Saturday. May 22nd - 29th.
Eton and district "Wings for Victory" week, a War Savings drive to raise £500,000 to buy aircraft. Eton Wick opened their week with a Saturday night dance at the village Institute; followed by a lively concert on Tuesday evening, given by local artists and concert groups. This show was enjoyed by the audience that filled the Methodist Hall (Alma Rd.). The next afternoon (Wed.) the Wheatbutts resounded with joy and laughter as a village fete got underway in spite of the many wartime shortages and restrictions.
Various fund-raising activities, including a Sports Day held in the school garden enabled the children and staff of Eton Wick school, with the support of their parents, to raise £300 for the fund.
A board showing a hanging sword displayed the daily results of each of the eighteen parishes involved in the Eton District Wings Week. Eton Wick showing a total of £2,567 for the week.
Later in the year (October) the Eton Wick and Boveney W.I. received an accolade on the Sunday evening National Savings Achievement Radio Broadcast following a report that their Savings Group had reached £8,000. The broadcast gave an impetus for the Group to exceed their target of £500 before the end of 1943.
This special ‘Wings for Victory’ savings week closed with the biggest parade held in Windsor during the war and a unique experiment was tried on the day which prove successful. A flight of Typhoon aircraft flew over the gathered spectators on Castle hill from one of which the pilot broadcast a message to those watching. This was done with a hook-up from his aircraft
The Hawker Typhoon was manufactured at Hawker’s Langley factory along with the Tempest, Fury and Sea Fury. The Langley factory also produced many of the Hurricane fighters.
The establishment of anti-aircraft gun sites and other camps in the area brought an increase in trade to the local village pubs. American servicemen of the 9th USAAF stationed in camps at Bray, Maidenhead, Ascot and Windsor became a familiar sight in the village pubs. The Three Horse Shoes, managed by Amy Buck, had a spirit licence and supposedly a supply of whisky and became a congenial drinking haven for off duty American service men. Stories and memories have been told of their reluctance to leave at closing time, but when the sirens sounded they would make a very quick exit into their Jeeps and away to camp.
|Albert Bond with decorated cart
Wings for Victory Parade . Eton Wick
Enemy air raids on London and other towns in a series of "Little Blitz". attacks brought about revived interest in Fire Guards. The successful meeting held in July at the village Institute by Eton Council, who were responsible for organizing Fire Guards, resulted in 40 people enrolling. A local organization of nine sections, with three being in Eton Wick, was set up with a programme of regular training. Mrs Edie Miles recalled that her fire watching duties were around the houses in Vaughan Gardens. This group, reporting to Bill Cobourn landlord at the Shepherds Hut Public House, found that the arrangement that had a certain appeal for some of the fire watchers. One night a week they took a duty watch in Eton. Other groups had different arrangements, as Eileen Cook.
|March past by Wren’s of H.M.S President III D.E.M.S. Service
These special saving weeks to raise sums of money for the war effort had named targets for war equipment and specified sums to aim for. There had been national Spitfire weeks in 1940, war weapons weeks in 1941, Warship weeks 1942, Wings for Victory 1943 and Salute the Soldier in 1944.
This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham.