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Battle of Britain Day - 80th Anniversary

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Battle of Britain Day - 80th Anniversary

Old 15th Sep 2020, 23:39
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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My family lived in Caterham during the Battle. I wasn't around then and I wasn't to make an appearance until 1947.

On one of the big daylight raids on Kenley the siren went and my mother shepherded my sister and three brothers into the Anderson shelter in the back garden(my father was away in army.) She then went back into the house and started turning off the cooker and taking things off the stove etc and generally faffing around in the way mums do. As bombs started to fall my sister (the oldest) screamed at mum to hurry and get into the shelter. This she did, and none too soon, as within less than a minute a bomb fell in the street in front of the house and pretty well destroyed it. I often think that if mum had been a minute later she would quite likely have been killed, and I would not be here telling this tale.

Funny old thing fate.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 09:04
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
My family lived in Caterham during the Battle. I wasn't around then and I wasn't to make an appearance until 1947.

On one of the big daylight raids on Kenley the siren went and my mother shepherded my sister and three brothers into the Anderson shelter in the back garden(my father was away in army.) She then went back into the house and started turning off the cooker and taking things off the stove etc and generally faffing around in the way mums do. As bombs started to fall my sister (the oldest) screamed at mum to hurry and get into the shelter. This she did, and none too soon, as within less than a minute a bomb fell in the street in front of the house and pretty well destroyed it. I often think that if mum had been a minute later she would quite likely have been killed, and I would not be here telling this tale.

Funny old thing fate.
I was living right across the way from your family in Sanderstead during the Battle and from where we lived we could see the aircraft landing and taking off at Kenley across the Whytleafe valley. However I was only 18 months old so have no memory of that period. However on 18th August 1940 it was my fathers birthday and at lunchtime the family were enjoying a festive lunch in the garden when it all cooked off on the airfield. My big sister grabbed me and shot down our shelter followed by most of the family who could get into such a confined space. I believe several bombs fell in the fields behind out house and four houses in our road were destroyed. At the time it was believed they had been bombed but some time after the war it was discovered that they had been hit by bofors shells fired at a low flying Do17. Fortunately no one was killed or seriously injured.

Kenley was the place where I had did my first solo flight in a glider so holds some sweet memories for me.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 13:08
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The BBC Antiques Roadshow on the Battle Of Britain and the Blitz was actually quite good. The Defiant actually got a mention in that one.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...-and-the-blitz

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Old 16th Sep 2020, 22:49
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Kenley

[QUOTE=DODGYOLDFART;10886450]I was living right across the way from your family in Sanderstead during the Battle and from where we lived we could see the aircraft landing and taking off at Kenley across the Whytleafe valley. However I was only 18 months old so have no memory of that period. However on 18th August 1940 it was my fathers birthday and at lunchtime the family were enjoying a festive lunch in the garden when it all cooked off on the airfield. My big sister grabbed me and shot down our shelter followed by most of the family who could get into such a confined space. I believe several bombs fell in the fields behind out house and four houses in our road were destroyed. At the time it was believed they had been bombed but some time after the war it was discovered that they had been hit by bofors shells fired at a low flying Do17. Fortunately no one was killed or seriously injured.

Kenley was the place where I had did my first solo flight in a glider so holds some sweet memories for me.[/QUOTE

Treads will post the picture if you ask, Gliders still at Kenley 'despite everything', Shame they allowed so much of the camp area to be demolished or fall into decay. Having served in two conflicts it really was a classic example of an Airfield having to 'fight' despite it not being designed for that purpose. 615 GS/VGS still in being carrying on the pre war County Of Surrey number. 615 went to France with Gladiators but had Hurricanes by the BoB. The London Science Museum Hurricane K WZ L1592 is a former 615 machine that was operational during Dunkirk and the BoB at Kenley. It took part in the Aug 18th scramble from Kenley, and subsequently forced landed at Croydon. A real survivor just like Kenley.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 23:09
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Did someone call?


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Old 17th Sep 2020, 02:12
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Wow, Croydon 999 gets through!
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 08:57
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TG Yes a very evocative picture of the event, thanks for posting it. One of my cousin's flew Spits from Kenley the following year on sweeps over France. Our house became a stopping off point for him and some of his compatriots on their way to local hostelries. He was lucky as he was posted to South Africa as an instructor shortly afterwards which probably saved his life.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 22:14
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Kenley As was

Well done again Treads,
That view of Kenley has changed very little since 1940,as there is no development on 'the common' and most of the e pens are still visible. The most noticeable difference is the runway 'narrow' was widened and the runway extended down to the boundary fence no doubt to accommodate 'Wing operations' when the airfield started offensive ops into France. The Belfast Hangar visible through the smoke survived until 1978,and over on the left the Officers Mess and the NAAFI/Airmans mess behind are still there although the O mess has suffered several arson attacks. 111's Hurricanes (Croydon) are busy intercepting the raid whilst Kenleys own squadrons 615 and 64 are away on a scramble. The E Pen with the Spitfire seen in the famous image taken from an attacking Dornier was demolished for no good reason, such is the way of the 'crats' who look after our heritage !!!. The latest planning blot is a fence that divides the original Peri Trac around its entire length, which I do not think would have happened if Kenley was still part of Surrey. As an ATC Gliding School Kenley is challenging on an intermediate Cable break therefore we were quite 'focussed' on this due to the rather slim margin for error, and accurate low level turn requirement.. That we managed to get Cadets off solo (continuous course) in around an hours dual is a great testament to the Air Cadet Gliding system that had no equal anywhere in the WORLD.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 14:07
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Unfortunately I didn't know about this and even if I had I was elsewhere in London on Tuesday.

Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar carried out a flypast at Kenley on Tuesday with their Hurricane and one of their Spitfires in formation with The Blades. With grateful thanks to Tony Adams for permission to post one of his photos of the formation:

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Old 19th Sep 2020, 00:37
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You'll have another chance on Sunday.
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Old 20th Sep 2020, 11:21
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Sunday 20th September 2020.
12:00 Westminster Abbey



Last edited by jolihokistix; 21st Sep 2020 at 05:36.
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Old 20th Sep 2020, 12:48
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Yep.

Out walking S of Sleaford about 1-2 hrs ago and heard Merlins - then saw exactly what Jolihokistix has posted. Interesting because at first I thought so many Merlins presaged a Lanc.

R101
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