Framlingham -

ALMOST 80 years ago, on September 3rd, 1939, it was announced that Britain had declared war on Germany. On July 19th John Bridges

A Suffolk Town in Wartime 1939 - 1945 Churchill,

occur. Winston

gave a talk for the Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group concerning the town of Framlingham during the second World War. His talk aroused memories in

the minds of his audience of the time following that declaration, when Framlingham, along with the rest of the country suffered six years of fear, stress, destruction and loss that war brings to a country's population. The normality of day to

day life was suspended and people's lives were governed by the actions taken to protect the country and to defeat the enemy.

Although he concentrated on

events in the Suffolk town of Framlingham, the experiences of people living there during the war were replicated throughout Britain, making John's talk relevant to anyone who had memories of the 2nd World War. It was fortunate that some of

the more elderly members in the audience did in fact recall personal events of the time. John Bridges began his

talk by giving examples of the evacuation of children from larger populated cities and towns during 1939. The Billleting Officer settled children in homes that had been selected as being most suitable for them. The home owner received the sum of 10/6 per week for this service. In May 1940 the threat of invading England had been spoken of by Hitler, prompting the government to issue leaflets such as, 'If the Invader Come' and a second one in May 1941 with the title 'Beating the Invader'. This gave advice to the public concerning their well-being should an invasion

meantime, kept the armed forces alert to the likelihood of any invasion. Invasion committees were formed in preparation for such an event. In Framlingham Cannon Lancaster was the head of the town's committee. Defence of the town consisted of concrete Pill Boxes, of which there were 9 in Framlingham, including one in Well Close Square. Iron Hairpin Tank Traps

were situated on the roads into Framlingham. Pipe Bombs (Canadian pipe mines filled with explosives) were placed beneath the surface of the roads into Framlingham and Saxmundham. Camouflaged steel Machine Gun Turrets, which could rotate, housing a gunner, were installed. One of these was situated in Infirmary Lane, Fore Street. As gas attacks were a concern, Gas Decontamination Centres were set up. In addition to these defensive measures in towns inland, it was essential that extensive coastal defences were installed. These were organised by General Ironsides. The remains of some of these installations can still be seen along east coast beaches. An influx of army service

men added to the disturbance of everyday life in towns and villages, especially after 1943 when troops of American GI's arrived to liven up communities. Government


Anthony Eden urged the formation of Local Defence Volunteers, otherwise known as the 'Home Guard'. Among the duties performed by these groups of men, was the search for any German paratroopers. If any were found the church bells were to be rung. Major Collins was the Commanding Officer in charge of the

Knodishall Village Hall

THE Village Hall Trustees were saddened to hear of the death of Deryck Crane. Deryck was one of the small band of ex-servicemen who spearheaded the restoration of the Village Hall in 1986 when it was in such a poor state that demolition was considered an option. This small group established that the Hall belonged to the village. They re-wired the Hall and installed oil- fired central heating. The building was refitted and generally brought up to the standards required for hiring out.

Deryck was elected Chairman of this small group and it was Deryck who negotiated with Sizewell B for a grant of £20,000 to put in toilets and a kitchen. During the work the Government decided to put VAT on all extension work on buildings so Deryck set to and approached the relevant authorities and VAT for all the work was waived. The village owes a debt of gratitude to Deryck and the small band of helpers who spent so much of their time restoring and improving the Village Hall.

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Framlingham Home Guard. By July 1940 the construction

of school Air Raid Shelters throughout the country was complete. There was a large air raid

in 1940 which destroyed the Infant's School Head Teacher's house. The raid in 1940 on College Road, Framlingham killed one person. By June 1940 117 Air Raid Shelters had been built in Framlingham. The shelters included a large one and a water reservoir situated on Market Hill.

Inside the church, sand bags surrounded the tomb of Henry Howard and others. In June 1942 around 700 Incendiary bombs fell in raids, during which three people were killed in Albert Road. The town urgently required

an Air Raid Siren. However, the request for one was turned down by the County Council, prompting Framlingham to pay for its own siren. This was fixed at the front of the Police Station and was in use from 1942. Previous to the alert of the siren, people were made aware of an imminent air raid by the sound of a whistle blown by someone running from street to street. At this point in his talk John Bridges blew a whistle. When John spoke about the

V1 rocket, known as a 'Doodle Bug', a recorded sound effect was played while an image of the Doodle Bug was displayed on the screen. There was silence when the rocket's motor stopped and then the following sound of bomb blasts could be heard.

John's talk concluded with

the atmospheric, continuous wailing of a siren, signalling to the audience that it was safe for us to return home.

Diana Mann

Chairwoman, Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group

The Friends of St Andrew’s Church


WELCOME you to their Autumn Coffee Morning on Saturday 28th September at St Andrew’s Church, Aldringham, 10am – 12 noon. Books, jams, cakes, bric-a-brac,


tombola. Refreshments and more. In aid of the fabric fund.

News from Framlingham and Saxmundham Cats Protection

KITTENS, kittens and yet more unwanted kittens; 49 in all as I write and more on the waiting list to come in! All needing to be socialised, fed (sometimes by hand), taught to use litter trays and taken to the vets for at least two visits before we can find suitable homes for them. A kitten adopted from Fram

and Sax CP will always come with assurances that they have been health checked, treated for fleas and worms, vaccinated, microchipped and neutered if older than 16 weeks (or a voucher given for free neutering if not). Four weeks free insurance is another plus point. We will also help you find the right feline for your family situation. A cat in our care may have cost up to £200 by the time it goes to a new home – we ask for a donation fee of just £60 each!

Be wary of buying a kitten

from sales or auction sites or through social media (unless from a legitimate seller, registered breeder, charity or shelter) as it can be risky and may perpetuate indiscriminate breeding. In such private ads for kittens the health of the mother is rarely mentioned; whether she is kept for breeding and how many pregnancies she has endured, or whether she has been regularly vaccinated and health checked. Thought must be given to infectious diseases, genetics and other breed issues. Always be cautious of a private sale where you are unable to see the mother. Ask for the vet’s details and what treatments have been given. If you are told the kitten has been vaccinated you must be given the record card. A seller who cares about a kitten’s well-being will make enquires

Leiston Film Theatre Support Club

ON Friday 20th September the Leiston Film Theatre Support Club is presenting ‘An Evening with Charlie Haylock – An Eccentric Look at Suffolk’, 7.30pm at Leiston WI Hall, John Street, Leiston. Charlie is a popular well-known Suffolk presenter who has a regular spot on Radio Suffolk and in The East Anglian Daily Times with his Charlie’s News Quips cartoons. His one-man shows are legendary with many fans coming to

hear him several times over. So why not come along for this evening when Charlie looks at the Suffolk dialect, explaining a few Suffolk spoken oddities and gives a unique and entertaining look at goings on in rural Suffolk. Tickets: £5 Support Club Members, £6 Non-members – includes light refreshments. For tickets contact the Club Secretary tele: 01728 831 714 or

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about you and your home, too. Importantly, make sure you have the kitten neutered to prevent yet more unwanted kittens. Please, if you or your friends

and neighbours are looking for a kitten to re-home, adopt rather than shop. Looking for a home: This is

the Nut Gang: Brothers, Peanut and Cob and their sisters Pistachio, Cashew and Pecan. They were brought in as an unwanted litter at about five weeks old. Now old enough

to go to their very own homes. Call us if you would like to meet them or any of the other cats or kittens in our care. See our website: framandsax. or telephone 01728 723499 for more information about adopting cats in our care; event dates; neutering; cat- care leaflets; how to become a volunteer fundraiser or fosterer and other ways you can support us. Also find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


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