Oh, What a Lovely War!!

Two sisters from Chadwell recall happy memories of the War

We both remember that Chadwell was a marvellous place to be brought up in as a child. We had a paddling pool, sandpit, swings, slide and a roundabout in the big field behind our house. Our house was in Templar Avenue and the field backed on to the house. There were three woods, the big wood, the little wood where the gypsies lived and the famous hangman’s wood! The Army camp was about quarter of mile from our house and would have the ‘Big Bertha’ this was a big gun that used to be fired and when it did it would shake our house! All the houses near this would have cracks from this happening! Chadwell seemed a lucky place in the War as we don’t remember any houses being bombed. The Germans were aiming for the Tilbury Docks and London. The planes would fly down along the Thames towards London. We used to sit in our dugouts and hear the planes going over to the Docks area and glad we didn’t live there! Only once did we remember a plane landing on our field. The pilot was a young German, whose arm was hanging off. The local men ran at him with pitch forks, he must have been so scared of them! We remember thinking that he looked like our older brother and just a normal young man not the monster we imagined a German would look like.We had a happy war with the Canadians who came on to the Embarkation field behind our house. We can remember being taken to school in jeeps and sometimes tanks- it was so exciting for us as children! Sometimes if we were lucky we got to sit on the bonnets of the tanks, this was such an adventure for us. Another great adventure that sticks in our minds is going up in a Barage Balloon……….we didn’t think about health and safety in those days. As we say it was a happy war for us! Does anyone else remember this happening in Chadwell?

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  • My family moved into Templer Avenue in 1954. (No. 43). I remember playing in the field behind the houses, and the army camp.  Does anyone else remember the Dust Chute? I believe there are houses built there now. I really enjoyed growing up there and also have many happy memories.  I moved away in 1977.

    By Sue Robinson (20/07/2014)
  • to John Lawton,

    If you care to view “St Chads 1948” on this site, your brother Barry is in the top photo 4th row down, 13 in from the left, as I recall he play football for both Chadwell and St Chads schools. Although I lived in Tilbury I spent a fair bit of time playing in the fields behind Templar Ave, other boys that I can remember from that area were, John (Perky) Weeks, Ted (Baz) Langford, Gerald Martin, Ken Clarke, Keith Smith (cricketer), and  girls , Pat Ramsey, Maureen Potter, Daphne and Gwen Wright, Amy Johnston, what sweet memories of youth and those far of days. 

    By Tony Duligal (07/07/2014)
  • I too live in Templar Avenue, number 41. My family moved in about 1936 and I was born in 1942. I had an older brother, Barry who was born in 1937. I don’t have any real memories of the war years. My dad was called up in 1942. I think Chadwell was a great place for us kids. I’ll always have happy memories of the village. 

    By John Lawton (05/07/2014)

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