Intro to 1945
... and so the war drew to a close, but there were set backs.
There were limited German gains early in the year, there was one of the
coldest winters, with Brandon reporting snow in May, and Winston
Churchill the man who guided Britain through it's 'finest hour' was
voted out of office as Labour swept the General Election.
Although the VE-Day celebrations in Britain were much publicised it was
the VJ-Day announcement that Brandon people were avidly waiting for.
This would bring home the men held captive by the Japanese in the
terrible P.O.W. camps. Men returned from their P.O.W. camps,
firstly in Europe and then finally from the Far East, but then there
were some families receiving confirmation that their loved one had been
a casualty of the war. Those reported as Missing In Action were
confirmed as either held as prisoners and therefore on their way home,
or more tragically as being killed some time previously.
And as the men returned home some others were about to embark on their
own future abroad, these were the so-called 'G.I. brides', local girls
marrying American servicemen, and leaving for the 'States when the men
So it heralded the final year of this war, but the rebuilding of lives
and nations, and the repercussions, would go on for much longer.
An open-air dance in the London
Road during VE-Week raised £5 12s 1d for the British Red Cross Society.
A Victory tea was held for the children of Town Street, Manor
Road and Mile End. It was
held in the Town Street Methodist Church and every child received 9d 1s
and this sum was also sent to any children unable to attend.
In August Prime Minister Atlee
announced the surrender of the Japanese to the British public.
On the evening of
Sunday 19th August a united Thanksgiving Service was held on the Market
Hill and was attended by a large congregation. The choir was
conducted by Mr. A.E. Chapman and others taking part in the servioce
were Rev. Thomas (Cambridge), Rev. Tyrell Green, Rev. D.H. Bareham, Mr.
R. Owen and Chaplain Zeigler from the U.S.A.
in August the children living in Thetford Road, Bury Road and
George Street were treated to a day at Hunstanton on the coast as a VJ
treat. 64 Town Street
children were given an outing to Hunstanton and given 4s to spend.
This treat was organised by Mr Dyer and the Home Guard and
those who could not attend were given 4s 6d.
The children from the High Street and the Lode went to Yarmouth
on Sunday 23rd August and were accompanied by their parents.
A Victory tea was held in the canteen (lent my Mr. Rought-Rought) for
the children of Thetford Road, George Street and Bury Road. It was
provided by the parents and friends of the children and Mr P. Lingwood
welcomed the children and said, "Some of you are so young that you
are yet to live in a time of peace. It is for this moment that we,
your parents, have been waiting and praying for, when your fathers and brothers
will be returned to your homes, and you will be able to enjoy the
results of this wonderful victory they have fought so bravely to
achieve. We trust that, with God's help, the rest of your lives
will be free from any more wars."
After tea there were games and race on the lawn of Mr. Rought-
Rought and each child was given 2s 6d by him and then given an
additional 6d from the spare money left over.
An auction raised £14 which was used to take the children to the
About 70 children
from Brandon's High Street and Lode Street, Brandon, and also from the
Dr Barnardos Home at Wangford were entertained to tea on Mr F. Froud's
meadow to celebrate victory. After tea there were games and races
and in the evening there was a display of fireworks. Each child received
a gift of one shilling.
About 150 children
from London Road enjoyed a victory tea party held on Mr T. Green's
lawn. The children apparently sat down to a "delightful
spread" provided by the parents and afterwards there were games and
dancing. Each child received a gift of 1s 3d.
Rural District Council
The Council agreed to 30 temporary dwellings in the district,
Brandon would get 9 of these.
On Thursday 10th May, after VE-Day was declared the Council stood
for a minute’s silence as a tribute to those who had lost their lives
in the war.
Myrtle Mathews passed 1st Class in the
Intermediate Grade for Pianoforte at the London College Of Music
December examinations. These
were held at Cambridge.
At Weeting, in January, a display of dancing by the children of
the Brandon Infants School was given by 20 children for the benefit of
the troops stationed in the village.
