly choosing the wrong door for the lavatory. The passage was leading to the cellar and the toilet was in darkness without light, probably due to the blackout.
Mr Talbot’s parents told the inquest that he had left home at 6pm after tea and was expected back home at about 10pm. His father went to bed at 9.45pm, while his mother waited until 12.15am for him to return home.  The inquest heard that he was not drunk and no foul play was suspected. The Coroner returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

Fund raising – A dance organised by Mrs R Marsden in the Paget Hall raised £37 10s for the Prisoners of War Fund. A military band played and dancing competitions were won by Miss Moreton, Mr Blakeny, Miss Allsop and her partner.


Petty sessions – On Monday 1st March, a Petty Sessions heard of Brandon resident displaying light in the hours of blackout. Sitting on the Bench were General HJG de Lotbiniere, Mr H Lingwood and Major H Wentworth-Smith.
Married woman, Mrs Amy Clarke, pleaded guilty to displaying light during the hours of blackout on 1st February 1943. She was a the cinema when Police Sergeant Adams, of the Brandon Police, fetched her and returned her home to discover that her children, aged 2½ and 6 years old, were alone in the house. Mrs Clarke suggested that the elder child must have set alight to some paper in the grate, though she was sure there were no matches in the house. In fact the six year old girl had woken and wanted to look at her picture book, so she went downstairs and found a box of matches in the vase on the mantle piece. This box contained two matches. She then tore some pages from her book and set alight to them in the grate.  A fine of £1 was imposed.

Also at the Petty Sessions the Bench heard a report of licensed premises in the town. They were:

  • 10 Ale houses,
  • 4 Beer houses,
  • 1 Grocers,
  • 1 Registered Club.

This meant there was one licence for every 220.2 of the population. All houses had been conducted in a suitable manner and there was just one charge of drunkenness, which was to a male.  Two parents were each fined by the Bench £1 because their children had irregularly attended the Brandon Council Schools.

P.O.W. – The War Office has officially notified Mrs E Adams, Thetford Road, that her husband, Private K.L. Adams, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment, is a Prisoner Of War in Malaya.

Medal for Brandon man – The Distinguished Service Medal has been awarded to Wing Commander Richard Charles Marler Collard, D.F.C., 21 Squadron. He saw action over Germany during 1940 and also in the Middle East. He was stationed in Greece to take part in attacks on Albania and Italy, Iraq and Syria before returning to the UK.
On his last mission, while approaching the target, his left engine was hit by Anti-Aircraft fire and was put out of action. Despite this he went on and dropped his bomb load over the target.  The official report stated,

“By his determination and exceptional devotion to duty, W/Co Collard has been an inspiration to all under his command”,

Paper salvage – The average paper salvage returns per house in Brandon, during 1942, equated to 47.8lbs.

Arrest – Robert Linge, aged 21, a timber feller from London Road, Brandon, was charged with assaulting Police Sergeant J.A. Adams. He was released on bail to appear at Brandon Police Court on April 5th.

Wings For Victory – A ‘Wings For Victory’ meeting was held to discuss whether Brandon should include itself in the Mildenhall Rural District Council’s ‘Wings For Victory’ week, or if it should run on its own.
Messrs F Gentle, H Lingwood and B Lingwood, who were also District Councillors, thought it would be a pity if Brandon were the only place to separate its efforts from the M.R.D.C.  The vote was a tie and the Chairman (Mr F Mount) had the deciding vote and opted to stay within the efforts of the M.R.D.C. Mr F Gentle said he would be Chairman of the local committee if Mr T Green would be Secretary. Mr Green replied that he would only if the rest of the Committee pulled their weights.


Mildenhall magistrates – On Friday 9th April at Mildenhall Magistrates Court, Brandon butcher, Gentle & Sons Ltd, High Street, were find £90 and £15 costs, for making false records of meat supplied to the N.A.A.F.I.

