Police Sergeants Bravery During WW2

Award for Rescue of R.A.F. Pilot The King, states Tuesday’s London Gazette, has been pleased to approve the award of the Medal of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire, for Meritorious Service to Arthur Hendon Cole, Sergeant, Kent Special Constabulary. An aircraft of the Royal Air Force taking off from Biggin Hill aerodrome crashed and turned over in the garden of the house next to that occupied by Sergeant Cole.  The pilot was trapped and hanging by his harness upside down.  Cole ran to his ambulance and,…

Pilot Officer R.A. Marchand

The funeral of Pilot Officer Roy Achille Marchand, who was killed in action on September 15th, aged 22, took place at St Mark’s Church, Bromley and afterwards at Bromley Hill Cemetery.  He was the only son of Mr And Mrs Rene A, Marchand, of 6 Hayes Road, Bromley, and his death was recorded in our issue last week. The mourners were Mr and Mrs Rene Marchand, Mrs Jean Marchand, Mrs O. Cullen and Mr and Mrs E. Dean. The flowers included a wreath (R.A.F.) from his father, a large heart…

The Hardest Day – WW2 Air Battle

The Bromley & District Times published this photograph of a German plane which had been brought down close to Biggin Hill airfield during a fierce air battle between the German Luftwaffe and British Royal Air Force (RAF) on Sunday 18th August 1940. The Luftwaffe had chosen this particular day to make an all-out effort to destroy RAF Fighter Command. The air battles that took place on the 18th August were amongst the largest aerial engagements in history to that time, with both sides suffering heavy losses. In the air, the British shot…

Raiders Foiled in Air Attacks on London: 1940

The onslaught continued into September 1940.  This article appeared in the Bromley & District Times newspaper. Fine Work by R.A.F. fighters and A.A. Gunners   Waves of enemy bombers, supported by fighter escorts have failed in repeated thrusts at London’s defences. Mass raids by day and cruising “nuisance” planes at night have formed the enemy’s tactics against Britain this week. In the attacks over Kent, R.A.F. fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft guns have smashed large formations of German bombers and escorts, sending them racing for home depleted and battered. The R.A.F.…

Great Air Battles Off Coast, August 1940

This report details the beginning of the Battle of Britain, outlining the impressive number of aircraft brought down by the R.A.F. and ground defence units, who work tirelessly to protect Britain.  Reported in the Bromley & District Times, 23rd August 1940   295 Raiders Down in 7 Days Brilliant Work by R.A.F. and Ground Defences In air battles of enormous proportions which have raged over Kent and South Coasts this week the R.A.F. and British ground defences have exacted heavy toll from the enemy. In seven days from last Thursday, when…

The Battle of Britain is on, August 1940

When France collapsed, it was anticipated that Britain would be next.  However, as the Bromley & District Times reported in August 1940, both the R.A.F. and anti-aircraft gunners, although less in numbers, were vastly superior and stronger, managing to keep enemy at bay.  German planes not brought down were sent reeling home, damaged and diminished. The Battle of Britain had begun…   It’s On… The Battle of Britain is on. It has not begun in the way many people expected.  When France collapsed so tragically, through the weakness and treachery of her new…

Thrilling Aerial Dog-Fights over Kent in WW2

Raiders Over Kent —————— Bombers Chased off by R.A.F. and A.A. Gunners ——————- Home Guard “Bag” a Dornier with Rifle Volley ——————- Motorists machine-gunned in Lanes Kent experienced air raids on Friday and Sunday. In the first, damage was caused at Northfleet and there were some casualties, and in the second thrilling aerial dog-fights were seen. Men of a Home Guard posed fired at a Dornier, which staggered a few miles and crashed. On Sunday afternoon a large district in Kent received the unwelcome attentions of a number of German…

German pilots buried in Cudham

This story appeared in the Bromley & District Times newspaper in July 1940, recording the funeral of two German airmen who were shot down by Hurricanes of 32 squadron from RAF Biggin Hill (flown by Pilot Officer Peter Gardner, Sergeant William Burley Higgins and Sergeant Edward Alan Bayley). The plane crashed at Baybrooks, Horsmonden after attacking Kenley aerodrome The two pilots were Erich Hoffman (a Flight Engineer) aged 26 years old (grave number NN30) and Waldema Theilig (a Wireless Operator) aged 25 years (grave number NN31) and both were buried…

Daring attacks over German and Italian territories, 1940

This report featured in the 19th July 1940 edition of the Bromley & District Times, giving readers an update on the R.A.F. attacks conducted over enemy territory.  It also warned readers that an ‘established Defence Area’ on the South Coast was being barred to holiday-makers. Raids over German and Italian Territory. Many Enemy Planes Brought Down The R.A.F. are continuing their successful operations over a wide area, carrying out daring attacks on German and Italian territory. German raids on this country have been vigorously resisted by R.A.F. fighters and anti-aircraft defences,…

At Least Eleven Enemy Aircraft were Shot Down

A report featured in the Bromley & District Times newspaper in July 1940. More daylight air raids have been made in various parts of Britain, with casualties to civilians.  But raiders have been shot down daily. At least eleven enemy aircraft were shot down during a series of attacks on Wednesday on our coasts. In one battle it was estimated that over 100 aircraft were engaged. The R.A.F. have continued their attacks on military objectives in Germany with conspicuous success, and during the week have wrecked German barges which were…