Memories of guns in action

REFERRING to Chris Hone’s letter, who incidentally was my dentist and an excellent dentist to boot, the West Hill had a battery of 4.5 inch anti-aircraft guns to counter the threat of the V1 flying bombs that were coming over thick and fast.

As a bystander I watched the guns in action many times, but disappointingly so never saw the guns score a direct hit. I did see Mary Churchill there, who was sitting outside her command post.

I wonder what the Health and Safety Executive would say, if they had been around, as bystanders we were allowed to be within a few yards of the guns when they were in action.

Paradoxically, it was safer to be there than being inland, because of the shrapnel descending from the explosion of the shells, but we knew instinctively when to take cover.

Finally, writing about V1s, I witnessed the coming down and the ultimate explosion of a V1 which crashed into the vicinity of Fir Tree Road. Unfortunately I cannot remember the exact spot of the war event.


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