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15 October 2014
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Was This A Dad's Army Success?

by bungay_library

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Related by Charles Aldred
Location of story: 
Halesworth, Suffolk
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
06 July 2004

In 1941 the Home Guard had been formed and my Uncle Willy being a First World War veteran was put in charge of a Bren gun which he kept in his cottage in Halesworth overlooking Halesworth church.
On Saturday 18th January 1941 about 15 German Dornier aircraft crossed the coast of East Anglia to bomb airfields. The siren had been sounded at Halesworth so Uncle Willy went into his back bedroom which overlooked the church to make sure his Bren gun was ready for action. As he did so he noticed an aircraft coming out of the low clouds which he identified as a German Dornier. Firing the Bren gun from his bedroom window he thought he saw hits on the aircraft until it passed the church tower and he knew he had also hit the church tower.
The Dornier then jettisoned its 8 high explosive bombs across Halesworth railway installations hitting the station house, booking office, railway track and signal box. Three people were killed and four injured.
The Dornier then went on towards the coast where it crashed and the crew were taken prisoner. No other heavy gun emplacement or British fighter aircraft claimed to have damaged the Dornier which was the usual thing to do in wartime.
When the all clear siren was sounded Uncle Willy went out and inspected the church tower where he noticed the church clock had been damaged. He dare not report the incident as he thought he would be in trouble for damage to the clock.
Uncle Willy told me this story soon after the war.

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Michael Huskisson of Suffolk Libraries on behalf of Charles R.H. Aldred and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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