V2 on Laindon - 21st November 1944

Where did this happen?

By Pete Wood

I am carrying out research, shortly to be published, listing all V1 and V2 rocket attacks on the UK.

On the 21st November 1944, at around 3pm, a V2 rocket struck Laindon.

The grid reference places the rocket landing the top of Bridge Street, close to the junction of Wash Road.

According to the report, the rocket fell into the garden of a bungalow. Two properties were demolished (or damaged beyond repair) around 100ft from the crater. Four other properties were severely damaged.

Casualties are recorded as: 2 with major injuries, and 4 lightly injured.

I would be grateful if anyone can give more detail, such as the name of the property (and/or road) and the names of those injured.

I would also be interested in any surviving photos of this incident.

Editor: The link below will take you to a map that shows wartime records of V2 rocket attacks in Essex. Click here

This page was added by Pete Wood on 05/03/2014.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Not sure re Laindon but around 9pm on 13th Feb 1945 a V2 rocket fell near Mill Road, Great Burstead. Our neighbour Mrs. Summers was killed and my mother suffered a fractured skull and was taken to Runwell Hospital. We boys were rescued and while the bungalow was repaired, lived with grandparents at Burnham-on-Crouch. So it fell between Mill Road and the old Southend Road. I was 8 at that time. Our neighbours at Aquadene were also bombed out.

By Don Aiken
On 24/09/2017

It seems some time since there has been activity on this page, however, I have been wondering if anyone remembers the bomb (I think it was a V2, but open to correction), which fell in New Avenue?  This was at the top near to Berry Lane.  The bomb fell on waste land next to a bungalow, where the mother and daughter were killed.  The husband survived.  I and my sister remember this quite vividly as when it came over we thought it was going to stop over the house we lived in which was next to the Recreation ground.  Not sure if this was before or after the one which came down in Vowler Road.  Interesting if anyone remembers and dates!

By Isabel Smith
On 03/07/2016

Hi Ken

Nice to hear from you, as always.

My research is done and with the publishers (slowly moving up the queue).

It will be offered in DVD format, which contains the following:

Details of every V1 launched against the UK (including date, time, casualties, and how it was brought down, where applicable) and grid reference of where it landed. There are about 8000 in this database.

Details of every V2 launched against the UK (as above). This includes details not found elsewhere - about 1750 in all.

Details of every casualty (killed/hospitalised) in Greater London by air raid - including injuries, home address, hospital/mortuary to where the casualty was taken, age etc etc. It totals about 85000 people.

I am currently working on transcribing the Greater London Fire Brigade records. It is a mammoth task, and will probably take a few years to complete....

You have my email address. Feel free to contact me.

Pete

By Pete Wood
On 05/05/2015

My family; parents, brother and grandmother were living in a rented bungalow on the A127, Arterial Road in November 1944 and my parents were negotiating to move to a bungalow in Vowler Road to be closer to an aunt and uncle (Fred and Gwen Keppy) who lived in Samuel Road close to the junction with Berry Lane, where another aunt and uncle (Arthur and Una Stuart lived. The bungalow in Vowler Road took a direct hit from a V2 which also took the roof off my aunt's house in Samuel Road.

We stayed on the Arterial Road until 1947.

B Mallett (nee King)

By Beryl Mallett
On 04/05/2015

Hi Pete

How is your research going. Basildon Heritage group have a copy of the Billericay and District War Diary listing all the various bombs and aircraft that came down. We also have a list of all V2 that landed in Essex and where they were launched from. If interested please let our editor know and I will contact you by email. We would also be interested in your research.

Cheers - Ken

By Ken Porter
On 02/05/2015

Angela, you state that your mother lived "opposite where the V2 strike happened in Vowler Road." Exactly where?

The V2 struck on the north side of Vowler Road one or two houses from the junction with Berry Lane. (One I think.) The opposite side of Vowler Road at this time was waste land covered with hawthorn. The first bungalow, heading east beyond the waste land, was occupied by the Sampson (or Samson) family.

By Alan Davies
On 14/11/2014

My mother lived opposite where the V2 strike happened in Vowler Road on 13th November, 70 years ago today.  I now live in that bungalow. The roof was blown off and the bungalow badly damaged, they were rehoused up near the rec.  Because we was talking about it today brought back all the memories of that day for my mum so I decided to see if there was anything about it on here. 

