Dunkirk: The RAF support the evacuation

Dunkirk: The RAF support the evacuation Written by Pam Preedy. By 26th May, 1940 Britain faced “a colossal military disaster . . . the whole root and core and brain of the British Army” (Churchill) had been stranded at Dunkirk and seemed about to perish or be captured. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) went to help defend France. For eight months while economic sanctions were imposed on Germany, little actual warfare occurred (the Phoney War). Then, on 10th May, 1940 Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Three panzer corps…

Ronald Frederick Leonard Tong

Pilot Officer Awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross  Pilot Officer R.F.L. Tong Among a number of awards approved by the King is the Distinguished Flying Cross to Pilot Officer Roland Frederick Leonard Tong, Royal Air Force, Volunteer Reserve, No. 57 Squadron. Born in Bromley in 1917, he is the son of Mr and Mrs P.C. Tong, S, Upper Park Road, and an Old Boy of the county School, Hayes Lane. Afterwards he was on the staff of the West Minister Bank (Lower Sloane Street branch).  He enlisted in June 1940, and…

Thomas Holloway

Sergeant Thomas Holloway Chislehurst Sergeant’s Letter Sergeant Thomas Holloway, R.A.F., of 11 Church row, Chislehurst, who has been a prisoner of war in Germany since May 1940, has written home to his mother in Chislehurst giving of how he and his new found friends spent Christmas Day in a German prison camp. In his letter he said that they had a grand time on Christmas Eve decorating their hut and setting up a fine Christmas tree adorned with fairy lights, tinsel, and the usual decorations. About 250 communicants attended a…

Wedding of Hook & Ryan

Flight-Lieut Hook, RAF and Miss Ryan Flight-Lieutenant Robin Hook, RAF, only son of Mr and Mrs E.M. Hook, of The Croft, Beaconsfield Road, Bickley, was married on Monday at the Parish Church of St Jude, Mapperley, Nottingham, to Miss Mazie Doreen Ryan, only daughter of Mr and Mrs W. Ashwood Ryan, of Mapperley. The bridegroom, who took part in one of the first raids on Berlin, had as best man Flight-Lieutenant Eric Randall, D.F.C., his comrade in many raids over Germany. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. H. Taylor,…

Gunner Harry Garcia

Old Bromley Scouter Broadcasts An exciting story Harry Garcia, a gunner of a Coastal Command Lockheed Hudson, whose home is at 239 Southlands Road, Bromley, told an exciting story on the radio recently. The pilot of the aircraft also gave an account of the incident when the plane, flying over the sea near the Norwegian coast, encountered three enemy ships.  They dropped their bombs but their plane was damaged by anti-aircraft fire.  After nearly crashing they set a course for home, but Garcia reported that the wireless operator was wounded. …

A/F/L Gillian Lorne Campbell

Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross Acting Flight Lieutenant Gillian Lorne Campbell, R.A.F.V.T. Acting Flight Lieutenant Gillian Lorne Campbell, R.A.F.V.T., 272 Squadron, son of Sir Edward Campbell, M.P. and Lady Campbell, of Ambleside,  Westmoreland Road, Bromley has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Flight Lieutenant Campbell has completed many hours operational flying, involving patrols over Norway, France, the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean.  He has destroyed at least two hostile aircraft and probably destroyed others on the ground, in low level attacks on enemy bases. Throughout Lieutenant Campbell has set an…

Squadron Leader Henry Charles Shaw Page

Henry Charles Shaw Page (known as Harry) was the only son of West Wickham Rector Charles Alexander Shaw Page and Beatrice Ellen Page, ; and husband to Nancy Mary Heather Page, of Retford, Nottinghamshire. Having served in the Middlesex Regiment, he later joined Squadron 61 of the RAF. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1941 for his part in numerous raids over Germany and was promoted to Squadron Leader that same year. Sadly after being reported as missing, he was later found to have died on 31st January 1942,…

Bringing in the New Year: 1942

The White Hart Hotel, which once stood in the heart of Bromley High Street, was a large premises which hosted a number of events in its heyday.  In 1941, the RAF (Bromley branch) hosted a New Years eve dance, which included two tableaux represent the old and new years. The Bromley Times reported on the event in early January 1942. New Year Tableaux The Bromley branch of the Comrades of the Royal Air Force held a very enjoyable dance on New Year’s Eve at the White Hart Hotel, Bromley. A…

The Foxwell Brothers

In this article we focus on the Foxwell family, who resided in the Keston area of Bromley during the second world war years.  Their father, George Foxwell was well known in the area, having had connections with many local clubs including Keston Men’s Club, Keston Football Club and Keston Cricket Club.  George had served in the first war world with the Motor Transport and the Tank Corps, and his three sons; Leslie, Edward and Kenneth, all followed suit and served with the RAF during World War Two. The article below…

Bromley’s Christmas Games – 1941

Holiday Football Home Guard Overwhelmed On Christmas Day Bromley met the local Home Guard in a friendly match at Hayes Lane, Bromley.  The match resulted in an overwhelming victory for Bromley 15-1. McMillan scored no fewer than five times, and the match caused much entertainment to the spectators.  Several Bromley players were claimed by the Home Guard, and Bromley selected four R.A.F. players for inclusion in their forward line. Bromley – Gunner, Stone, Allinson, Marshall, Holder, Tasker, Gardner, Osman, Fowler Champion, McMillan. Home Guard: Tanner, Reeves, Clark, Smedley Wade, Smith,…