Man Survives Air Raid which Destroyed his House

When a bomb demolished a house in a suburb on Saturday afternoon, the owner was inside. To the amazement of the A.R.P. workers who were at once on the spot, the man crawled from the wreckage suffering only from cuts and shock. Here he is being taken to a nearby first-aid post.   Press Censorship during World War Two Newspapers rarely gave details of the exact location of successful bombing raids, so we may never know where this incident happened, nor who the lucky survivor was. When war broke out…

How OXO helped Strengthen the Home Front

In 1840 a German chemist, by the name of Baron Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), invented meat extract through his Extract of Meat Company, and shortly after Oxo was created.  The formula was so popular that by 1908 Oxo was able to become an official sponsor of the London Olympics and supplied fortified drinks of Oxo to marathon runners. By 1910 the makers had formulated the iconic OXO ‘cube’, making it more accessible to families around the world, and further increased Oxo’s popularity.  During the First World War it became a stable…

Burial of Air Raid Casualties

The idea seems to have gained currency in some districts where there have, unhappily, been fatal air-raid casualties, that such persons are buried, more or less unceremoniously, in a public grave. That is a wrong impression altogether, and that it should exist at all is very distressing. While it is true that the local authority for the area concerned may take charge of the funeral arrangements and may bury the casualties at the public expense where it seems desirable, the funeral is never, in any sense of the word, a…

Men Wanted Now

The devastation left by the air raids on, and around, London was immense and people were needed to help with the clear up.  This advert appeared in the Bromley District Times newspaper on the 18th October 1940 advertising for those who were ‘able-bodied’ and ‘temporarily out-of-work’ to enrol for the job.   London air raid debris Clearance Scheme Men Wanted Now Jobs for able-bodied men temporarily out-of-work Enrol now at your local Employment Exchange If you are now unemployed and live in the London area, you are invited to enrol…

Flight-Sergeant Charles Sydney

KILLED IN ACTION Flight-Sergeant C. Sydney. St Mary Cray. Flight-Sergeant Charles Sydney, aged 25 years, third son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Sydney, of Derry Downs, St. Mary Cray, was killed during a combat with the Germans on September 27. When a boy, Flight Sergeant Sydney went to St Mary Cray Council School, and at the age of 11 years won a scholarship which admitted him to Bromley County School, where he stayed until 15 years of age. He was then accepted in the Royal Air Force for training at…

Ten Planes Brought Down during 1940 air battle

Another week of heavy bombing was felt over London in early Autumn 1940.  While thousands of people travelled to work in London one Friday morning, enemy aircraft and British fighters fought in the skies overhead. The Bromley & District newspaper reported that 10 German planes were brought down in the London area. This report was published on 4th October 1940 and the Friday mentioned is possibly be the previous Friday – the 27th September. Over Chislehurst ad Orpington Two near Biggin Hill It was officially announced that ten German planes were brought…

TRIBUTE TO CIVIL DEFENCE SERVICES

To the Editor Sir,- I should much like to express through the medium of your paper, our deep appreciation of the great work being done by all the Civil Defence Services. The tireless devotion to duty and the splendid courage of the men and women in all branches of the Home Defence organisations can never be adequately expressed in words, and this fine spirit is an inspiration to all who have the honour to know them and benefit by their splendid and gallant efforts in the cause of humanity. God…

Three-Decker Bunk beds in Bromley Air Raid Shelter

Three-Decker Divans in Elm Bank Hotel Shelter The entrance to these improvised sleeping quarters is down a six-feet stairway directly below the main stairs. Each bunk, made with deep springs and coil interiors, measures 6-feet by 3-fet, ensures complete relaxation – the 20-inch walls, utmost safety. Guests now have their choice  upstairs wit H and C, or downstairs with comfort and quietness, which coupled with excellent food, is obtainable at as low as 3 1/2 Guineas per week. ELM BANK HOTEL Widmore Green, Bromley   Source: Bromley & District Times,…

The Crisp Brothers

One family from Bromley, Kent saw three of their five sons on active services during World War 2.  This short article, printed in the Bromley & District Times newspaper on the 8th November 1940 (page 5), gives readers an update on their whereabouts. Articles like this are very useful to find when searching family history, as they can give further information about the person such as military regiments, schools attended and where they were employed prior to signing up.  As well as names of other family members.   Our Service Families…

Private Albert Boxall

Prisoner of War Mr  and Mrs A. Boxall, of 38 Holbrook Way, Bromley, have received recent news from their son, Albert Boxall, who had been a prisoner of war in Germany since May 1940, when he was captured on the Arras front. He was in the Territorial Army before the war, and was called up at the outbreak and stationed in France.  When he was taken prisoner he was only 19. He attended Raglan Road School and was later employed as a gardener. His main hobby was golf, at which…