By Angela Morgan
On 13/11/2014

I have checked my records and have the following: This is a link to a modern map for the grid reference I have for the incident: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=552550&y=225450&z=0&sv=TL525254&st=5&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf

This V2 struck on the 21/03/1945 in Stansted Park. It fell in a ploughed field, East of Stansted Hall, leaving a crater 44’ x 22’. It caused superficial damage to property at 400yds. A straw stack, 150yds away from the impact site, was burnt out.  There were no casualties. When converting the military (Cassini) grid references, to modern day longitude/Latitude, there is bound to be a slight discrepancy. I would be interested to hear of how far out Nick’s Father thinks I am. If he can pinpoint the exact location, then I can adjust all the other V2s in that area, to make my map more accurate.

By Pete Wood
On 14/08/2014

I came across a discussion thread led by Pete Wood on your web pages concerning his research of V2 sites in the UK, intending to publish a full UK map.  Having looked at the V2 Essex map archive shown in your link, there's nothing recorded where one landed near the Western end of Stansted airfield, my elderly father thinks in Feb '45 but he's not sure. I have one or two remains.  He has described exactly where it fell.

I wondered if Mr Wood would be interested.

By Nick Gowlett
On 14/08/2014

Regarding the V.2. rocket that landed in Vowler Road, one of the houses that was destroyed was that of my brother Ronald Cuttler, his wife Rose and their two children. Rose and the children were in an Anderson shelter at the end of the garden and apart from being shaken up survived unscathed. Ronald who was on duty with the St. John's Ambulance was not at home when it happened. I was away in the army at the time and have little other information. Is this information of any help?

By Reg Cuttler
On 20/07/2014

Yes the German V2s were ferocious and terrifying. Consider though, the comparative power of the two nuclear devices dropped on Japan in August 1945. Following the deployment of those, the USA had lined up further atomic bomb strikes on Japan in September and October 1945 which thankfully were not necessary after the Japanese surrender.

By Richard Haines
On 20/04/2014

If any contributors wish to see just what a ferocious weapon the V2 was - as well as what an incredible piece of engineering - there is an example in the Imperial War Museum. It was brought back from Germany at the end of the war.

Standing next to it gives you one hell of a reality check - if you think you are having a bad day just remember these things were raining down on our families not so many decades ago!!

Rob Merrison

By Rob Merrison
On 20/04/2014

Colin, thanks for adjustments made, your research is truly fascinating. This map shows what we would expect, a large peppering throughout the County of these strikes, increasing in number in industrial areas  towards London. Clearly the group in Chelmsford were aimed at Hoffmans ball bearing factory and the intense grouping in Romford were aimed at residential areas and probably, further west, Fords in Dagenham. Overall a terrifying prospect, the government at the time initially blaming the explosions on leaking gas mains.

By the way, the V2 in Tooley Street is actually another model of rocket, of American origin. Strange to label it V2 but thinking about it, all of those would have exploded anyway. It is clearly visible from Platform 1 of London Bridge Station.

By Richard Haines
On 19/04/2014

Hi Richard,  You are absolutely right, the map that I attached to this article is incorrectly catalogued on the ERO website.  In fact there are two maps, one for the V1's and the other for the V2's, the two maps have the original catalogue number hand written in their bottom right-hand corner, however when the ERO digitised the maps they transposed the catalogue numbers.

Thank you for pointing out this error, I will replace the map on the article with the correct one.

I have added the web address for the two documents below.

V1 Map

http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/result_details.aspx?ThisRecordsOffSet=2&id=175406

V2 Map

http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/result_details.aspx?ThisRecordsOffSet=3&id=175405

By Colin Humphrey
On 18/04/2014

On the link to this article the map is entitled Distribution of Flying Bombs, rather than V2 Rocket Attacks. There are many, many strikes recorded and I am wondering if V1s were also the subject of the various marks on the map. There are other sites on the internet where V2 only are shown and these are grouped very much in the London area, the worst strike being in New Cross where hundreds of people were tragically killed in Woolworths after it being hit by just one V2. At least nobody was killed in the lone Laindon strike mentioned here.

By Richard Haines
On 18/04/2014

I've added a link to map showing V2 rocket attacks in Essex (Under Pete Wood's article)

By Colin Humphrey
On 18/04/2014

The V2 reports, which show the launch time, as picked up by British radar, and time of impact, can be found in both Home Office and Air Ministry files at the National Archives. I have transcribed them for my forthcoming publication. 

