World War Two

Battle of Britain - World War 2

World War TwoWorld War 2 was declared on 3rd September, 1939.

At first after the declaration, very little appeared to happen although there were some casualties at sea. This period soon became known as the Phoney War. It lasted until the 10th May, 1940 and then the Germans began to move against the British Expeditionary Forces in France and Flanders. During the retreat, soldiers were often left behind; if they were lucky they were captured by the Germans; prisoners of war. Sometimes they were not so lucky.

By the 26th May, 1940 the British army (or those who had survived ) were corralled on the beaches at Dunkirk with all appearances of sitting ducks waiting for the attack from the German Army. However, for some reason, it did not occur and Hitler gave the job of attacking the British Army at Dunkirk to the Luftwaffe.

This gave just enough time to avert total disaster. Disaster was turned into a minor miracle by the rescue of 215,000 British and 123,000 French in British ships, small and large to England. In the weeks following the evacuation, the papers were full of news of soldiers missing and then found to be prisoners of war. The war was over for them.

 


Newspaper Extracts

Browse newspaper extracts:

LOCAL NEWS STORIESADVERTSHOME LIFETHE PEOPLEWAR WEAPONS WEEK

The Money Front: Bromley’s Great Push

Mounting Total in War Weapons Week HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR NEW ZEALAND Stimulating Address at inaugural luncheon Thousands of people watch Naval and Military Procession Bromley gave a most suspicious start to the War Weapons Week on Saturday.  Munificent subscriptions for investment in Government securities were notified early in the day ...
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Beckenham’s War Weapons Week – Spring 1941

Our aim is £250,000 Says THE MAYOR Citizens of Beckenham: Our great War Weapons Week starts in just over a fortnight’s time. Between February 22nd and March 1st we are pledged to invest no less that £250,000 – a quarter of a million pounds in ONE week. Can Beckenham do ...
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In War Weapons Week – 7th Feb 1941

SAVINGS CERTIFICATE FOR EVERY BABY BORN Mayor of losing Borough to pay Beckenham, whose War Weapons Week commences on Saturday February 22, has been set to invest £250,000, a total which should not be difficult to reach.During the week ending March 1, people are not asked to give, but to ...
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Bromley War Weapons Week

Before the US entered the war, and still with the threat of invasion, War Weapon Weeks was a way to encourage people to save in War Bonds and similar Government schemes to help re-arm. This advert was one of many which appeared in the local newspaper advertising a local 'War Weapons Week" February 15th - ...
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Why Aren’t There More Trains?

Next time you are waiting for a train, and perhaps complaining about the lack of them, spare a thought for the commuters of the 1940s. At least British rail had a good reason – moving weapons to the theatres of war, as well as the war damage to the railways ...
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King Commends Hayes Man, 1941

This article, which featured in the Bromley & District Times in late February 1941, actually followed directly on from my previous extract story regarding Mr W. T. Field of Bromley, and mentions the George Medal that he received. Whether his award was given to him for this same rescue, it does not ...
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Heroes of the A.F.S. – Five Young Men Killed on Service

On the 19th March 1941, five local firemen lost their lives whilst on duty during the London bombings. The London Fire Brigade had been under intense pressure from the many fires caused by enemy bombs and had to frequently call in reinforcements from outlying areas.  It was on this fated ...
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Local Sporting Enthusiast

This extract was taken from the local newspapers, I do believe this gentleman received the George Medal for bravery.  If anyone has any details on this, then please do contact me with details. Mr Field, of 14 Greenway, Bromley familiarly known as "Sonny" is Deputy Superintendent under the Bromley Corporation, ...
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Hot Water! What’s the Idea?

Keeping the soldiers going! This advert for OXO featured in the Bromley & District Times in February 1941, to no doubt encourage families to send stocks to the soldiers on the front line. Read more about the history of OXO in my previous blog >> How OXO Helped Strengthen the Home ...
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Wedding – Mr F.R. Burr and Miss H.M. Rigby

The wedding took place at the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Hayes, on Saturday, between Mr Frederick R. Burr, third son of Mrs Burr and the late Mr W. Burr of 19 Howard Road, Bromley and Miss H.M. ("Molly") Rigby, only daughter of Mr and Mrs J. W ...
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Bromley War Weapons Week

