Army Camps and Manoeuvres

Several times there were army camps set up in the village in a field by the railway line. One time at the beginning of the war an anti aircraft gun was set up with about a dozen soldiers, they were there for a few months. Another time the camp was set up with a search light for a while and some of the soldiers would go to the village houses for baths.

Several times tank manoeuvres also went on in the fields around the village. Once a tank went straight down a village road and through a gate into a field at the end. The villagers were not very happy with this because of the damage it caused.

The one good thing about the manoeuvres for the villagers was that the tanks were supplied with petrol in throw-away cans. After filling the tanks with petrol the tank drivers left the fuel cans in the ditches. The villagers would then collect them and any remaining petrol would be gratefully used, because petrol was rationed and in short supply.

On common land near a house at the edge of the village, coming from Loughton, a bren gun was set up once or twice when manoeuvres were taking place.

Bradwell House

Major and Mrs. De Chair lived in Bradwell house during the war.

For a short time during the war the house was used as a rest home for firemen. They mostly came from London, to rest for a week or two after working through the Blitz, putting out many fires caused by heavy bombing.

At least one local girl met her husband when he stayed there and another fireman would visit a village house to practise the piano, because he was a concert pianist.

Click For More
War in the Village
Previous Page