Generally speaking, a V2 took around 4 – 5 minutes from its launch until striking the ground in the UK. 

I have read many reports by survivors of V2 attacks. Nearly all agree. You first heard the explosion, followed almost immediately by the sonic boom. “If you heard the second boom, you knew you were alive.” A few witnesses, distant from the point of impact, claim to have heard a noise that sounded like “an express train” at around the same time as the explosion. Some have attributed this to the blast wave.

I have seen two witness statements from people who saw a V2 falling (on London). Neither could describe, in detail, what the rocket looked like (ie colour, shape etc). There are also numerous reports, at the National Archives and in books, from RAF pilots who witnessed the launch of V2 rockets, before losing sight of it as it quickly gained altitude and speed. 

A fairly large percentage of V2 rockets exploded in mid-air. This was when the sonic boom preceded the, by now, slowly falling warhead which then exploded. Airbursts over London often caused fragments to be scattered over a diameter of three miles or more. 

When a V2 fell on open ground it often left a crater around 40ft in diameter. The crater depth varied, according to the type of ground it struck (up to 30ft deep in soft soil). Many V2s exploded just above ground, having struck a tree or the side of a block of flats etc. A direct hit on property often left no crater at all. Depending on the strike angle, bomb fragments could spread out evenly – or be thrown in a narrow strip (eg South of the point of impact).

The V2 was some 14 metres (42ft) in length and had a range of about 225 miles. Maximum speed exceeded 3000mph, while strike speed was estimated to be around 1700mph. It carried a warhead of just 750kg (about the same as the V1); smaller than many conventional bombs and parachute mines dropped by German bombers. Blast damage could affect property up to a mile away (in rural areas).

By Pete Wood
On 18/04/2014

If anyone wants to see a real V2 there is one mounted high above pavement level in Tooley Street near London Bridge Station. I walked under it on Tuesday afternoon on the way to a meeting at the London Borough of Southwark offices. They were not very large but totally destructive.

By Richard Haines
On 17/04/2014

Pete Wood, 16.04.14, has documentary evidence that the Wash Road incident was in fact a V2.  He also states that the approach could not be heard as its speed exceeds that of sound.  In connection with this, an item appeared on the web in respect of its descent which may be of interest.                      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggregate_(rocket_family)

It states when on the descent phase and entering the thicker atmosphere, it would break the sound barrier.  This to my unqualified mind suggests this may have resulted in a sonic boom, although it could have not been noticed as coinciding with the rocket detonation.

By W.H.Diment
On 17/04/2014

Hi Pete.   How can I get sight of the British Radar Reports and the German records please?

Cheers

Ken

By Ken Porter
On 17/04/2014

Thank you all. I have updated my records for this incident. It was a V2 (British radar reports and German records confirm this). With the V2, there was usually no warning (traveling faster than the speed of sound).

I am a teacher in an Essex school. I am taking my engineering students to a V2 strike site in two weeks time, so they can (hopefully) bag themselves a souvenir of the weapon which ultimately led to the design of the NASA rockets.

By Pete Wood
On 16/04/2014

Further to the latest report in respect of the V2.   It has been misprinted as Rosedene, Durham Road.  This should have been Durban Road.     Also I notice that the brother of Rob Merrison  who witnessed the incident stated there was no noise prior to the explosion.  While I have no personal knowledge of the subject, I had heard that there was a loud  'whoosh' as a V2 descended.  Could it be possible that this was in fact a landmine as it was thought at the time, which had been sown previously and have lain unnoticed as the area was scrub land with many hawthorn thickets?   Just a thought.

By W H Diment
On 14/04/2014

Hi Pete

Sorry to take so long to get back...I have seen that Ann Rugg has given you some details: I have checked the actual War Diary:

Date: 21.11.44. Time of Occurance 15.25 - Time reported Reported 15.47 averl Rd., Laindon. MR139090 (Rosedene Durham Road - 1 Wasp

Damage - Slight fire, Considerable blast damage. Overhead electric cables and gas main damaged. ome Casualties, 2 houses demolished, 4 properties seriously damaged.90/100 properties union damage. About 20 people homeless.

Seriously 2 Women - 1 male

lightly 2 Women.