The children, under the guidance of Head Teacher Mrs. Barnes,
also sang and tea was provided afterwards.
The 1st Brandon Boy Scouts held an exhibition of the
Scouts work in the Norfolk Hut. Included
in the exhibits was a miniature model camp.
On VE-Day a great celebration was held around the camp fire and
donations were received, totalling £7 10s, were received for the
Scouts’ Camping Fund.
Another celebration of sorts took place in May when Mr & Mrs
Catchpole celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary at their London
Road home. Unfortunately Mr
Catchpole was in ill health and was unable to come downstairs to join
the celebrations and sadly Mr. Catchpole died just a month later.
The death of well-known
flintknapper, Charlie Edwards, Thetford Road was announced in
May. He was 75 years old.
the death of Mr. Frank Edwards, 99 Thetford Road, another famous
flintknapper, was announced in June.
He was 58 years old.
London Road, THETFORD.
(Manager: J. Parish)
Can now be obtained
Both at our
THETFORD & BRANDON
Old and new
stocks of Batteries and
Spares for all makes.
Batteries charges. Prompt
We strongly advise motorists
with laid-up cars to get their
batteries attended to at least once and
to buy a new on if unsatisfactory.
A new battery should be stored
Dry without acid in which
Condition it need not be charged until
Needed and will keep for years.
yours before the rush.
Owing to shortage of staff we
Are unable to execute repairs
As promptly as we wish but
Customers can be assured of
Our best attention.
capacity of holiday resorts and transport services will still be
strictly limited this Summer. You
will help yourself and others if you can take your holiday in
SEPTEMBER OR OCTOBER.
SWEEPS THE COUNTRY
...but the Tories hold Bury St. Edmunds.
of the General Election on Thursday 5th July.
G.B. Clifton-Brown (Con)
Cicely McCall (Lab)
H.C. Drayton (Lib)
forfeits his deposit. There
were 45,482 constituents able to vote and 30,887 voted, with 66 spoilt
candidate Mr H.C. Drayton visited Brandon at the School Hall at 7.30pm
on Monday 18th June.
Motor Tragedy Near Brandon
Soldier and Land Girl Killed
A soldier motor-cyclist and his Land Army girl passenger were
killed when their machine came into collision with an Army lorry
near Brandon. They both had extensive injuries and the
machine was a total wreck.
An inquest was held at White Lodge Hospital a
few days later and a speedometer, with the needle stuck pointing
at 60, was produced. The Coroner for the Liberty of Bury
St. Edmunds (Mr T Wilson) conducted the inquiry and Mr C Morgan
represented the Treasury Solicitor and the driver of the lorry.
Deceased were Miss Joan Hart (21) Women's
Land Army, whose home was at East Dulwich, London, and B.Q.M.S.
John Whitlock Woodcock (31).
Evidence of identification of the girl was
given by Mrs Ethel Morrison warden of the Y.W.C.A. hostel for
the Women's Land Army at Lakenheath.
Ellen Ann Naifsey, also of the W.L.A., said that on
Saturdayafternoon she cycled to
Brandon with Miss Hart. After shopping, they went to a
public bar and a lady bought them a drink and they played darts.
They talked to two soldiers and had another drink.
After closing time they walked with the civilians and soldiers
towards home. There were several suggestions on how they
should return to the hostel, owing to having only one cycle
lamp. A soldier obtained a motor-cycle and, after some
argument, it was decided that the deceased should be taken home
John William Huns, lorry driver's mate,
Coronation Place, Brandon, said he went to the Railway Hotel,
Brandon, about 8.15pm, and had a shandy. He and a friend
played darts with the girls and stayed with them until closing
time. The girls and the soldiers were perfectly sober.
Q.M.S. Thomas William Billsborough stated
that with another soldier, he called at the Railway Hotel and
while there he bought the girls half a pint of beer each.
Sgt-Major Woodcock suggested that he would get a truck to take
them home. He could not obtain a truck, but the
agreed to go home singly on a motor-cycle. Sgt-Major
Woodcock left between 11.15 and 11.30 and expected to make
two journeys to Lakenheath (4 miles away) by midnight.
