We are very grateful to Michael Cornell for the following images of his childhood homes,
firstly at Brayshot Cottage at Little Henham, and then, during WW2, at Bury Cottage in Henham
You can see Brayshot Cottage marked in the top left-hand corner of the following map.
William White’s hand-drawn map of Henham in the early 1900s showing Brayshott Cottage just below Little Henham Hall.
Michael recalls ‘the doodle bug incident’ that happened to the Bury Cottage which stands next door to Lamberts Pond in Henham village. At the time the cottage belonged to The Bury house that stands behind it –
“We were of course in Henham village by this time. One of the other exciting, and also frightening things were the flying bombs, or “Doodle Bugs” as they were known at the time. Henham had a night visit from one of these in 1944; it did a great deal of damage – mostly because it exploded before hitting the ground.
A large elm tree stopped its progress out of the village, it has been said that had it not hit the tree Elsenham Station would have been destroyed by it.
Most of the damage to the Bury Cottage was superficial, just some plastering and the placing of timber beams on the inner and outer end walls, the one on the left as you face the cottage from the road. We also lost the front door and all the glass from the front windows, also my parents’ bedroom ceiling came down on top of us.
My bed was in there because my room had a very pronounced slope and had to have 15 centimetre blocks under the foot end; my father thought that it would go through the ceiling in the event of an explosion shaking it off the blocks. Nests of various sorts of birds and animals from the previous three hundred years or so came down with the plaster”