Before the US entered the war, and still with the threat of invasion, War Weapon Weeks was a way to encourage people to save in War Bonds and similar Government schemes to help re-arm. This advert was one of many which appeared in the local newspaper advertising a local 'War Weapons Week" February 15th - ...
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Pet Food Adverts, 1941

In the Summer of 1939, before the outbreak of war, the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee (NARPAC) was formed. This committee produced a pamphlet giving advice to pet owners stating: "If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency." It ...
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Getting a Good Night’s Rest in the Public Shelter

During early 1941 Britain was still in the midst of the Blitz, with no idea how long it was going to last.  The Ministry of Home Security issue a number of adverts in local and national newspapers to help prepare people, and provide useful advice like how to get a "Good ...
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Billy Brown’s Own Highway Code

Billy Brown of London Town was a cartoon character, drawn by English cartoonist David Langdon OBE, who featured on the London Transport posters and in local newspapers during World War 2.  Brown's appearance was that of a City of London businessman of the time, wearing a bowler hat and pinstripe suit, and carrying ...
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Adding comfort to your Air Raid Shelter

Air raid shelters were not the most lavish place to have to spend your time. Primarily located in the garden, they were often dark, damp and cold, so shops jumped at the chance of providing a bit of comfort to their customers. This advert for Jones & Higgins Ltd in Peckham ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Bromley Fighter Fund: 1940

Appeared in the Bromley & District Times, 20th September 1940 ...
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No Waste! Tactics of the Kitchen Front

This advert, to help combat waste in the kitchen, featured in the Bromley & District Times newspaper on 20th September 1940 ...
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Billy Brown’s Guide to London Transport

Here is another fine example of the Billy Brown character, invented by cartoonist David Langdon OBE, giving advice on using public transport in London. Published in the Bromley & District Times, 27th December 1940 Billy Brown of London Town The safest travelling in town Is not too good for Billy Brown. He's much too sensible and knowing To jump down off a bus that's going. Especially in blackout house Or when the kerb is wet with showers On these occasions ...
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What to Do Before Going into Your Shelter

Before, during and after the raid What to do before going into your Shelter - and the help that is ready if your home is hit. Before you leave the house, turn off all gas taps, including pilot jets, and turn off the gas at the main.  Leave buckets or cans of water and sand or earth on the front-door step, or just inside the door.  Put your stirrup pump, if you have one, where it can easily be seen,  ...
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Rationing Recipes – Cakes without Eggs

Rationing on food items such as eggs during World War II meant that a little imagination was needed in the kitchen when it came to producing sweet treats for the family.  During the war years, the Bromley & District Times was on hand to help home bakers with ideas to satisfy their sweet tooth. Cakes without Eggs Even the present egg shortage need not prevent the housewife from making her own cakes. Here are some suggestions for afternoon tea: - ...
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Tea-Time Gossip

As written in the Bromley & District News on 27th September, 1940 (page 2) Under the Bed A near-by A.A. gun of terrific calibre has brought down a large piece out of one of our ceilings.  Someone said to me, "I do think they ought to warn us" I replied, "Don't be such a fool.  Do you expect them to knock on the door and say 'Please we are about to let off a gun,' as if they just wanted ...
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Housekeeping during world war 2

Homekeeping in Wartime

This article featured in the Bromley & District Times in August 1940, providing advice to housewives to help the with the organisation of the kitchen and larder to cope with any eventuality in this current conflict. The wise housewife will already have laid in her emergency larder. Inspect the Home Larder and Kitchen Front The Kitchen Front will play an ever-increasing part in the present conflict, and the housewife has now an excellent chance to prove her organising ability and ...
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Food Facts, August 1940

A regular feature in the local newspaper in the 1940's, here is another list of useful 'Food Facts' for readers to help encourage them to 'never waste anything'. The Ministry of Food was almost before its time, by offering more advise on the Wireless each morning - almost like a modern podcast! Every Time you cook you help or hinder Hitler! This advert appeared in the Bromley & District Times, 16th August 1940 (page 3) This Week's Food Facts Please ...
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Lifebuoy Soap – Advert, 1940

Lifebuoy was introduced in England by Lever Brothers in 1895, and marketed as a soap that could be used in every part of the house, from the bathroom to the kitchen.  It was originally, and for much of its history, a carbolic soap, containing phenol (carbolic acid, a compound extracted from coal tar), but in later versions the phenol was removed Lifebuoy's popularity reached its peak between 1932 and 1948.  After World War Two, when more materials were available and rationing was ...
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Grow Fit not Fat on your War Diet!

The Ministry of Food published some food facts in local newspapers during WW2 to encourage readers to 'Cut of "Extras", Cut out waste' and not oto eat more that needed. One interesting suggestion was cooked lettuce!  Never thought to try that. I doubt if I will resort to such a drastic method.  Perhaps food rationing might solve the obesity crisis today! Mind you it would have economic problems for the supermarkets etc that thrive through our love of food This advert appeared in ...
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Making Ends Meet - August 1940

Making Ends Meet

This advert appeared in the Bromley & District Times on 9th August 1940 Think of Great Britain as one great factory.  Working at full pressure its output of goods can be vastly increased.  But from this entire output must come both the seeds of the fighting services and the requirements of the rest of us.  The Services must come first. The war must be won and in the shortest possible time.  This means - and we must face the hard ...
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War-Time Sweet Treats – recipes

Housekeeping in War-Time When rations meant that sweet treats were few and far between, the local newspaper provided recipes with alternative ingredients. Here are two recipes which were printed in the Bromley and District in August 1940 - Do you dare try them?  If you do, please let us know how you get along. Sugarless Macaroons Coconut macaroons, beloved by so many adults as well as children can be made without sugar if you use sweetened condensed milk. You will ...
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Oh for an electric dish-washer!

The first dishwasher was invented in the USA in 1857 by Josephine Cochrane (trust a woman to realise the value of such an invention). The first dishwasher in Europe was invented by Miele in 1929, but they did not become commercially popular in Britain until the 1950's and only for the wealthy at that time. Advert which appeared in the Bromley & Kentish Times, 12th July 1940, page 2 ...
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King Commends Hayes Man, 1941

This article, which featured in the Bromley & District Times in late February 1941, actually followed directly on from my previous extract story regarding Mr W. T. Field of Bromley, and mentions the George Medal that he received. Whether his award was given to him for this same rescue, it does not ...
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The Brothers Lee, 1941

Three sons of Mr. and Mrs. Lee. of 98 Bromley Common (Hook Farm) are serving in the forces. Private Cyril Lee (22), Oxford and Bucks Regiment was educated at Raglan Road School and afterwards employed as a porter at Bickley station,  His is now a prisoner of war in Germany ...
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The Lock Brothers

Here the Bromley & District Times celebrated another band of brothers who served on the Front Line during WW2.  Their mother, already a widow, must have been beside herself with worry that she may lose them all to this awful war! Three members of the Lock family, late of Bickey, are now ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Private Albert C.J. Boxall

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 ...
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Pilot Officer RA Marchand

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 ...
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Second Naval V.C. of the War Awarded to Bexley Heath Hero

Lieutenant Richard Been Stannard was born at Blyth, Northumberland. His father, Captain George Stannard, was lost with the Mount Oswald, an Allen liner, which he commanded when he was making a trip from Baltimore to England in 1912. He had 2 brothers in the Merchant Service and his sister married Mr ...
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G Jones - Prisoner of War

Sapper R. G. Jones

As reported in the Bromley & District Times in 6th September 1940 Prisoner of War Mrs R. G, Jones of Maeberry, 10 Nichol Lane, Bromley, received a post-card from her husband on August 29, stating that he is a prisoner of war in Germany. Sapper Jones left England on May ...
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Palin - Prisoner of War

Lance Corporal E. A. Palin

Reported in the Bromley & District Times, 6th September 1940. Prisoner of War Mrs G. L. Plain, 61 Newbury Road, Bromley, has received news from her husband, Lance Corporal E. A. Palin, who was reported missing on May 22, that he is a prisoner of war in Germany. Joining the ...
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Second-Lieutenant Terence Thorpe-Woods

As reported in the Bromley & District Times on 6th September 1940, another soldier is reported as a Prisoner of War. Prisoner of War Second Lieutenant Terence Thorpe-Woods, son of Mr H. Thorpe-Woods of Quantocks, Willow Grove, Chislehurst, who has been missing in France since May 21, has now been ...
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Private Edward F. Belsey

Reported in the Bromley & District Times on 6th September 1940 Prison of War: Edward F. Belsey, Bromley This week Mrs E. F. Belsey of Bromley has heard from her husband, Private Edward F. Belsey, R.A.M.C., that he is a prisoner of war.  Previously he had been reported as missing ...
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Sec. Lieutenant Claudius C. G. Anderson

