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?