Unexploded Bombs and Doodle Bugs

Wartime Memories of a Teenager

'What an Exciting Time' John Marrison's Memories of wartime Benfleet as a teenager.
Evacuation to the countryside during WWII, Doodlebugs and V2 Rockets traveling up the Thames to London. Gun implacements, unexloded bombs, finally the shooting up of Benfleet Train Station by German aircraft.

Does any one have pictures of wartime Benfleet?

The Wartime memories of a teenage boy and the exciting time he had.

Watching Typhon aircraft destroy German V2 rockets over the Thames and the near miss when one landed close to his Grandmother’s home are just two of the vivid memories recalled in this piece.

Recorded January 2011

John Marrison also recalled how the Boyce Hill Golf Club was used as a Bren gun carrier and motor cycle dispatch rider training ground, with the whole course reduced to a muddy mess.  Search lights, anti aircraft guns and machine guns were put in place on the edge of the golf course.  Four flat areas were cut into the hillside in the back gardens of Kings Road for the guns to stand on.  The guns and the searchlight were manned by ATS girls who used the golf club as a barracks.  One of the houses at the entrance of the golf club was used as an officers mess.

If you have similar information you would like to share either please contact the community archive or add it yourself.

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  • Hi from Downunder. 

    I really enjoyed John Marrison’s war time story. Living in South Benfleet as a kid until the mid Seventies. We were always finding bits of wartime equipment in Hedgerows and Fields etc.  John’s story took me back home for a few minutes. 

    Thank you.

     Kim Cason. Seaford. Sth. Australia.

    By Kim Cason (20/08/2017)

    I just remember in WWII going with my Mum for a picnic in what I knew as The Glen near Kenneth Road Thundersley and a motorcycle dispatch rider racing through the top of the Glen and Mum keeping out of the way as they went down the other side of the hill.

    By Brian Bellamy (18/08/2017)
  • I was a Gunner on the Reeds Hill Searchlight in1940 in the 312/28th S/L Battery. Our H Q was Boyce Hill Golf club – later we moved to the Royal Engineer camp near the Railway station. We had our first real action on the night of June 18th 1940 – 17 bombs were dropped – the 1st one landed on Essex Way – the second landed on the site and never exploded, then Vicarage Hill and across Boyce Hill. The old Water Tower was machine gunned – in September 1940 we were issued with old U S Ross rifles and 5 rounds. The order was given that Paratroopers were landing in the Dover area and we took up positions in slit trenches on Essex Way -we got the all clear at 06.00am – our next site was Hadleigh Castle.

    By Peter Cameron (20/07/2012)
  • Does anyone have any plans or information as to the area south of the railway line which as kids we knew as the corporation tip?  Was this area used by the military ????   Were any military bombs stored there?

    By jeff cannon (01/12/2011)

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