Laindon WW2 Flying Bombs and Rockets

There are several articles and comments on the site with regards to the V1 that crashed and exploded in Vowler Road, Langdon Hills. However, nearby Laindon had a couple of their own all within five months of each other. The first was a V1 often referred to either as a ‘Doodlebug’ ‘Buzz Bomb’ or flying bomb. It came down in the Wheatfields, in the triangle of Dickens Drive, Basildon Drive and Pound Lane on the 10 August 1944. The Basildon War Diary records that 36 bungalows were badly damaged, with a large number slightly damaged along with a local shop, St Nicholas Church plus its Hall also damage. Seventeen people were injured.
Then on New Year’s Day 1945 a V2, often referred to as a ‘Long Range Rocket’ came down and exploded in more or less the same spot. This time 250 homes were damaged including many of those that had only just been repaired, plus St Nicholas Church and its Hall again.
I was born in April 1944 and my mother often told me that she instinctively threw herself across the bed to protect me from flying glass. We were living in Pound Lane. By deduction I assume it was the when the V1 crashed on the basis that you could hear and see the V1s and you knew it would crash when the engines cut out. You either stood and watched it or run for cover if it was in your vicinity. With the V2s you did not hear them until they had crashed and exploded.
When the war was over the records show that the Basildon District received hits from 18 V1s and 39 V2s.

 

Local Newspaper report October 1944

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  • Hi Alan
    I will do a little research, I also understood that iron railings etc., were used for the war effort. For example I understood that railings around the Garden of Roses at the junction of Basildon Drive and St Nicholas Lane were taken for this purpose. Hope you are keeping well.

    Ken

    By Kenneth Porter (22/09/2020)
  • Hi Ken,
    This is off topic but I cannot find a more appropriate parking spot and, if anyone can shed a little light, I know you can. Question. In the early days of WW2 a lot was made of ‘harvesting’ iron railings for melting down and re-use as munitions and other armaments. I know a lot of attractive Georgian era railings were uprooted from around parks and in front of upscale buildings in London. Subsequently I have heard that nothing was ever done with this iron and it was dumped in various rivers.

    On the local scene both Langdon Hills School and Laindon High Road, both of which I attended, had handsome iron six foot high railings which remained completely untouched. I believe the same was true of Markham’s Chase and Laindon Park (Donaldson’s). So why were our local school railings not ‘harvested’ and was the national programme a flop? Why? Was the iron not suitable for re-use? If so who on earth ever dreamt up such a crazy scheme?

    By alan davies (22/09/2020)

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