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WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
National Trust WW2 Rural Learning Events
People in story: 
John Walter, Droitwich, Worcestershire.
Location of story: 
Lingfield Surrey
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
23 April 2005

In April 1943 at about 8 am, I looked out of my bedroom window from the bungalow we lived in Lingfield, Surrey. I was getting ready to go to school, which was in the village about a mile away. The air raid warning had sounded which was not unusual. Away to my right a German Dornier bomber appeared, flying quite low. It passed over the village, probably no more than 1,000 feet and to my horror the bomb doors opened and a “stick” of about six bombs fell. At first there was no explosion but as the bomber passed away all the bombs seem to explode together. The smoke and dust rose to an enormous height, at least twice the height that the bomber was. At this moment I was very scared and prayed that the bomber would not come back and drop a bomb on us.
About half an hour later I went into the village to meet up with my friends. My father had gone earlier because he was an Air raid warden. When I arrived at the bomb site I found that it was my school that had been hit. A half an hour later and I would have been there. Most of the school had been demolished and the emergency authorities were there. My father was among those that dug for victims, there were no survivors. Fortunately because it was so early there were not a lot of people there. Two little girls were killed and two lady teachers. My father was in the group that found the little girls. It greatly affected him.
By now I was with my friends and we walked the rest of the village to see what other damage had been done. One bomb had fallen on a small hotel and as we walked by, the ambulance crew were carrying out a very severely injured victim. As a result of the bombing our school was transferred to two buildings. One was once a pub and the other was an old manor house. Lingfield was in Surrey and because of this I was able to watch the Battle of Britain, but that is another story.
About sixty years later my daughter, who now lives roughly in this area, sent me a local newspaper with the story of some builders who had found one of the un-exploded bombs. There was a photograph of this bomb. I had seen this bomb 60 years previous--falling from the bomber!

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Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
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