WORLD WAR I
A ‘snapshot’ of Burnham during the first week of the first world war:
The Burnham Gazette and Highbridge Express Centenary Edition of 1964 tells us that a company was formed in Burnham to make aircraft wings during the war, in co-operation with other firms in the district. It gives no more information so if anyone can supply more please send us a comment below.
Charles Sealey of Abingdon St is just one of those Burnham residents who gave their lives. For a full list sand details see World War I casualties page.
WORLD WAR II
An account in The Burnham Gazette and Highbridge Express Centenary Edition of 1964 tells us:
“The second world war found Burnham on the route of the German bombers from Germany to South Wales and many raids were observe from the Burnham Esplanade. One raid with fatal consequences [not specified]. Propaganda leaflets were dropped on the sandhills by the Germans, many of which are still preserved. The raiders presumably thought that they were over some large city such as Bristol or Cardiff. Considerable defence measures were taken including the construction of pill-box forts and wire entanglements but fortunately they were not used.”
The above article was supplied by Des Parsons. Des recalled having it when purchasing a card for the 100th birthday (in 2020) of Patrick Stokes, the son of the gentleman in the article. Patrick Stokes had been Des’s first boss at Wallbutton’s Garage.
Between 1943 & 1945 members of the U.S. Army Transportation Corps 202, 780th Railway Company, were billeted at Naish House and worked at Highbridge Wharf.
Warship Week 1942:
Warship Weeks were British National Savings campaigns with the aim of a Royal Navy warship being adopted by a civil community. A press announcement quoted the adoption of eight battleships, four carriers, forty-nine cruisers, three hundred and one destroyers, twenty-five submarines, one hundred and sixty-four corvettes and frigates and two hundred and eighty-eight minesweepers nationwide.
‘Wings for Victory’ Campaign:
Other national war campaigns included the ‘Wings For Victory’ week to purchase bomber planes, a ‘Spitfire Week’ to purchase fighter planes, a ‘War Weapons Week’ and a ‘Tanks For Attack’ week. Parades were often organised with military representation as part of the drive.
The following pictures of local parades lack detailed information. The third, in Victoria St, is thought to be the Home Guard. (Photos courtesy of Bob & June Thomas).
I’m fairly certain this was taken in Lynton Road with the roof tops of Rosemary Cottage on the left; the Station behind the cyclists and Abingdon Hotel behind the tree. I remember that there was still a barred gate into the coal yard during my childhood. John