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On The Home Front
The People and Parish of North Mymms 1939-45

Published by the North Mymms Local History Society

Chapter Three - The War Comes Home - Parish Bomb Damage

Chapter Four - The Auxiliary Fire Service

The bomb crater in Gobions Woodland
A crater in Gobions Woodland possibly created by one of the bombs mentioned in the article

In September 1940, it was reported that the A.R.P. (Air Raids Precautions) Hatfield R.D.C. was to issue to all householders with a card on part of which were instructions on what to do in an air-raid.

During September 1940, frequent air-raids interrupted school work at Waterend. School began at 10am from the 11th, when air raids continued after midnight. Ceilings were damaged during October and repaired by Nash the builders.

On July 22nd 1944, the school and house were blasted by a fly-bomb and there was damage to the roof, ceilings and windows. The Vicar in the parish magazine of September stated "it was a great mercy that the children were not in school" and sympathised with Miss Smith in the damage done to the house and school.

The Reverend Buxton was greatly distressed by the bombs and felt it "helped to make us more resolute that we will banish this curse from the earth and all the evil things in us and others that have brought this about. Thank God few were injured and there were no fatal casualties. But alas some of our church windows have been damaged. We hope it will be possible to repair it partially."

The estimate for the repair of the church windows was 170 and it was reported in May 1945 that the War Damage Commission would assist.

Leslie Abbot recalls this story:

"We lived in the Grove and so did Gordon Little. I had a rather ancient Standard car. Gordon would call for me as he seemed to be on the same shift and we would go down to the fire station together (see Chapter 4).

"Planes were going over and there was a terrific thump, thump, thump. We dived under the dining-room table and then it became quiet and so off we went to do our duty to serve king and country.

"We got in the car and drove down Moffats Lane and in those days it was not a nice tarmac road, but had potholes. It was not until the following morning we discovered one of the Jerries on the way home decided to deposit a string of bombs he did not want and unkindly decided to deposit them on Brookmans Park.

"The string, to my knowledge went in a straight line, and one went in the middle of Moffats Lane and Gordon and I drove over it there and back, and we are still here. The other, I know for certain, fell over Gobions Open Space. If you go there, there is a seat by an old oak tree trunk and one fell there. If you had a ruler you could plot where the others fell. They were all in a straight line and some were further down in Gobions and probably over near the station."

Dick Colville recalls there was a stick of fire bombs near the Rookery, Great North Road. Mr William Nash was on fire drill. "We went out with our spades and smothered them with lumps of turf, when it got dark we reported to the ARP."

On The Home Front - The People and Parish of North Mymms 1935-45
Index - On The Home Front
Chapter One - A Message From The Vicar
Chapter Two - The Special Constabulary
Chapter Three - The War Comes Home - Parish Bomb Damage
Chapter Four - The Auxiliary Fire Service
Chapter Five - Children in the Parish
Chapter Six - Keeping Busy on the Home Front
Chapter Seven - The North Mymms Auxiliary Hospital
Chapter Eight - The Secret Visitors
Chapter Nine - Church and People
Chapter Ten - Epilogue
Chapter Eleven - People
North Mymms Parish Magazine
Crockford's Clerical Directory 1939
Who's Who 1988
North Mymms Auxiliary Hospital 1940-46: A brief description by H.M.Alderman
Who Was Who (various years)
Note: Many thanks are due to Dick Colville and Leslie Abbott for allowing their reminiscences of the war years in the parish to be published. Also to Mr Colville for allowing the essay by his wife Dorothy to be reproduced. The North Mymms Local History Society

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