Bardney in WWII

  • The Hawthorns was used as the NAAFI.
  • Unoccupied houses were commandered by the forces and used as offices and billets.
  • The famous 'red berets' (Parachute Regiment) were billeted in two Nissen Huts on the site of the Catholic Church and occupied the Reading Room.
  • With so many men having memories of World War 1 which started with a certain excitement and patriotism, fighting for King and Country, then finishing with such a great loss of life, the need to be prepared was uppermost in everyone’s mind, even in villages in Lincolnshire.
  • The Parish Council set the wheels in motion with Air Raid precautions; the Wardens were to be the two schoolmasters. Mr Bramley and Mr Brindley, and the Vicar Canon Burles, Mr Brindley went on a course and became Area Organiser. They recruited more wardens and their post was in the Angel buildings, or the Mill Yard, First Aid would be supplied by Dr Penny and Mr Flatters.
  • National Fire Service was at Morrells and was staffed from their workers most of whom were in the Home Guard as well Mr Frank Bird, Mr Byron Sellars, and Mr J Lintin. There was a bell outside each firewoman’s house to call him to an emergency, and a buzzer at Morrells sounded each Sunday morning for practice.
  • Special Constables were Mr Puttegill and Mr Lill.
  • The Women’s Voluntary Service was called together by Lady Amcotts, in the Lecture Hall.  Mrs Smithson and Mrs Brindley were to organise sheet collections of salvage, waste paper and bones. Smithson’s trap was used and the pony Dolly, sorting day was Thursday which was a very unpleasant job!
  • Street groups collected 1 penny per week for Red Cross parcels, and Special Weeks included 'Salute the Soldier', 'Wings for Victory' and 'War Weapons Week', when all aluminium cooking utensils were gathered on the Green together with iron railings, supposedly for melting down for metal. Bardney had the best response in the County, and were publicly congratulated by a parade through the village headed by Billy Butlin towed in a large model ship.
  • The WVS also had to deal with the Evacuees, a meeting was convened in the Lecture Hall for those willing to take children, and when they arrived they were allotted to the various homes. The Nursery School was the Village Reading Room (Rookery Nook), the young children were to go to the Kitchings School, the older ones to the Wesleyan School, and the teachers to Miss Clipshams (Alderlea, now Hawthorns) The Village thought these ‘townies rather odd, not used to country ways’. They were nick-named Fish and Chips and their parents came at weekends to visit them.
  • The Red Cross was organised by Mrs Clark Holmes from St Lawrence house, Dr Penny and Mr Flatters.
  • Equipment arrived; sand bags, a stirrup pump and later a search light unit in a field down Abbey road. Air raid shelters were demonstrated (Anderson type), trenches were dug across the Green, covered with boards and sandbags for the children at the KitchingsSchool to run to. (Miss Lill told the children it was so they could play trains) Mr Kent offered his cellar in Station Road, and there was a shelter in the garden of 23 Silver Street, and gas masks were distributed.
  • As recruitment of men for the forces progressed, the farmers became short of labour, the Land Girls arrived, first to Mr Brocklehurst, at the Manor farm and Smithson’s at Kingthorpe. Dig for Victory - the Kitchings School had an allotment in Horncastle Road, and the Wesleyan School had its own garden. The Pig Club got a new lease of life. The Women’s Institute had canning apparatus, which they took around the village so that people could can their surplus fruit, and recipes for eking out rations were demonstrated.
  • Barter of cigarettes, butter, eggs, corn and pig meal, and coupons was soon organised.
  • In June 1940 the B.E.F. were evacuated from Dunkirk, and 335,000 troops had to be quickly accommodated, so the W.V.S. began finding billets for Bardney’s quota, and people who could offer baths. Early in 1943, Mr Brocklehurst, at High Cell farm and Mr Laughton at Thickthornes received requisition orders for parts of their land, and almost immediately bulldozers and Irish labourers arrived with a construction firm Moss. Bardney thought this was to be a Munitions factory as no information had been divulged, but it proved to be an Aerodrome. Mr Laughton refused to move, although offered alternative farms none were suitable, so the Aerodrome was built around him; instead of farming they became housekeepers to the Administrators and the Engineers, the Irish men living in Nissen huts.
  • On April 14th 1943, Bardney Airfield received its first Lancasters.
  • The Construction firm leased the Old Vicarage, and Mr and Mrs Laughton, still looked after them, until they moved on to Strubby, they then took care of the visiting Officers’ wives.
  • The Laughtons received a personal letter from Squadron Leader Krzystyniak and his Commanding Officer from 31 Polish Bomber Squadron stationed at Hemswell, for their help when a Polish plane (Z1468), returning from an operational flight over enemy territory crashed near the Laughton's House, on the night of April 15th 1942.
  • There was quite a bit of Social life, people going up to Socials and dances at the Aerodrome, and Airmen coming down to the village pubs, and hospitality at the Methodist Lecture Hall, a canteen in the garage at Alderlea, (now the Care Home) and in peoples homes, the Reading room after the Evacuees left.