Q.M.S. John Hinton gave evidence that
he was sitting beside the driver of a truck leaving Newmarket
and the headlights were masked. Nearing Brandon, he saw a
light approaching. They were on the crown of the road.
Next, he saw the motor-cyclist 4 yards away and there was a
crash. The motor-cyclist had come out of a dip.
Lt. Harold Vernon Wilkes identified the body
of Woodcock. He visited the scene of the accident and saw
marks made by the motor-cycle.
The Coroner said there was no evidence of gross
negligence. The motor-cycle had plenty of room to pass and
he returned a verdict of "Misadventure" and expressed
his sympathy with the relatives of the two deceased.
An M.B.E. has been
awarded to Captain Walter G. Gentle.
It was reported in the Bury Free Press of 12th January
1945 that, “The M.B.E. has been awarded to Capt. W.G. Gentle, M.C., of
the 202 Battalion Home Guard for services during the last four years”.
Captain Gentle was also awarded the Military Cross in the First
Butcher was reported home with his parents, Mr & Mrs J. Butcher,
at ‘Rosthem’, London Road, in August.
He had just returned home after 3 years service abroad and during
that time he was awarded the Greek Order of St. Marks.
In March Mr &
Mrs A. Glaister, 8 White Horse Street, received a post card dated 2nd
November 1944 from their son Private S. Glaister saying that he
had been moved to Fukuoka POW Camp in Japan.
He had been working in Singapore and Thailand and had received 32
letter dated to 10-01-44. He
also stated that he was in good health.
Mr W. Kent, 135 Thetford Road, received news that his son, Lance
Corporal Charles Graham Kent of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent
Regiment was in Allied hands and will return to the UK as soon as
possible. This report was
received from the Record Office in Moscow, Russia.
He had been a P.O.W. since 1940 and was at Stalag A.B. P.O.W.
In April, Lt. Basil Rought-Rought was reported to be back in
Brandon with his parents and two brothers after spending 5 years as a
P.O.W. In peacetime he was
a well-known local cricketer, playing for Norfolk and West Suffolk
teams. He and others from
the 7th Royal Norfolk Regiment were taken prisoner in France
in June 1940. He
successfully escaped on his 2nd attempt and reached France
before making his way to England. He
is now over a stone lighter than before being captured.
In June Sgt. C. Towler of the Canadian Army was reported to be
spending a short time with his parents, Mr & Mrs A. Towler of 65
London Road, Brandon, before returning to his wife in Ontario, Canada.
He was with the Canadian Forces participating in the Dieppe Raid
and was wounded in the forearm and shoulder before being taken as
prisoner. He then spent 5
months in hospital and kept captive in chains for 8 months.
Also in June, Private J.
Brown returned home to his wife at 5 London Road.
He was taken prisoner at Dunkirk while serving with the 1st
Battalion Suffolk Regiment.
In August Mrs C.H. Croxall, 12 Crown Street, received a card from her
husband, Private C.H. Croxall, a Japanese prisoner of war.
The card is dated 21-08-45 and reads, “Have received mail …
don’t worry over me. I’m
in perfect health”. This
was her first news for 16 months and took only 12 days to get to her.
On September 25th
the Bury Free Press listed the following men, formerly prisoners of war
of the Japanese, as being safe, with some in India and others in
2nd son of Mr & Mrs Kent, Fishponds, Brandon; His
elder brother Henry Kent was listed as dying in a Japanese
Stebbing, husband of Mrs E.
Stebbing, The Ram Hotel;
Caward, husband of Mrs R.
Caward, High Lodge, Brandon;
Pte F. Royal,
Cambridgeshire Regiment, son of Mr & Mrs R. Royal, 155 Thetford
Lockwood, husband of Mrs H.
Lockwood, 100 Thetford Road, Brandon;
On October 5th the
Bury Free Press printed that the following men had been rescued from
their captures and were waiting to come home:
Mouncer, Royal Engineers, husband of Mrs. Mouncer, Santon Downham;
Jones, Cambridgeshire Regiment, husband of Mrs. V. Jones, 1
Manor Road, Brandon.