Reported in the Bromley & District Times on 6th September 1940 Prisoner of War: Second-Lieutenant C.C.G. Anderson, R.A. Mr and Mrs Anderson of Springfield, Derry Downs, St Mary Cray, have been informed that their son, Second-Lieutenant Claudius C. G. ("Grigor") Anderson, aged 23, who was reported missing in France, is ...
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Sec. Lieutenant John B. Bassett

Reported in the Bromley & District Times newspaper on 6th September 1940 Prisoner of War: Second-Lieutenant John B. Bassett Mr and Mrs W.R. Bassett, 144 Murray Avenue, Bromley, have received a short message from their third son, Second Lieutenant John B. Bassett, R.A., in which he states that he is ...
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Private Walter Waters

Private Walter Waters

Another of the men of the Royal West Kent Regiment reported missing is Prvate Walter Waters the son of Mr and Mrs J. Waters, 54 Victoria Road, Bromley Common, and husband of Mrs Waters, 26 Mosul Way. He was educated at Raglan Road School and later joined the Territorials.  He ...
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Signaller Peter Robert Marchant - 1940

Signaller Peter Robert Marchant

Reported in the Bromley & District Times newspaper on the 19th July 1940 Missing Signaller Peter Robert Marchant of Bromley Mr and Mrs Robert Whittingham Marchant, of Brookmeade, Hayes ROad, Bromley have been officially notified that their eldest son, Signaller Peter Robert Marchant, is missing. He was on the staff ...
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Private Henry R. Eldridge, 19th July 1940

Private Harry Robert Eldridge of St Mary Cray

Private Harry Robert Eldridge was reported as missing in the Bromley & District Times on 19th July 1940, however a search of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission doesn't list him in their war dead. Private Harry Robert Eldridge of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, third son of Mr ...
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Private P J Reynolds -19th July 1940

Private Patrick Joseph Reynolds, Bickley

Private Patrick Joseph Reynolds of the Royal West Kent Regiment, was reported as missing in the Bromley & District Times newspaper on the 19th July 1940.  He is commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission here >  where they report his death as being on the 23rd September 1941 (aged ...
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Private W. Turrell - 19th July 1940

Private Frederick William Turrell , of St Marys Cray

Reported in the Bromley & District Times newspaper, 19th July 1940 Missing in Action Mrs Turrell, of 42 Bridge Road, St Mary Cray, has been informed by the War Office that her husband, Private Frederick William Turrell, of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, has been reported missing.  In ...
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Private A C J Boxall – Missing

6345533 Private Albert Clarence John Boxall (aged 19) with the Royal West Kent Regiment was posted as missing on May 20th 1940. His parents were anxious for any news and “would be grateful to any of his comrades in the battalion who could give them any information about their son." ...
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John Bond Bassett, 2nd Lieutenant

72521 2nd-Lieutenant John Bond Bassett , aged 28, was a printer by trade, the third son of Mr & Mrs W R Bassett of Murray Avenue, Bromley. “He was in the severe fighting following the German breakthrough and after the evacuation of Dunkirk it was believed that he had been ...
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The Money Front: Bromley’s Great Push

Mounting Total in War Weapons Week HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR NEW ZEALAND Stimulating Address at inaugural luncheon Thousands of people watch Naval and Military Procession Bromley gave a most suspicious start to the War Weapons Week on Saturday.  Munificent subscriptions for ...
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Beckenham’s War Weapons Week – Spring 1941

Our aim is £250,000 Says THE MAYOR Citizens of Beckenham: Our great War Weapons Week starts in just over a fortnight’s time. Between February 22nd and March 1st we are pledged to invest no less that £250,000 – a quarter ...
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In War Weapons Week – 7th Feb 1941

SAVINGS CERTIFICATE FOR EVERY BABY BORN Mayor of losing Borough to pay Beckenham, whose War Weapons Week commences on Saturday February 22, has been set to invest £250,000, a total which should not be difficult to reach.During the week ending ...
Read More

Bromley War Weapons Week

Before the US entered the war, and still with the threat of invasion, War Weapon Weeks was a way to encourage people to save in War Bonds and similar Government schemes to help re-arm. This advert was one of many which appeared in the local ...
Read More

 

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