At the Homesdale Road entrance to the park.
Stop 4 – Of WW2, Thornet Wood, Arthur’s Incendiary and the Johnson Road crash.
Narrator: If you turn and look back at the rear of the houses along Havelock road, you can see the terrace is interrupted by a block of flats.
Rebecca: In WW2 this area suffered badly from the bombing. Each of the two blocks of flats in Havelock Road mark the sites of houses destroyed by German bombs. The houses from 25 to 41 Havelock Road was demolished by an Aerial Mine, which was more destructive as it detonated above the ground.
Jo: In Jubilee Country Park, you can see the concrete circles marking the site of the Thornet Wood Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery. It was one of a defensive ring of gun sites encircling London during the War. There were 8 big guns and rows of huts for the reserve unit 71st London Regiment that manned the battery.
Narrator: ‘One day, when we were playing in the Brickie, one of the ARP wardens approached us boys. He told us “For God’s sake don’t do what I’m going to do” and he took an incendiary bomb he was carrying and lobbed it into the pit. It exploded with a blinding flash of white light, and the warden told us “that could have been you”. I can tell you, it fair put the wind up us…!’ Arthur Sheppeck in 2015.
Narrator: Bromley is not far, as the crow flies, from the ww2 fighter station of RAF Biggin Hill, and with the anti-aircraft stationed locally as well, so it didn’t just suffer from not the bombs…
Sandra: On November 9th, 1940, a German Heinkel bomber was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, and it crashed on Johnson Road (half a mile to the south of here), demolishing 2 houses and killing one of the residents.
The bomber still had 30 live bombs on board, which had to be removed carefully by hand to the open space of Bromley Common and defused, by three service men who were awarded George Medals for their bravery.
Jo: From the bombers crew, only the navigator survived; he was arrested when his parachuted into a field near Sundridge Park. If you’re interested, there’s lots more detail on the Chatterton History Society website.
Tony reads Peter’s memory: “One particular occasion was when a large general store in the market square was bombed, much of the rubble was also tipped over there (the brick pit). Some of the local Mums soon spent some time over there recovering molten bars of soap and other items.”
Narrator: Continue clockwise around the edge of the park until you reach a large Sycamore tree on your left.