Ashley, F.E., husband of Mrs.. L. Ashley, Town Street, Brandon.
Carter, R.A.M.C., son of Mr. and Mrs. Carter, 'The Albion',
London Road, Brandon.
Keys, husband of the late Mrs. G. Keys, 141 Thetford Road,
Dyer, 5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, son Mrs. and the late Mr.
Dyer, 12 Manor Road, Brandon.
son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Malt, Bury Road, Brandon.
Albert Palmer, R.E., of 115 Thetford Road, Brandon.
In August it was
reported that Mr. and Mrs. H. Dorling had been officially notified that
their eldest son, Cecil Dorling, had died of beri beri on
September 30th 1943. He had been a Prisoner Of War at the hands of
the Japanese after he was captured in Singapore. In his private
life before the war he took great interest in the work of the Methodist
Chapel and was employed by Messrs. S. and P. Lingwood.
In November the
Bury Free Press announced that the following men had returned home to
the Brandon area from their Japanese P.O.W. camps:
Carter, London road;
Stebbings, Ram Hotel;
Adams, Thetford Road;
Copping, Park View;
Mouncer, Santon Downham;
During a meeting in April
and with Mr. H. Lingwood as Chairman, the following points were
had been done about de-requisitioning the Church Institute;
Council decided not to go ahead with plans for a dimmed light on the
Clerk reported that the Market Hill clock could not be lit, or
strike, owing to the severe frosts and it was impossible to replace
repairs were agreed to the Avenue fence and to ask for quotes for
case for a new Brandon to Lakenheath road was put forward by the
Surveyor to the Ministry of War transport;
In May, Mr H.
Lingwood was re-elected to the post of Chairman and Mr B.
Lingwood as Vice-Chairman. The
following points were again brought up at the meeting:
de-requisitioning of the Church Institute from the Forces use for
took place about VE-Day celebrations.
The Chairman reported that he had asked the local clergy to
arrange for a Thanksgiving Service.
In July the Gas
Company promised to have the street lighting restored by September 18th
and the East Anglian Electric Company stated they would light the lamps
on the Market Hill and crossroads by August 18th.
The cost of this would be £17 15s 4d per year.
The Brandon Parish Council supported the Lakenheath Parish Council’s
request to the Ministry of War Transport that a new road should be built
between the two towns. In
November the newly elected M.P. Lt-Col Clifton-Brown promised his
support for the road.
In August the
Council came in for criticism when it was claimed that there was urgent
need for Council Housing. There was also a sewerage problem and
the odour of the 'night' cart was having an effect on women out shopping
in the town and driving them off the streets, claimed one local
In November further requests
were made to get the pillboxes and roadblocks in Brandon removed.
following people had applied for Council Housing in 1945.
BASHAM, Mrs. M.B.
CLARKE, Mrs. A.M.
CLAWSON, Mrs. D.E.
COLE-WILKIN, Mrs. P.E.
CUBITT, Mrs. W.
DREWERY, Albert A.
EDWARDS, Mrs. B.E.
ELMER, Edgar W.
EVERETT, Harold E.
FORD, Walter S.
FROST, Albert E.
HUNT, Mrs. J.E.
HUNTER, Mrs. Lily
LLOYD, John E.
MACKENDER, John T.
MELTON, Mrs. R.W.
NORTON, Walter C.
ROLPH, Eric D.
ROWBOTHAM, Mrs. M.L.
ROYAL, Rupert E.
STROUD, Percy R.
SWAINE, Mrs. B.J.
TALBOT, Mrs. K.J.
THOMPSON, William G.
TUCK, Wilfred John
WARD, Thomas E.
WATERMAN, James A.
WHISTLER, Kenneth W.
WHITTA, Sewell J.
