October 7, 2013

Air Attacks

Documents held at the Suffolk Records Office in Bury St Edmunds contain information of ten air-raids in and around Brandon, mainly from during 1940-41.

Most of the incidents were of bombs falling into rural farmland and not causing much damage, but two raids inflicted damage on Brandon homes although without casualties, and the final entry for 1941 details a raid on the Barnardo’s Home For Boys, which was adjacent to R.A.F. Lakenheath, and injured two.

The information here has been taken from war-time documents between the Mildenhall Rural District Council – Air Raid Precautions Department Officer, – W.T. Croose; and the West Suffolk County Council – Air Raid Precautions Department Controller – John Creese; at Bury St. Edmunds.

HE = High Explosive bomb;   INC = Incendiary bomb;

Date Location Occupier’s name Bombs Damage
07-06-40 Wangford Common
(Camouflaged aerodrome)
15 HE
17-06-40
(09.10)
Chalk Hall Farm, Elveden. 1 HE (unexploded)
4 HE
shed smashed & private telephone wire damaged;
16-11-40
(02.00)
Fen House Farm, Brandon. 1 HE
1 INC
some windows broken;
In woods, off Town Street. 1 HE no damage;
30-01-41 Fen House Farm, Brandon. 1 HE (unexploded)
2 HE
slight damage to wire fence & railway line;

(also bombing at Lakenheath, Barton Mills, Beck Row, Herringswell & West Row this date and time)

