Chandler’s Ford had a population of just over 3,000 people in 1939 and, although only five miles north of Southampton which was badly bombed during the Blitz (57 nights in 1940-41), we escaped lightly. Here’s how …
Two ‘Doodle-bug’ V1 flying bombs fell on Hiltingbury: one landing harmlessly in a field, the other killing the residents of a bungalow in Pine Road (these bombs were presumably aimed at London but, as was the case with so many, they didn’t make it all the way). A couple of ‘breadbaskets’ fell (a Molotov breadbasket was attached to a parachute and so called because it contained both high explosive and incendiary bombs) and a stick of bombs fell in Hursley Road. One German aircraft came over from the north, machine-gunning as it went before flying off towards Eastleigh. As well as the few deaths, structural damage was caused to about half a dozen homes from the bombs. Much more structural damage was caused by the anti-aircraft guns around the area and large cracks in walls and ceilings from ack-ack guns were common.
During the Blitz on Southampton in 1940, the reflection of the fires could be seen in the night sky here in Chandler’s Ford. Searchlights, air raid sirens and anti-aircraft guns made the village very aware of what was happening locally. During the worst of the Blitz, many Southampton families would come to Chandler’s Ford to sleep the night, or for longer if they were bombed out. Several churches and halls were used as reception centres, providing food and blankets. Local residents often offered accommodation and some people made Chandler’s Ford their permanent home.
[Read more…] about World War II and afterwards in Chandler’s Ford