WILLIAMS, Mrs. J.
|1 The Avenue
22 Bury Road
12 London Road
38 Bury Road
20 Thetford Road
52 Bury Road
87 Gas House Lane
28 London Road
Five Bells Inn
38 High Street
The Lodge, Brandon Park
High Lodge, Santon Downham
21 George street
2 Town Street, Road
50 Thetford Road
14 Manor Road
4 Crown Street
96 Thetford Road
C/o. 200 London Road
C/o. Ouse Hotel
2 The Rookery
29 George Street
Bungalows, Thetford Road
155 Thetford Road
72 London Road
3 Pond Lane
1 Town Street Road
24 George Street
40 Thetford Road
1 Manor Road
17 George Street
8 Coronation Place
In January before a
Juvenile Court in Brandon, an 8-year-old boy was discharged with a
caution after being found guilty of stealing a rabbit.
The tame rabbit belonged to Mr Derek Strutt, of 10 London
Road, and was reported stolen from his allotment shed in Rattlers Road
between December 22nd-23rd.
Mr. Strutt recovered the rabbit’s skin and carcass from the
boy’s home. The Court
Chairman, Mr. J.H. Crumpton, dismissed it as a “boy’s
prank” after the accused admitted to stealing the rabbit and skinning
it. He told the boy’s
father that he should not have killed the rabbit and skinned it until he
was absolutely sure of how his son had obtained it.
At the Brandon Police Court in May Private Levi Callear,
Pioneer Corps, was sentenced to 3 months hard labour for stealing
approximately £50 from the wallet of Private Johnson while at
Brandon. He was also
sentenced for another 3 months hard labour for the stealing of a bicycle
In January a darts tournament
held at The Flowerpot raised £6 6s 3d for the Red Cross Fund.
In November The Flowerpot beat the Brandon British Legion, 8–4.
In December The Flowerpot beat Timber Control 8–4, the Five Bells beat
Brandon British Legion, 8–7 and the Brandon British legion beat the
Pioneer Corps Sergeants’ Mess 6–2.
Brandon entertained an R.A. XI
on Saturday 7th July and won by 63 runs to 54.
The Railway Hotel team beat Methwold Cock Public House twice, 69–44
Mr & Mrs Field, of Manor
Road, received official notice that their son, Sapper Stanley Field,
Royal Engineers, was wounded in Italy on April 21st and was
in a hospital. He was also
evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940.
It was reported in
October that Driver Sydney L. Churchyard had died at Arnhem.
He had been reported as Missing-In-Action until this point. His
parents lived at 193 London Road.
In March Mrs. C. Scurrell of Brandon High Street was notified
that her husband, Lance Corporal C. Scurrell, formerly manager
for Moss & Potter wine and spirit merchant, was killed in action on
the Western Front.
A ‘Thanksgiving Week’ was
held, starting 13th October, and it kicked off with a
torchlight procession accompanied by the Cambridge Silver Prize Band.
The Rev. Tyrell Green who was assisted by the Rev. D.H.
Bareham and Chaplain E.E. Ramsay held a Thanksgiving Service.
The Cambridge Silver Prize
Band and united choirs, conducted by Mr A.E. Chapman, were also
present. There was also
Grand Victory Ball held at the Church Institute with dance music played
by the B.B.C. artists, which featured 7-year-old Pamela Beales,
of the Norwich Juvenile Theatre, who was shortly to leave for film work
at Hollywood. The Master of
Ceremonies for the Ball was Mr. D.P. Lingwood.
Other events included a “monster whist drive” and a visit
from Madame Osina’s Concert Party.
On Tuesday 12th June Brandon's ARP
carried out their stand down parade.
In June Mr R J
Woodrow claimed that hundreds of bombs had fallen in and around Brandon
but the town had been very fortunate with only two minor casualties and
some property damage.
A rifle club was created by the
Home Guard in Brandon and Lt. Smith was selected as Chairman and Lt.
Cameron as Honorary Secretary.
Major F. Holmes donated a cup to the club for competition
The Home Guard Social Committee held the first of their fortnightly
whist drives in the Drill Hall in January.
Lt. Renault was the Master of Ceremonies.