Action taken: Fire Brigade attended to fire. Resurce amb. Repair Wardens, Police attended. Casualties treated at FA post and sent home or to Hospital. lerk, Rest etre ffice - WVS, public utility services notified. Homeless persons accommodated. F.A. repairs effected.

Ken Porter

ps: Have full report on Vower Road if required.

By Ken Porter
On 13/04/2014

I spoke to my brother Mick who was 5 years old at the time. He clearly remembers an explosion about 1/2 mile from where we lived in Wash Road. It would have been to the east of the junction with Church Road and he remembers some bungalows being damaged. So it all confirms what others have recorded. He also recalls that there was no engine noise - so feared at the time as a prelude to a doodlebug attack - prior to the explosion, so again it ties in with a V2 attack. He was on his way home from school at the time so I was wondering if any others of his generation has any memories bearing in mind how inquisitive kids of that age are!!

By Rob Merrison
On 13/03/2014

I notice Ann Rugg,12/3/14, refers to an old map of Laindon showing The Chase and Durban Road as connecting to Wash Road.  I do not remember this as such, apart from footpaths, but the actual connection being with Kimberley Road.  These old maps often show 'roads' which did not exist. For instance, between Pound Lane and Royston Avenue they show a Dovercourt Ave and a Royal Drive which never existed and a Court Drive from Church Rd across Royston Avenue to join up with Royal Drive which also never existed.  Also to the south, the Basildon Road, which terminates at the school is shown to continue across the fields to Pound Lane. There are many of these 'roads' shown on the old Laindon maps but which never materialised.

By W.H.Diment
On 13/03/2014

In response to Pete Woods query regarding V2 landing near Wash Road.  I also have a copy of the  Diary of local air raid damage which I think Ken Porter is referring to when he says Pete could see it at the Basildon Heritage Centre at Wat Tyler some time.  In ours the entry is as follows.

21.11.44   Laindon  - 1 - Susp.Wasp exploded in Durban Road. Casualties : killed - nil. Seriously injured - 3 (1m, 2f) Slightly injured - 2 (f). Damage - demolished - 2 houses, seriously damaged - 4 houses, slightly damaged - 90 houses. Electric cables and gas mains also damaged.

On our old map, Durban Road runs off Wash Road just before The Chase and turns left parallel with Wash Road into Kimberley Road.

Hope this information may be of some assistance to Pete.

By Ann Rugg
On 12/03/2014

Responding to Alan Davies' comments of the 11/03/14.  While I accepted I did not know of the reason that Councillor Townsend was given top priority I have always heard that in making decisions, not only is it necessary that justice be done, but it must be seen to be done and suggest this did not happen in this case.

At this time I personally knew a family from the Dunton plotlands who managed to rent a semi-detached bungalow in Laindon which comprised three bedrooms, a living room with a basic kitchenette/scullery and a bathroom/toilet with no hot water system.  The family consisted of husband and wife, seven sons and three daughters.  One of the sons had been discharged from the army suffering from tuberculosis and required the sole use of one of the bedrooms, leaving seven males and four females to exist in the other rooms.   They remained on the housing list for several years until finally re-housed, but by this time one of the sons had  married and moved away and one had died thus releasing a bedroom for multiple occupancy.  Given these facts would it not seem that the decision of the Council was truly honest and unbiased?

Another incidence I recall in respect of housing allocation was that of a Laindon family who emigrated to Australia but for reasons of their own returned to Laindon and were quickly re-housed ahead of many families who had been on the waiting list for years.  Before anyone reminds me it is the duty of the council to re-house the homeless, this does not include those who make themselves homeless.   I have many times heard of people who consider others have been given priority, but without any factual knowledge of the circumstances I cannot say if there was any substance to their claims.

By W.H.Diment
On 12/03/2014

Regarding Bill Diment's posting of 11/03/14. I have no idea if Harry Tanswell's position as councillor on the old BUDC impacted his early selection for a council house. What I DO know is that he did indeed suffer from health problems. On fine summer evenings, with everyone's windows open, walking past number eight on the High Road one could hear the sound of his loud coughing. Whether he had TB or some similar lung complaint I know not. It was evident from the sound of his almost continual coughing (and number eight sat back quite a way from the High Road) it was serious. It is my impression that he did not have a long life from that point on although I do not remember any specifics surrounding his death.

