Shelters Under Water – Orpington Urban Council

Protection of civilians in the event of an enemy attack was an important issue to the Government during World War Two.   In 1938 the Anderson Shelter, named after Sir John Anderson, Home Secretary during the Battle of Britain was designed.  It was designed for use in the garden, and when covered with earth the shelter would give some protection from shell fragments and bomber splinters, although dampness was an ever present problem. These shelters was designed to accommodate up to six people, and were supplied by the government for free…

Biggin Hill helps support Orpington’s War Weapons Week

War Weapons Week Biggin Hill is making a strenuous effort to support Orpington War Weapons Week, March 22 – 29.  The local  War Savings Committee, under the direction of Mr F. W. Buck, the secretary, have taken a shop on the Main Road, which will be open during the week for the sale of Saving Stamps and Certificates.  It is hoped that all will – Help to foot the Nation’s Bill By putting something in the till. A special effort, under the direction of Mrs Osgood, is being made to…

Orpington Passes their £100,000 War Weapons Week aim

Great Enthusiasm in town and villages Crowds watch mile-long parade of military and civil bodies Orpington District War Weapons Week, which was inaugurated on Saturday, and will be closed tomorrow (Saturday) evening has exceeded all expectations. The total amount invested up to Wednesday evening in Savings certificates, bonds, stamps, and deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank was £104,000 The aim of the organisers was to raise £100,000.  Residents in the villages and in Central Orpington have showed their patriotism by the magnificent response.  Village post-offices received amounts ranging from…

Orpington’s War Weapons Week – 1941

March 22-29 £100,000 is the Aim Attractive Programme being arranged The majority of the committees which will be responsible for organising the Orpington District War Weapons Week have now been formed and are busily engaged in their preparations. The aim is to raise £100,000, and every village and organisation in the urban district will be invited to help in the effort. In Central Orpington there will be large indicators which will record the investments each day.  Smaller indicators  will be erected in the villages.  All will be adorned by a…

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…

Rambler Captures German Airman

Although no actual date is given for when this ‘capture’ happened, it is likely to have been shortly after the 15th September 1940 as it mentions ‘Sequel to Air Battle.’  The 15th September 1940 (now known as Battle of Britain Day) was a key date in the Battle of Britain, as the RAF saw off waves of attacking Luftwaffe bombers and fighters. The Germans suffered a heavy loss during this attack, in which the Luftwaffe lost 75 aircraft.  On the 18th September (known at The Hardest Day),  a second large attack by the Germans saw…

Salute the Soldier Week – August 1944

‘Salute the Solider Week’ was a national fundraising effort to encourage civilians to place their money in government accounts, as Britain prepared for a final assault on Nazi Germany. Across the country celebrations began with a parade and culminated on public space, such as a village green, with a mixture of speeches, blessing ceremonies, sporting events and games. This report from the Bromley & District Times newspaper in August 1944, provides details of the event which took place in Orpington.   Salute the Soldier Everything is set for Salute the…

Orpington Gunner’s Ordeal

Stranded on Dunkirk Beach Gunner Ellard Grubb, whose home is at 40 Perry Hall rOad, Orpington, has arrived in England after an ordeal at Dunkirk which he will not easily forget. While waiting o be taken across the Channel he spent two days and nights on the beach, which was constantly bombarded by the Germans. His regiment embarked for England, but he and six other men were left behind.  They eventually found and boarded a Naval pinnace in the habour, it was without oil supplies and drifted with the tide…

Rifleman James William Hodson

James William Hodson, a native of Orpington, was a  member of the 2nd Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps. His parents, William and Mary Ann Hodson, lived at 1 Bank Cottages, Lower Rd., St. Mary Cray, Kent. He was killed in action on the 21st May 1915, aged 23 Featured in the Bromley & District Times, 24th May 1918, page 4 He is buried  at Woburn Abbey Cemetery, Cuinchy in Pas de Calais, France.  His grave stone is inscribed with the words “GONE FROM US BUT NOT FORGOTTEN NEVER SHALL HIS MEMORY FADE” Researched using www.militaryancestors.co.uk…