First bombing raid on Greater London - Croydon, August 15th 1940

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by phylo_roadking, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. hutt

    hutt Member

    Here is the 1st AA Division intelligence report for that day

    Attached Files:

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  2. hutt

    hutt Member

    This raid figures in a number of other AA diaries. From the 48th AA Brigade, the following transcription

    15th August 1940

    Shirley 18:57

    ZS13 fired 14 rounds fuze? 20 -24? at aircraft(15) attacking CROYDON. Though the site did NOT claim to have bought any down independent witnesses stated that the fire was effective on at least one. Nect day it was generally acknowledged that one was bought down by ZS13 fire and a second was NOT claimed by anyone else it is possible that a second may be attributed to ZS13. This is the first occasion on which any guns of this Brigade have fired.

    From the attached location statement, this would appear to have been manned by 319 Bty, 97 HAA Regiment.

    There is a reference to air raid warnings in the 900 coy RASC diary who were based at Dulwich a couple of miles north which may be related.

    Attached Files:

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  3. Gary norton

    Gary norton Member

    Hi all,

    Is there a list of casualties for the Rollasons raid ? my grandfather and uncle were killed in this raid - my family always said it was a munitions factory but this site suggests hurricane maintenance and most reports focus on the purfume factory, but I suppose for propaganda reasons it would be better to report non war effort sivilian deaths.
    Any info would be appreciated,
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    hello Gary and welcome,do you have names save trawling CWGC

  5. Gary norton

    Gary norton Member


    They were Both Nortons - Stanley ( nick named Charlie) was grandad and Leonard Stanley was my uncle.

    Many thanks for the prompt reply. Gary
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  6. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    I'd guess these two
    NORTON, STANLEY. Died 15/08/1940. Aged 43. Civilian War Dead
    of 18 Coldharbour Road, Waddon. Husband of Dorothy Jane Norton. Died at Croydon Airport.
    NORTON, LEONARD STANLEY JOHN. Died 15/08/1940. Aged 19. Civilian War Dead
    of 18 Coldharbour Road, Waddon. Son of Dorothy Jane Norton, and of Stanley Norton. Died at Croydon Airport.
    Family stories can either be astonishingly accurate or astonishingly bad!
    Located at the airport would tend to have aircraft related industries, so servicing Hurricanes or even handling stores such as ammunition.
    Whichever, they were helping the war effort as best they could. Len would probably have joined the RAF
    Stanley probably served in WW1, have you looked for any records or medals?
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  7. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

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  8. Gary norton

    Gary norton Member

    Thank you very much, they are my relatives, I’m guessing you are right about grandad in ww1, the coldharbour road address was a surprise as the family home was assumed in near by denning Avenue.

    Thanks again.
  9. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    1939 Register has them at 18 Coldharbour Road, (Denning Avenue is the previous page)
    Stanley born 20 November 1898; Dorothy (nee Davey) born 4th September 1895 and Alice born 13th April 1920.
    Looks like grandparents married soon after Stanley was demobbed in 1919.
    Doesn't look as if Alice married, but sister Edna married a Mr Fuller.
    Your dad must have been Kenneth B, born 4 August 1923 and a delivery boy.
    The sisters were involved in art printing and publishing, Xmas card makers as well
    Leonards record is marked as officially closed. His birthday was 7th August 1921, so that may have made a strong bond between Len and Ken.
    Granddad is shown as having served in Durham Light Infantry 1914-18 and belonged to Croydon British Legion, which you probably already know.
    Grand dad was born in Barnsley (St Mary's parish) DoB shows as 20 Nov 1899, not '98.... and baptised 14 Jan 1900.

    Closest WW1 Service record shows enlisted March 1915 into Yorkshire Reg't and served in India. His battalion must have returned to England by 1919 as in April he gets into trouble for insolence and again in July (no doubt about the time he married but not demobbed until Feb 1920. Home address shows as Stanley House, Tinkle Street, Richmond Yorkshire - does that tally with any known family stories?

    It's the Croydon Memorial Book which gives the 9 Denning Avenue address, maybe No 18 Coldharbour Road was damaged so the family moved to the next road?

    Regrettably they may not have a known burial plot
  10. Gary norton

    Gary norton Member

    Wow that’s a lot of info to digest,
    My father is kens brother Raymond who was evacuated soon after the Croydon attack out to family in Barnsley, Alice did get married to Tom who was in the print so probably the Xmas card connection,they didn’t have any kids as she always said brought up the younger brothers and sisters. She also joined the ATS and was part of the crew of the duppas hill AA gun and was very deaf as a result.

    Thanks for looking into this it has spurred me on to get looking into my family tree.
  11. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Glad to have helped, there are a few inconsistencies that you can get your teeth into.
    I can see how he might have "aged" a year to enlist in WW1 and "usually" the wife was younger.
    Glad to make the Barnsley connection, now you have some breadcrumbs to follow!
  12. Gary norton

    Gary norton Member

    Thanks Keven,
    What kicked all this off was the Chanel 4 series of the remote control plane reconstruction of the Battle of Britain currently being shown,
    I knew grandad and len were killed in the first raid on Croydon and it was a mistake by the Germans getting lost looking for Kenley, I will have to do a bit of digging - my dad did say it was such a large explosion they never found the bodies - it’s all a bit odd I drive past the area on the way to work every day and it’s a big part of mine, local and uk history.
  13. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Came across these pics of the raid in a rather ancient family album of the time, showing the devastation caused on the Waddon estate adjacent to the factories by Croydon airport, dated as 15 Aug 1940. Note the Anderson shelter to the right - it's in between two craters, one being off shot to the right. There is a note by the female 'author' of the album, who was in the APS, saying they carried 37 casualties that day: the occupants of the shelter were the family of one of the APS girls on shift that day - having heard that her house was 'down', but her family was safe, carried on with her duties, taking a man who had been trapped in a building, once released, to hospital.

    bombed-houses.jpg Messerschmitt.jpg
  14. Gary norton

    Gary norton Member

    That’s a big crater - I’m amazed the very nearby houses are relatively unscathed.

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