By Alan Davies
On 11/03/2014

One memory  which entered my mind when reading the comment of Ian, 14/03/14 was the decision by the council to allocate the first council house to Councillor Tanswell when there were literally hundreds on the list including those living  in totally substandard shacks and also many of those  returned from the forces who had married and with newly born children living in one room in their parents houses which also had only basic facilities, yet it was said that wartime service gave extra points to those on the list.   There was widespread anger on the part of those waiting with no foreseeable allocation.    While this is only hearsay, I heard that the decision was based on health grounds, yet seemed not to impinge upon his position of councillor.   Perhaps there was a more valid reason, but it could appear to those waiting there was some bias in the decision. I wonder if the council considered PR in those days..

By W.H.Diment
On 11/03/2014

I always thought the odd houses nearest the school were part of King Edward Road or High Road- not so ! The six houses on the terrace itself were the ones I was referring to. Certainly semi-detached as well, the terrace I guess referred to the landscaped area in front of the houses, the feature which makes the whole thing look so attractive. A pity that the open field area in front of Powell Road was never fully landscaped with trees and shrubbery. This would have prevented the building of the eyesore block of flats on that area. In part answer to Rob the whole of the area containing plots behind Roberts Road prewar seems to have been divided in two to create the gardens for the newly formed Powell Road post war. The gardens are approximately the same length on both roads and it would be difficult and undesirable to build on them.

By Richard Haines
On 11/03/2014

There have definitely always been eight houses in King Edward Terrace.  The terrace stood facing the High Road on both sides of King Edward Road, No. 8 being nearest the school and all eight are still standing today.  Numbers 7 and 8 can be seen in the 15th photo down on my article as mentioned earlier; ‘Retracing my walk home from school’.

It wasn’t unheard of for tenants to choose which house to live in on a newly built estate.  In March 1955 when my brother and his wife moved into the newly built Fonteyn Close, they had chosen No. 9 because although the houses were terraced, there was an alley between numbers 9 and 8.   No. 9 extended across the top of the alley which made the second bedroom in No. 9 much bigger than the others in the close (the third bedroom being a box room).  The alley remained open for many years but eventually my brother installed a green door at the front of it.

Previous to this, they had been renting a condemned bungalow called ‘Springtime’ in Gloucester Road which was practically falling down around their ears.  One morning while eating breakfast, part of the ceiling came down and landed around his bowl of cornflakes so to speak.  They were added to the Council waiting list and after about a year they moved into Fonteyn Close.  

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 11/03/2014

Nina, of course. You are correct. It was Venner.

By Alan Davies
On 11/03/2014

Alan.  I think you mean the Venner family (the twin boys Peter and Derek had a brother called Terry).  The Venables family (youngest was Michael) lived at No 76 Devonshire Road. Cheers.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 10/03/2014

Richard, I think the definition of terraced housing, or row houses, is when adjoining houses share both side walls with each side. Except on the ends of the terrace or row of course. The houses on King Edward Terrace shared only one side wall. I am no expert and I have no background in building or architecture but I think this makes them semi detached. Of course across from the back door and a narrow, covered path was a coal bunker and a larger storage shed. These did indeed share a side wall with the neighbours coal bunker and stoage shed. So, if this is counted, perhaps they are a hybrid terrace cum semi detached.

There were eight houses in the terrace. Numbers seven and eight were across King Edward Road and fronted on the High Road. The original tenants were Loseby and Tanswell. Harry Tanswell was the local Labour councillor.

Richard, you mention John Austin. The Austins lived in number five King Edward Terrace. The Venables in the first or second house on the left as you went up King Edward Road. I remember there were twin boys in the family. Margie, the oldest of the Austin children, was avidly courted by David Hopper who lived up Roberts Road. In what, at the time, I took to be an act of absolute madness David signed on for ten years in the Royal Navy. Despite the long absences that ensued David and Margie eventually married. I have no idea if it is still the case but about twenty years ago they were living, coincidentally, in what originally was the Venables house in King Edward Road.

By Alan Davies
On 10/03/2014

Richard.  Three of the photos that I put at the bottom of my article,  “Lee Chapel North (Part 3 continued) - Retracing the walk home from school” clearly show the semi-detached houses in King Edward Road as described by Alan.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 10/03/2014

I would just like to add that all the houses built by under the initial phase of the Billericay Urban District Council development on the King Edward Estate were semi-detached. They then added some terraced development in the form of flats and a terrace in Devonshire Road. The quality of construction and basic design for all the semi-detached houses was the same. The Airey houses that were built towards the end of the development were also semi-detached. 

