Monday 13 July 2020

World War 2 Eighty Years On - July 1940

The Eton Wick cricket club continued to play their home fixtures in the rural setting of Saddocks Farm where the rivalry between the local teams attracted good village support. Wins were celebrated, as when the Wick played the visiting Windsor team ‘Victoria’ winning an interesting and entertaining match by 30 runs, having dismissed the ‘Vics’ for 52. The strong bowling combination of Stacey and Buckland took four wickets for 15 runs and 3 for 30 runs respectively. In reply Buckland and McGill soon achieved victory for the Wick. War restrictions and rationing brought a break with tradition. The serving of a cricket tea to the visiting teams ended when tea became rationed in July to 2 ozs per person each week.  

Saturday July 13th.

An explosion at High Duty Alloys on Slough Trading Estate killed three and injured more than forty men of which three died later of their injuries.  At the time the incident was attributed to enemy action, as HDA was a major supplier of alloy aircraft parts and incendiary bomb components, but later this proved to have been an industrial accident.  To manufacture many of the intricate aircraft components a heavy forging hammer had been installed.  The regular dull thump, day and night could be heard at times in the village, the countryside around Eton Wick being much quieter in 1940.
Enemy activity during June and July had been concentrated over the South coast with attacks on coastal convoys in the English channel.  July 10th  considered Day 1 of the Battle of Britain , saw  Dornier 17’s and Ju 88’s escorted by Messerschmitts 109’s attack shipping, ports and airfields. It was not until August 1940 that widespread night raids commenced  over Britain.

This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham. 

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