P.O.W. – Mrs L Ashley, The Rookery, Town Street, has been officially informed that her husband, Sapper Douglas Ashley, Royal Engineers, is a Prisoner Of War of the Japanese, and is in a Thailand POW Camp. This is the first news of his welfare for 14 months.


P.O.W. – Mrs F Branch, Thetford Road, has been officially notified that her son, Sapper Albert Bert Branch, Royal Engineers, is a Prisoner Of War at a camp in Malaya. This is the first news of her son for 14 months. Mrs Branch has another son and son-in-law also missing, as well as two nephews. Another son is currently serving with His Majesty’s Forces in India.

P.O.W. – Mrs W Coppin, 190 London Road, has been informed that her husband, Private W.A. Coppin, Norfolk Regiment, is a Prisoner Of War at Malai Camp. He was previously reported as missing in Malaya.

Fines – There were mass fines in Brandon for people caught riding cycles without lights.

Football match – Brandon Air Training Corps played football against Northwold Home Guard in the final of the Mundford Charity Cup, held at Mundford. Brandon A.T.C. won the match 3-0 and the scorers were: Fox, Fuller and Waterman.

Parish Council – Brandon Parish Council decided to erect concrete bollards in The Avenue to prevent motor traffic using the road. The Council also stated their concern at cyclists using the footpaths.

Parish Council A.G.M. – At the Parish Council A.G.M. Mr H Lingwood was re-elected as Chairman. Accounts showed a credit balance of £39 10s 3d.

Police station – At the West Suffolk Standing Joint Committee, the Chief Constable drew attention to the condition and lack of reasonable accommodation for staff at the Police Station in Brandon. He said there was only room available, which presently was being used as a charge room, office and as an assembly room for Special Constables. The room is a converted prison cell, with a floor space of 10’ x 6’, and is constantly occupied. Clerical duties, answering the telephone and air raid warning duties meant it had to be manned 24 hours a day.  Mr Creese added that the sitting room had to be used for temporary court purposes.
Captain H.R. King and Major Wentworth-Smith described the station as the worst in the county. The County Architect said it was possible to erect an office on part of the exercise yard.

Champion pigs – Brandon butcher, Mr F.W. Gentle, a well known breeder of pedigree Wessex Saddleback pigs, has sold his champion Wessex sow, ‘Brandon Orient’, to Messrs Lodge Bros., Salisbury, for a three figure sum.

Quiz – A First Aid quiz was organised for the West Suffolk area and Brandon’s team consisted of – Mrs Wentworth-Smith, Mr R Edwards, Mr R Austin and Mrs M.E. Lingwood. The contest lasted for three rounds and each player had to answer a technical first aid question for each round and a maximum five points could be won for each answer. The results are this –

Team Pts after 1st round Pts after 2nd round  Pts after 3rd round
Bury Zone 17 33 52½
Bury Borough 19 34½ 51
Newmarket 15 28½ 48½
Sudbury Borough 13 30 46½
Mildenhall 15 25 39
Brandon 16 28 39
Sudbury Zone 16 24 36

P.O.W. – Mr and Mrs J Carter, 90 London Road, have received official notification that their youngest son, Private Albert F Carter, Royal Army Medical Corps, is a Prisoner Of War at a camp in Thailand.

House sales – On Wednesday 19th May, 1943, an auction of houses was held at the Ram Hotel.

  • 126 & 128 London Road, were bought by Mr J.W. Norton for £440.
  • 57 & 59 Thetford Road, were bought by Mr F.W. Gentle for £210.

Water rate – The water rate for Brandon for the year is 6d in the £.

Killed in action – Mr and Mrs Arbon, Wangford, have been notified that their youngest son, Private Charles Arbon, Buffs, has been killed in action in North Africa. He was previously involved in the evacuation from Dunkirk and had worked on Lord Iveagh’s estate at Wangford before the start of the war.