With regards to King Edward Terrace there are three semi-detached units (six homes) to the South of King Edward Road and one to the North. These houses with the first group in King Edward together with Tattenham Road and Powell Road were phase one.

The first house was occupied by Councilor Tanswell, the one closest to the LHR school site.

There are other references on site to the history of the King Edward Estate.

Editor: I will set up a subsection for all the estates and transfer the comments to the appropriate section.

By Ian Mott
On 10/03/2014

Some further thoughts on King Edward Terrace is that in my recollection, all the houses were terraced properties, not semi-detached as stated by Alan. Also I think there were only six houses in the terrace not eight as Alan recalls. The best placed person to answer this is Rob of Laindon who currently lives in the High Road opposite. How strange also to decide who took up occupancy by the flip of a coin, you would have thought the Council would have issued the tenancies .

By Richard Haines
On 10/03/2014

I like the way the subject changes under the headings on this website. The King Edward Estate deserves a category of its own (too late for V2s). I always thought that the houses on King Edward Terrace looked more up-market than some of those that followed further into the estate. I seem to recall that John Austin who was at LHR with me lived in the terrace but not totally sure. I had many school friends on that estate and had a few fights over there as well, such is life. Some friends I remember were Geoff Cochrane, Mick Venables and Fred Sewell. Happy days.

By Richard Haines
On 10/03/2014

I can only answer part of Rob's questions. The very first construction on the King Edward estate were the eight red brick semi detached houses constituting King Edward Terrace. Construction began in early 1946 funded by the old Billericay Urban District Council. Building took an extraordinary length of time as the nationwide rebuilding that took place after the war inferred shortages of most building materials. Some had to be imported, timber from Scandinavia or Canada for example, which put a further strain on the nation's finances. I can remember walking past the construction site twice a day, to and from Laindon High Road school. Often there would be no activity whatsoever for days, or even weeks on end as the delivery of building materials was awaited.

We had been told that we were to be given the first unit completed (number 1 or 2) and I watched progress avidly as I walked by twice a day. Number 1 was finally completed in early January 1947 but number 2 was to be delayed a couple of weeks as a few materials had yet to be delivered. My father tossed a coin with Mr Chapman (The Chapmans of Berry Lane where the road does a dog leg by Samuel Road) to see who would take number 1. My father lost. A couple of weeks later, in late January 1947, we finally moved into 2, King Edward Terrace.

Building continued at a snail's pace up King Edward Road for a long time before the pace finally picked up. The old onion field at the top of King Edward Road still existed for several years. I remember being very surprised to see that the first houses to be completed in King Edward Road were not red brick as were those in King Edward Terrace.

By Alan Davies
On 09/03/2014

Thank you Nina.  I believe the name I was trying to remember was Janhar and was the first house on the southern side of Wash Road, to the east of the junction with Church Road, although a considerable distance away with two large fields intervening.    Lukuledi and Cumnor were both to the west of the junction opposite to Mundles Farm.  I seem to remember that Poonah was further to the east opposite Bensons Farm, but the other three names do not ring a bell in my memory.

By W.H.Diment
On 09/03/2014

Hi Bill.  I’ve had a look at the list of houses in Wash Road (1949) and several have unusual names:-  Tainui, Akaroa, Recco, Poonah, Janhar, Lukuledi and Cumnor.  Maybe you will recognise it among those.  If not, I will investigate a little further.  Best wishes.   

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 09/03/2014

Hi, I don't know whether there's a coincidence in the name??  I have often seen Doreen Gotobed who was in the same school year - we've had conversations and I've told her about the site and what we get up to - so far have not been able to coax her to visit us!  I am sure she would have some stories to relate too!

By Andrea Ash (nee Pinnell)
On 09/03/2014

Further to the reported incident of a V2 striking in the Wash Road area.

Casting my mind back to what I was told by my parents, I believe that the location shown by the grid map may have been in error by a quarter to a half mile to the north of the incident and that the suggested point should be where  the present day Bridge Street joins Wash Road and would have been more accurate if said to have been where the present Bridge Street joins New Waverley Road adjacent to the bridge by the new Wash Road South.   I reason this as my parents quite definitely said Waverley Road.  Areas being slightly to the south of our house and the slight damage to housing close by was on the southern end.    Also at the point where the present day Bridge Street joins Wash Road there was a chalet far above the standard of Laindon dwellings at that time.  It had an Indian name which I cannot remember, (perhaps Nina can assist with this) and was still standing long after the war.

