On the evening of 27th November, 1940, Mrs. Marjorie French sat alone in the air raid shelter at her home in Glenn Avenue, Purley. Warmed by an electric fire she was awaiting the return of her husband, John, a toolmaker by trade. As she listened for the sound of his car, the drone of an aircraft caught her attention...and then a bomb dropped.
At 9.16am, on 28th June, 1944, four members of the Survey Party, 4th Medium Regt, Royal Canadian Artillery, were lying down near their jeep behind their billet at 22 Matlock Rd, Caterham on the Hill, when an enemy air raid swept overhead.....
By 18th September, 1940, the Luftwaffe's attention was firmly focused on bombing London into submission. This is the story of just one rescue amongst many that took place during this period.
On 1st September, 1940, Sonia Carlile-Straw, a 19-year-old secretary from Caterham, manned an ARP post alone and took care of shocked and wounded casualties for 13 hours un-aided.
In September 2022, I had the privilege of being invited to give a talk about RAF Kenley to 'The 35 Club' in Old Coulsdon and was delighted to discover that this wonderful social club has a long and distinguished history...
On 1st September, 1940, seven newly-recruited Coldstream Guards were killed when the Guards Training Depot at Caterham was hit by bombs probably intended for RAF Kenley.
On the 4th November, 1940, a lone enemy bomber attacked Caterham on the Hill dropping several bombs which damaged shops and houses, and opening fire on children leaving the Council School, (now Hillcroft School).
Only two days after the terror of the daylight raid on Chaldon Rd, the area was hit again, this time taking the lives of two women at the opposite ends of life...
I lived at 15 Roffes Lane during the war - the road is off Chaldon Road at the bottom of Clifton Hill. Crossing the road going north is Green Lane, a cinder track made up I think from the coal fires at St Lawrence's Hospital.
So far as human knowledge can tell, this shelter is safe from all bombing' said Mr F H Jones, chairman of the Surrey County Council at Kenley on Saturday, when opening the new deep shelter which has been cut into the heart of the chalk under Riddlesdown.
There was an article on TV recently in which they asked for information on any wartime 'Unsung heroes'. I don't know about the hero bit, but what I, and my mates, did is certainly unsung, and as far as I know, has not been mentioned anywhere since.