(20.00) Calders Wood Yard, near Brandon Railway Station. 6 INC
band saw machine;
cross-cut machine;
damage to belts;
Wangford Warren “some HE & INC” trees damaged;
May Day Farm 5 HE
“some INC”
no damage;
In Fish Pond 30 INC no damage
(also bombing in Lakenheath half hour previous)
12-05-41
(00.20)
“a Brandon field” 1 HE electric cable & telephone wires down;
window broken;
(00.30) May Day Farm “several HE” no damage;
12-05-41
BRANDON 10 HE
16 High Street, Caban external plaster damaged;
32 George Street, P.W. Steggles slates shifted & gutters;
30 George Street, H. Wolsey slates shifted & gutters;
14 George Street, E.E. Carter ceiling damaged;
179 Thetford Road, T.W. Adams ceiling damaged;
165 Thetford Road, Mrs. Snare window forced in;
155 Thetford Road, R. Royal ceiling damaged;
141 Thetford Road, Mrs. Branch ceiling damaged;
145 Thetford Road, V. Warfe ceiling damaged;
104 Thetford Road, D. Elmer tiles shifted & outhouse damaged;
98 Thetford Road, W.S. Elmer tiles shifted & ceiling damaged;
96 Thetford Road, F. Edwards ceilings damaged;
74 Thetford Road, H. Edwards tiles shifted & outhouse damaged;
72 Thetford Road, H. Field outhouse damaged;
68 Thetford Road, T. Edwards outhouse damaged;
66 Thetford Road, W. Edwards outhouse damaged;
63 Thetford Road, Mrs Field outhouse damaged;
49 Thetford Road, L.M. Mathews ceiling damaged;
36 Bury Road,  C. Smith ceiling damaged;
38 Bury Road, ceiling damaged;
40 Bury Road, W. Reed ceiling damaged;
42 Bury Road, S. Thompson ceiling damaged;
44 Bury Road, E. Hunt ceiling damaged;
46 Bury Road, ceiling damaged;
62 Bury Road, D.P. Lingwood wood garage shifted;
64 Bury Road, W.A. Drewry ceiling damaged;
66 Bury Road, G. Drewry tiles shifted;
ceiling damaged;
70 Bury Road, C.M. Towler ceiling damaged;
76 Bury Road, T.H. Palmer ceiling damaged;
78 Bury Road, Mrs A.M. Steggles tiles shifted;
82 Bury Road, P.E. Tilney tiles shifted;
84 Bury Road, Mrs. Emily Field tiles shifted;
86 Bury Road, W. Vail tiles shifted & chimney damaged;
88 Bury Road, Ashley tiles shifted & door forced;
90 Bury Road, C. Mutum tiles shifted & door forced;
92 Bury Road, W. Chilley windows forced inwards;
94 Bury Road, E. Norton ceiling damaged;
96 Bury Road, A.J. Ward windows & doors forced;
98 Bury Road, B. Mutum ceilings damaged & doors forced;
100 Bury Road, W. Cleaver fairly, general;
31-07-41
(03.30)
BRANDON
Gas House Lane
(fowl houses)
W. Hurrell
Gas House Lane
(gasometer)
British Gas Light Co. Ltd. pierced by splinters in two places;
Gas House Lane
(house)
George Phillpot windows & doors;
Gas House Lane
(bungalow)
  ceilings & contents;
Waterworks Road
(asbestos garage)
Frank Kybird roof & walls damaged;
contents slightly damaged;
Waterworks
(engine house)
Mildenhall Rural District Council slight damage to roof & walls pitted;
windows damaged, etc.;
Waterworks
(house)
Frank Kybird slight damage to roof & walls pitted;
ceiling & windows damaged;
54 Thetford Road,
(house)
Westley Edwards ceilings;
54 Thetford Road,
(Coach & Horses – public house)
E.W. Middleton windows & ceilings;
56 Thetford Road, Mrs. Docking ceiling;
137 Thetford Road, Mr. Royal
143 Thetford Road, Frank Bulloch roof slight damage;
145 Thetford Road, Vic Warfe roof slight damage;
147 Thetford Road, E.R. Field ceiling;
149 Thetford Road, George A.R. Bond roof slight damage;
151 Thetford Road, Phillip Norton ceilings;
155 Thetford Road, Robert Royal ceilings & windows;
157 Thetford Road, Percy Whitta ceiling;
159 Thetford Road, Oscar F. Bilverstone slight ceiling damage;
161 Thetford Road, Palmer slight roof damage;
163 Thetford Road, Percy Ayms slight roof damage & ceilings;
165 Thetford Road, Mrs. Snare slight roof damage;
ceilings & doors;
167 Thetford Road, William H. Inns slight roof damage;
small bulge in wall;
damage to ceilings, windows & contents;
outhouse demolished;
169 Thetford Road, S.E. Shepherd slight roof damage;
damage to ceilings & windows;
outhouse demolished;
171 Thetford Road, Wing slight roof damage;
173 Thetford Road, Mrs. Docking slight roof damage;
175 Thetford Road, Ernie Cole-Wilkins
177 Thetford Road, William Stammers
179 Thetford Road, Tom W. Adams slight roof damage;
181 Thetford Road, J. Hacker
183 Thetford Road, R. Swinton slight roof damage;
185 Thetford Road, D. Blackmore very slight wall damage;
13-10-41
(02.30)
Wangford Hall Dr. Barnardo’s
home for boys.
4 HE windows & roof damaged;
2 boys slightly injured;
Dr. Barnardo’s children evacuated;
03-10-43
(23.25)
Shakers Lodge, Thetford Forest, Brandon.
a container of SD2s. (Butterfly bombs – open at a preset altitude to scatter bomblets)
(
also at Elveden this night)

The repair bill

The following is an extract from the builder’s bill submitted to the Mildenhall Rural District Council for repairs to houses caught in the bomb blasts of 31st July 1941 air raid …

November 30th 1941, bomb damage – Thetford Road Council houses, Brandon.
W. Peeke-Vont & Son, Watton, Norfolk.

Erecting a pair of coal houses at rear of Nos. 167 & 169, – as per estimate, £30
Conversion of 2 existing coal houses to W.C.s, – as per estimate, £25
TOTAL = £55

No. 145 – Repairs to ceilings, doors, etc. – £1 10s
No. 147 – Repairs to ceiling – 7s 6d
No. 149 – Repairs to lead valleys & roofs – £9
No. 155 – New ceiling to landing repairs to plaster in living room & new lead valley gutter – £15
TOTAL = £ 25 17s 6d

Labour costs:
Bricklayer’s labour – 779 hours – £74 13s 1d
Bricklayer’s Labourer – 136 hours – £10 4s
Carpenter – 83 hours – £7 19s 1d
Carpenter’s Labourer – 55½ hours – £4 3s 3d
Painter & Galzier – 302 hours – £28 18s 10d
Cartage and conveyance of workmen & materials – 28 hours – £11 15s
Materials as per invoice attached – £48 0s 3d
     TOTAL = £185 13s 6d