In August the following appeal was printed in the Bury Free Press from
Colonel Garrett, Chairman of the Suffolk Territorial Army Association,
to members of the Home guard.
The final disbandment of the Home Guard in the county has not
yet taken place. Members
are required to keep their articles of uniform they were
allowed to retain on their ‘Stand Down’ until such final
disbandment is effected.
I feel sure that a fair percentage of members will not desire
to retain their uniforms as they will have no use for them and
it is to these members that I appeal for such articles of
uniform, especially battle dress, great coats, boots and
anklets to be handed over to the Army Cadet Force units in the
Any members who wish to surrender items of uniform when the
final disbandment is effected and have any difficulty in
contacting a local Army Cadet unit are requested to notify the
Secretary, Suffolk Army Cadet Committee, 14 Burlington
A collection was held in February in the Avenue Cinema and raised
£56 2s 6d for the Red Cross P.O.W. Fund.
In March a darts match was held at the Duke Of Wellington against the
N.F.S. which raised £3 2s for the Red Cross POW War Fund.
Mr H. Lingwood held a garden party at ‘Northumberland
House’, which was attended by 700 guests.
Mrs D.P. Lingwood opened it and she was presented with a
bouquet of flowers by Miss Dawn Rae.
There were many stalls, competitions, sideshows and a dancing
display by some children who were directed by Head teacher, Mrs
Barnes. There were also
vocal and instrumental renderings from the U.S.A.A.F. and as a finale
there were dancing on the lawn to Mr Tom Green’s radio.
The garden party raised about £95 for the Baptist Church
Renovations and Repair Fund.
In March the wedding took place at St. Peter’s Church of Daphne
Clemates, daughter of Mr and the late Mrs R. Raven and Fred Aubrey
(U.S. Army), son of Mr & Mrs F. Stemple, Colora, Maryland, U.S.A.
The bride, attired in white and gold satin dress, veil and orange
blossom headdress with a bouquet of arum lilies, was given away by her
uncle, Mr. R. Raven of Norwich. She
was attended by Miss Pauline Bilverstone wearing a mauve taffeta
dress. The best man
was Private Albert Pakin (U.S Army) with the Rev. G.M. Napier of Elveden
officiating. The reception
was held at The Five Bells.
In June the marriage between Miss Dorothy Mail, daughter
of Mrs Mail, 11 Mile End, and Sgt. Ralph, U.S.A.A.F. was announced.
The bride wore grey.
A June wedding took place at St. Peter’s Church, Brandon, of Miss
Joyce Wright, daughter of Mrs & the late Mr Wright, Drove
Cottage, and Private James Emot Patishall, of the U.S.A.A.F., son of Mr
& Mrs Patishall, Georgia, U.S.A.
At St. Mary’s Church, Thetford, the wedding took place between Miss
Eileen Naylor, daughter of Mr & Mrs Will Naylor, ‘The
Vines’, Brandon, and Staff Sgt. Joseph C. Cross, of the U.S.A.A.F.
The bride was employed at Barclays Bank in Brandon High Street.
that the long struggle has ended,
And the well deserved victory has taken place,
We all hope that we shall be able to join in the battle of winning the
And offer our cooperation in the many ways which Gas will serve in the
Saturday 27th October, Brandon Recreation beat Town
Street on Crown Meadow 5–3 and R. Knights (3) and J. Armold
(2) scored their goals.
Saturday 3rd November, Town Street beat Bury St.
Edmunds Air Training Cadets and Brandon
Recreation were at home to Mundford who they beat 4–3.
Brandon’s scorers were R. Knights (2), Whitta and
Saturday 17th November, Brandon Recreation lost to Lakenheath
0 – 2.
Saturday 15th December, Town Street visited Thetford Town in
the 1st Round of the Norfolk Junior Cup and narrowly lost.
Thetford were 3 – 0 ahead at half time but then they allowed
Brandon into the game and after Brandon scored three quick goals to
equalise it became a tense affair.
Thetford were awarded a penalty in the last minutes, which they
scored to win the match.