Forest visit – Representatives of eleven Allied countries, led by Sir Roy Robinson, Chairman of the Forestry Commission, visited Thetford Forest. The representatives from Belgium, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Holland, Norway, Poland, Russia, U.S.A. and Yugoslavia watched the production of pit props for the coalfields of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. They also watched the production of Celotex and boardmill material.


P.O.W. – Mr and Mrs E Malt, Bury Road, have received official notification that their son, Lance Corporal Henry James Malt, is a Prisoner Of War of the Japanese.

P.O.W. – Mrs F Branch, Thetford Road, has received official notification that her son in law, Sapper George Alfred Keys, Royal Engineers, is a Prisoner Of War at Malai Camp. Sapper Keys was reported missing in February 1942 and in April the same year his wife died at the West Suffolk Hospital, leaving a 6-year-old son.

Dance – A dance at the Paget Hall, and organised by Brandon’s Air Training Corps, raised £35 for the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund.

Parish Council – TOWN HALL
At a recent Brandon Parish Council meeting, Mr B Lingwood raised a question of whether the town should have a Town Hall. He said the need was apparent before the war and now it was essential and a site should e reserved for the hall to be built after the war. The Market Hill was the obvious choice for the Council and the Council voted unanimously for the proposal and formed a committee to raise funds and enquire about a possible site.  The Council also wanted to enquire why signposts and direction boards could not be re-erected an they had been done in neighbouring areas.

Award – Flying Officer, Jack Mills, 13 London Road, Brandon, has been awarded the M.B.E.

M.R.D.C. – At a recent meeting of the Mildenhall Rural District Council Mr H Lingwood raised the issue of people cycling on footpaths stating it was dangerous and that the Highways Committee had refused to allow Brandon Parish Council a bylaw banning it.


P.O.W. – Mrs M.E. Branch, Thetford Road, has received a postcard from her husband, Sgt C Branch, Royal Engineers, stating that he has been interned in Camp Taiwan, and is in Japanese hands. His health is as usual and he is working for pay. This is the first news for Mrs Branch since the fall of Singapore.

Juvenile court – At a Juvenile Court in Brandon, two 9 year old boys were charged with setting fire to a haystack belonging to General H.J.G. de Lotbiniere, and causing £75 worth of damage.  One of the boys was ordered to be sent to an approved school and his father to pay 5s a week towards his maintenance.

Wings For Victory – It is reported that the ‘Wings For Victory’ week in the Brandon district raised £35,566 11s 8d. This broke down into:

  • Brandon = £24,673 9s 2d
  • Lakenheath = £5,109
  • Elveden – £2,282
  • Santon Downham = £706

W.I. raising funds – Brandon’s Women’s Institute have donated money from their Salvage Fund to the following causes:

  • £10 for ‘Silver Thimble Fund’ for hospitals in Malta
  • £5 for British Sailors’ Society
  • £5 to the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund

Parish Council – Brandon Parish Council recently viewed plans of the new bridge across the river. The council expressed their pleasure at the 30ft structure as it had still kept the character of the existing bridge. There would be a 6ft path on either side, recesses for viewing, which are made of stone with flint sides.  The Council also made enquiries into the site of the proposed Town Hall and the Post Office said it may relocate to the Market Hill, although the Ministry of Health said it would not offer a loan for such a move during wartime.  It was also highlighted to the Council, by Mr A Towler, that the town’s ambulance was out of commission and the Chairman, Mr F Gentle, said he would look into it.

P.O.W. – Writing from a German POW camp, Lieutenant Basil W. Rought-Rought, Royal Norfolk Regiment, has stated that he is very fit and helping in the prisoners’ gardens and busy organising sports. He had participated in a cricket ‘test match’, with a tennis ball, and represented England vs the Dominions, and had hit 40 runs. Before the war Lieutenant Rought-Rought represented Norfolk County at cricket.

