January 1, 2019

Wings for Victory


From 1940, and for every subsequent year of the war, there was a national drive to get the population to save their money.  People could buy war bonds or put their money into other savings schemes, with the aim of putting more cash into the hands of the government rather than individuals or businesses.  The government would then spend the money on the war effort.  Each year had a different focus and schemes were based locally, often leading to neighbouring towns competing as to who would pledge the most savings.

For Brandon in 1943, it was all about ‘Wings for Victory’, saving the equivalent amount of money to buy aircraft, such as bombers, fighters and training aircraft.  In the previous year Brandon had joined forces with the Mildenhall Rural District Council, and parish councillors debated whether to do so again or return to their own campaign.  The vote was tied, with the council chairman having the deciding vote – Brandon joined the M.R.D.C. campaign.  A target of £50,000 was set for the Mildenhall Rural District Council area.

MARCH 1943

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.


Rural District of Mildenhall
29th MAY to 5th JUNE
The Target is £50,000

The following are the Villages making the Effort:
Barton Mills, Beck Row, Brandon, Cavenham, Dalham, Elveden,
Eriswell, Freckenham, Gazeley, Herringswell, Higham, Icklingham,
Kentford, Lakenheath, Mildenhall, 
Moulton, Santon Downham,
Tuddenham, Wangford, West Row, Worlington


  • The official opening of Brandon’s “Wings for Victory” Week was marked by a large march past of H.M. Forces and local Civil Defence personnel and Air Vice Marshal Sir Patrick Playfair took the salute. Among those taking part were representatives from the Army, R.A.F., W.A.A.F., A.T.C., Special Constables, Fire Service, A.R.P., Home Guard, Army Cadet Corps, C.T.C., Girl Guides and Boy Scouts.
  • The parade assembled at the Recreation Ground and marched to the Market Place, where a service of intercession was conducted by the Rev. R.L. Gardener of St. Peter’s, Brandon and the Rev. H. Tyrell Green from Santon Downham. The assembly was led by a united choir, conducted by Mr A.E. Chapman who was an organist at St. Peter’s Church and the hymns were sung to the accompaniment of two military bands.
  • Also at the service with Air Vice Marshal Sir Patrick Playfair were F/O H.W. Lumsden, Mr F.W. Gentle, Mr H. Lingwood, Squadron Leader M.D. Day and Major F.F.A. Heilgers, M.P.
  • Mr Gentle, representing the ‘Wings for Victory’ Committee, expressed his thanks to the public for their attendance and said that it bode well for the town to have a very successful week.
  • Then followed an address by Major Frank Heilgers, M.P. who spoke of how vital it was to have air supremacy and the great need for war savings and investments. He said …

“if you spend your savings you send up the prices and make everything dearer for everyone. There is a danger of that now because people are spending a bigger proportion of their incomes than they did a year ago. I commend to you in particular War Savings Certificates. It is the only instance where you can bet on a thing and have sure knowledge that it will not let you down.”

  • Squadron Leader M.D. Day spoke of how he felt whilst abroad about the time he had heard about the Battle of Britain. He then went on to say that the day had now come to pay back the Germans, but more and more aircraft were needed. Not just bombers but also training aircraft and fighters and he appealed to all the town’s residents to do their best to support the ‘Wings for Victory’ Week.
  • General de Lotbiniere supported this by saying

“it was no good just praying for victory unless all did their bit by subscribing all they could to their ‘Wings for Victory’ effort.”

  • Also on the first day a concert was held on Mr F.W. Gentle’s Coulson Meadow. A military band played and a speech was given by Wing Commander Watt. A collection at the concert raised £19 19s 7d.
  • A garden fete, organised by Mr Field and Mr Goodwin, was held at Brandon Park. Some of the events included a display by Mr H Wentworth-Smith’s team of dogs and a gymnastic display by Watt’s Naval School Boys.

MONDAY, 30th May

  • A mock auction was held in the evening by Mr Witton (Thetford) on the Market Hill and from this the sum of £4,374 was invested.

SATURDAY, 4th June

  • A school sports were held on Coulson Meadows and prizes presented at the Council Schools on the following Monday. The poster competition winners were (senior)  1st Stanley Arnold, 2nd Basil Waterman, 3rd D Palmer. (junior) 1st Eric Crutchlow, 2nd Bernard Adams, 3rd Shirley Claxton.
  • Mr B Lingwood hosted a Whist drive was held in the school hall. The winners were 1st Mr & Mrs E Mayes, 2nd Mr B Dyer & partner, 3rd Mr & Mrs Sayer.
  • The week’s target was £15,000 savings, however it is estimated that the total amount invested in the Brandon district came to £35,566 11s 8d.

JULY 1943

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