Villagers Memories of WWII

Our thanks to MICHAEL CORNELL, a regular contributor, for allowing me to include his memories of wartime in Henham.

We had a doodlebug bomb hit the village around the end of 1944; cannot be too sure of the date as I was only seven, but what happened to us and our house is still very clear. The first thing I remember is a loud bang and parts of the ceiling coming down on my bed, my parents were already awake and the light was on, so other things could be seen such as old birds’ nests and lose stuff that must have been there for hundreds of years.



A piece of the flying bomb which was found in Forres Cottage.
A piece of the flying bomb which was found in Forres Cottage.

The house was around four hundred years old, my father then picked me up and a lamp and started to go down the stairs, when nearly at the bottom we could hear people laughing, we were not aware at the time that our front door had disappeared so we could be seen coming down the stairs.

My father at that time always wore a nightshirt so we must have looked funny from across the road, the story raised some laughs around the village over the years. it just goes to prove even adversity can raise a laugh.

Not only were there the villagers in Henham during the War, children from Chingford were evacuated to the village. Here are some of their stories.