By W.H.Diment
On 09/03/2014

Hi all.  Just picking up on Alan's comment about moving to the council houses on the King Edward estate. Can anyone confirm when these flats and houses where built, who funded them and can anyone confirm if the inmates of the P.O.W camp helped build them?  The flat my friend lives in in Roberts Road has a 100ft garden. Was the idea muted some years ago to take some of this land between long gardens and build more properties?  Thanks.  Rob of Laindon.

By Rob wood
On 09/03/2014

Hi Alan.  She did!  The Gotobed's bungalow was called "Lyme Regis".  Best wishes.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 07/03/2014

If memory serves, Shelagh was the first bungalow on Berry Lane to the north of Vowler Road, on the east side of the street. It lay back from the road. A stream, a tributary of the river Crouch, ran beside it separating it from the Hayes residence on the corner of Vowler Road and Berry Lane. On the north and east side of Shelagh lay a nearly impenetrable, extensive thicket of hawthorn. We were the first bungalow to the east of Shelagh situated in a break in the hawthorn. It was the first of the only two bungalows in Raglan Road. Perhaps fifty yards as the crow flies from Shelagh. Our bungalow was rather aptly named Lowlands as much of the time it, and the surrounding waste ground, was a sea of mud.

On the same side of Berry Lane as Shelagh but the first bungalow south of Vowler Road, after another stretch of waste ground, lived a presumably central European family. The family's name was Gotobed. There was a daughter named Shirley. We lads in our more hilarious moments referred to her as Shirley go to bed. I do not remember the name of the Gotobed bungalow but I have confidence that Miss Marple will puzzle it out.

Lowlands was also virtually destroyed, We lived there with tarpaulins over the roof in a vain attempt to keep out the rain until we moved, very upmarket, to the newly constructed council houses in King Edward Terrace.

By Alan Davies
On 07/03/2014

Vowler Road Berry Lane rocket. My relative Mrs Grace Emson lived in the bungalow Shelagh, land adjoining the property with a direct hit. Her bungalow was totally destroyed. She and my cousin Shelagh had to move in with us at Salisbury Ave. Her property was eventually purchased by Basildon and they were supposed to build a school.They eventually built a number of houses on the site.

By Thelma Oliver
On 07/03/2014

Further to the comment of Pete Wood in respect of a V2 strike in the area of Wash Rd.  While I was not in the area at this time, my parents lived in Church Rd. and I was told it was a " land mine", ( which I, possibly mistakenly) ,, believed to be a large explosive device landed by parachute, in Waverly Rd. , some 200 yds from our house.  Whatever the device was, it would have been in the area of Bridge St.  which never existed in those days. I understand some of the houses in Church Rd. suffered damage which were repaired under a war damage scheme.    The record of the location shown on the map would have been correct although the naming of the area somewhat premature.

By W.H.Diment
On 06/03/2014

Hi Pete

Not sure where you live, but if you are a local Basildon person why not call in at the Green Centre, Wat Tyler, Pitsea and meet the people from Basildon Heritage. We have the areas War Diary which lists all the bombs, V1, V2 aircrafts etc that fell in the area. We are there on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10 to 12.30 and Saturdays from 11.30 to 3.30. If I am not around one of the volunteers will be able to help you. If you are not local give me a few days and I will check out the incident for you. If you want to correspond direct ask the editor for my email address.

We are currently digitising the ledger and at some time will have it on line. By the end of the year the Council intend to have the war ledger on display at Towngate. 

It would be good to meet up as we are doing quite a lot on the two wars at the moment and we might well be able to help each other. For example I have met the family in regards to the rocket that fell in Vowler Road.

By Ken Porter
On 06/03/2014

Thank you for replying, but this is a different incident to the one at Vowler Road (which happened on the 13th November 1944).

By Pete Wood
On 05/03/2014

I am not aware of any details surrounding a V2 near Wash Road. I am, however, familiar with some of the details surrounding a V2 falling in Vowler Road. Can there be some confusion? Certain similarities exist in the details mentioned including the time of  year, number killed, and two properties demolished or damaged beyond repair.

By Alan Davies
On 05/03/2014
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