P.O.W. – There have been more Brandon men featuring in the lists of Prisoners Of War held by the Japanese –

  • Private S Glaister, Cambridgeshire Regiment, son of Mr H Glaister, 8 White Horse Street.
  • Private V Jones, Cambridgeshire Regiment, husband of Mrs Jones, Manor Road.
  • Private B Catchpole, 200 London Road.
  • Sapper A Palmer, husband of Mrs A Palmer, 161 Thetford Road.
  • Lance-Corporal Charles Ashley, husband of Mrs C.W. Ashley, Laundry Cottages, Santon Downham.
  • Private H Winter, Royal Norfolk Regiment, Town Street.


Mayor’s Fund – The Bury St Edmunds Mayor led West Fund for the Prisoners Of War held by the Japanese, stood at £17,029 9s 11d and the money was raised by various events such as, whist drives, dances, concerts, fetes, house to house collections. Of this total £2 15s 10d was raised by Brandon.


National day of prayer and dedication – Friday 3rd September has been named as the 4th annual National Day of Prayer and Dedication.

Police courts – Before the Brandon Police Court was a woman from London who had been summoned for failing to furnish and sign a statement as to her nationality while she was staying at a hotel in the town during July 10th – 11th.
Doris Barrett, proprietress of the Ouse Hotel, said that the woman, Rebekah Ekstein, stayed for one night with a soldier but did not stay for the 2nd night that she had booked for. She gave the bill to the soldier and asked the defendant to fill in a registration form. She went upstairs to make the beds and came back down to find the soldier filling in the form and Mrs Barrett told the defendant that she had to do it personally herself. The defendant replied that she could not do it because she didn’t have permission from the London Police for the night.
The case was dismissed.

Robert Henry Hares, a Welfare Officer from Elveden, was charged with the theft of War Department blankets valued at £3 2s 6d between January 1st and July 6th.
Police at Bognor had tipped off the local police and they found the blankets in the defendant’s house. The defendant said, “The blankets were issued to my wife by the evacuation authorities at Bognor”. Police Constable Osborne cautioned the defendant and asked him the real reason why they were there and the defendant admitted to taking the blankets because his six children only had two blankets between them.
Mr Hares addressed the Bench and said that his children were lying in bed cold and he saw the blankets in a heap in a hut. He pleaded guilty and stated he was sorry for the offence. He was fined £5.

M.R.D.C. – At a meeting of the Mildenhall Rural District Council it was reported that between January and July £299 had been realised from the collection of salvage.  The result of a book drive saw the following allocated:

  • 3,021 books for M.H. Forces;
  • 53 books for H.M.S. Macbeth;
  • 676 books for local libraries;
  • 18,014 books for re-pulping;
  • TOTAL books donated = 21,764

Bowls – Brandon Ouseside beat the South-West Norfolk Police 92-81 at Bowls, in a match hosted in the town.




The Regional Commissioner has decided that AIR RAID WARNING SIRENS OF EACH MONTH at 10 a.m., commencing October 4th, 1943. The test will take the following form:-
1. The “Raiders Passed” Signal sounded for one minute.
Followed by
2. The “Alert” Signal sounded for one minute.
Followed by
3. The “Raiders Passed” Signal for one minute.

As much publicity as possible should be given to this so as to prevent alarm being created.
J.CREESE, A.R.P. Controller, West Suffolk County Council
September 24th, 1943


P.O.W. fund – It has been announced that £40,000 has been handed over to the Prisoners of War Organisation, of the British Red Cross Society.


Parish Council – At a meeting of the Brandon Parish Council, Mr Bernard Lingwood complained that there was no other place he knew of that had been so totally deprived of facilities for public gatherings as Brandon. The Armed Service personnel complained that they had to go out of town for dances, etc. and even the Brandon Parish Council had to meet anywhere they could find.  Mr T Green complained about the new mail posting times. He said that older people remembered being able to post a letter up until 11p.m. during the First World War, but now the last post on a Saturday was 1.15p.m.  It was also reported that the County Council had agreed to create new bye laws preventing vehicles from using the Avenue.