Bombs dropped in the ward of: Colindale
Total number of bombs dropped from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941 in Colindale:
- High Explosive Bomb
Number of bombs dropped during the week of 7th October 1940 to 14th of October:
Number of bombs dropped during the first 24h of the Blitz:
No bombs were registered in this area
Memories in Colindale
Read people's stories relating to this area:
Contributed originally by footslogger (BBC WW2 People's War)
Remembering the War
I have recently been told about this site initiated by the BBC.so that peoples memories of that great conflict can be recorded for posterity.
It is hard for me to know where to start being unused to doing this type of recording fro other people to read, and whether the items that I am writing about will be of interest to this web site.
First a brief introduction.: My name is Raymond and I was born in London England, but after being “Demobbed” couldn’t settle down and moved to Canada a few years later where I have lived ever since. My home is in a town in an area known as “The Greater Toronto Area” or GTA for short which is in the province of Ontario.
So where should I start with my reminiscing? How about this as a beginning?
In August 1939 I went on holiday to Herne Bay in Kent and one day walking along the front I heard the sound of aircraft engines and being interested in aircraft I looked up and saw what I identified as a Lufthansa Junkers tri motor passenger plane coming in over the coast it was quite low all silver in the sunlight and I noticed the red background with the big black swastika on the tail fin, and seeing it I thought (which I suppose at the time a strange thought for a fifteen year old boy though again maybe not with all the talk of war going on) I wonder how soon the pilot of that plane would be over England again but this time dropping bombs.
I watched until it disappeared in land then I forgot about and went to the local cinema and saw maybe appropriately a film called“Fire over England” with Laurence Olivier though the action took place in Elizabethan times
September 3rd 1939 : Living in Finchley in north London I was with my friend (also named Raymond) who lived on the same road as me but at the opposite end of it; and for some reason I was at his home instead of my own listening to Mr Chamberlain’s speech declaring “That Britain was now at war with Germany“.
At the end of the speech not be sure what to do as his family were in a sombre mood we left the house and decided to walk down to the end of the road back to my home to see how my family were taking the news, and I suppose also to see if anything was going to happen that we had been warned about, we just reached the end of the road and the sirens started to sound, we both stood stock still for a moment and then did a mad dash back to his house ,I swear we covered that distance in less than 30 seconds and it is a long road, at his house we both suddenly stopped and then strolled very nonchalantly inside only to find all his family sitting in a cupboard under the stairs.
Of course the “All clear” sounded soon afterwards. We again went outside Ray’s house and outside several houses people were standing and looking up and wondering most likely like us what the warning was all about, and I am not sure how long after the All Clear sounded this event happened, that we heard this loud explosion, naturally we wondered what it was and whether bombs had fallen.It was rather a mystery and it
wasn’t until some months later that I heard a rumour that an RAF plane had crashed,
I was told at Hendon aerodrome which was not far from us, but at the time this was never confirmed.
When I was in London on a visit a couple of years ago I went to the RAF museum at Colindale the site of the old aerodrome and was looking through its history records and there I did find an entry which confirmed that rumour of a plane crash Apparantly a student pilot on a training flight was coming into land, miscalculated his approach and crashed into a house in Colindale, unfortunately killing not only himself but several people who were in that house.
Naturally as a young boy all that was happening was very novel and exciting for me, although my parents did not think the same, especially my father who served the Middlesex Regt. in the first war.
He became an Air Raid Warden, so I thought I would the same but would only be accepted as a messenger which was fine for me, I was issued with a steel helmet and a respirator, and was told my duties would be relaying messages from the District Wardens office to the various Wardens Posts in the district.
At the beginning my job was rather quiet until the raids on London started and the things started to happen. and I felt a bit apprehensive riding around on a bike with messages especially during a raid with the ack-ack firing away and bits of shell coming down, I could hear the pieces hitting the ground. One time I heard some splinters came down and I think one must have hit my front wheel while I was riding as all of a sudden I had a flat tire which gave me a scare..
One of my most chilling experiences happened one night while I was out delivering messages during a raid. I heard this strange whistling and shushing sound that seemed to be coming down, the sound eventually stopped but I couldn’t see anything and it obviously was not a bomb, no explosion.
I continued cycling up the high road to point where there was a boulevard with some very high trees, and I saw something white hanging from one of them naturally I stopped to look and saw it was a parachute with something very large and black hanging from it I immediately had a good idea what it was A Land Mine ! Luckily it got snagged in the trees as I hate to think what would have happened if it had landed on the ground.
,I didn’t wait to look any closer but took off like the wind back to the local police station that I had passed, when I got there it took me a couple of minutes to calm down and then I managed to tell the police what I had just found. They got in touch with the army bomb disposal squad and in short time the area was evacuated and roped off. The army I was told later defused the mine and took it away.
Apparently this strange noise had also been heard by someone nobody was sure what it was and if it was some sort of bomb that had come down where it had landed, but everyone was very pleased that I saw the mine and reported it. I was quite excited about what had happened and told my parents afterwards, my father said you did a good job, but my mother naturally was horrified
A Home Guard experience
As soon as I was old enough I joined the Home Guard and went through all the training in what we were expected to do should the Germans invade Britain.
One exercise I went on was to do with house to house fighting, which we were doing in a partly finished housing site in Mill Hill, I was detailed to give covering fire with a grenade firing rifle and had to camouflage myself, there was a grass ditch at side of the road so I dived in there and as there was a lot of loose grass I decided to cover myself with just my head showing, a perfect covering I thought.
While I was lying there the local milkman came by with his horse and cart and stopped in front of me to deliver his milk (he could not have noticed me lying there for which I was pleased about) while he was gone the horse decided it was hungry and started to eat the grass that was covering me, not only that he also relieved himself at the same time which splashed all over me, I gave a yell and jumped up scaring the horse which took off at a great speed down the road with the cart , all the bottles rattling, some falling off, and. with the milkman who had just returned after his delivery, running after it calling the horse all sorts of names to stop which he eventually managed to make it do, then coming back to me to say some rather nasty things at what I had caused..
My platoon sergeant who came by to see what the ruckus was about and saw me rather wet and smelling not too good into the bargain, couldn‘t stop laughing neither could the rest of the platoon when they found out what happened and saw me all wet with bits of grass stuck to my uniform.
My mother told me to keep out of the house when I returned home until I changed in fresh clothing. The odour would not go away and I had to get a new uniform from the QM stores where again to my embarrassment I had to explain what happened to me. It took a long time for me to live this episode down! .
1942 I was still studying to be a mechanical engineer at and was possibly in theory exempt from military service, but on turning eighteen I decided to volunteer for the RAF. I was accepted and soon after orders came for me to report to Euston House to collect my travel documents for Penarth in South Wales for Primary Training , When I reported in with the rest of the intake we were told we were being put on Deferred Service as the RAF now had too many volunteers to cope with
So after all that excitement I was back in “Civvy Street” waiting for a recall which I hoped would not be too long in coming.
What I did get a few months later much to my annoyance was my call up for the army ,I immediately went to the RAF recruiting station at Euston House to complain and found some others like me there. We were told too bad that although we were on deferred service technically we not in the RAF so into the army you go!
Reluctantly I went to Canterbury and did my 6 weeks basic training again ,then posted to the East Surrey regiment for my Corps Training after which I posted to my battalion in the 3‘mortor platoon of “S“ company.
Until I went overseas it was the usual round of training, route marches, schemes etc
When we received our overseas postings we were issued with tropical kit including Solar Topees, so we all thought it’s the far east
Images in Colindale
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