The 1940 bombings of Cippenham

The Slough trading estate and outlying villages could be said to have escaped lightly from German bombing in WW2 by comparison to other industrial areas and London. The reason for this would have been Luftwaffe’s strategy which, following the effective abandonment of precision attacks on targets, tended to concentrate on the larger high-density areas of industry and population in order to reduce the need for bombing accuracy. Although Cippenham didn’t suffer that badly from air attacks, during the month of October 1940, Buckinghamshire was bombed intensively and houses were hit twice in Cippenham causing fatalities in both instances. The online record, “Bombs over Bucks” [1] gives a small amount of detail.

  • 14th Oct. Cippenham Old people’s cottages. Casualties.
  • 28th Oct. Water, gas and electric cables damaged. Casualties and unexploded bomb.

Concerning the 14th October, the old people’s cottages referred to were on the Brook Path side of Bridge Close and four elderly people from three of the cottages lost their lives. There was a “bomber’s moon” with clear weather and many of the 400 the aircraft that bombed London that night overflew the village drawing fire from the nearby anti-aircraft batteries [2]. Two bombs were dropped on the cottages. After the bombing, the cottages were rebuilt and still stand. Details of the casualties are known, and at least two of them were related to people living in Cippenham today. The casualties were

  • ADA LOUISA FARRANCE age 70 of 11 Bridge Close. Wife of Robert Farrance. Injured 13 October 1940, at 11 Bridge Close; died at Slough Emergency Hospital.
  • JOSEPH CHARLES FLETCHER age 75 of 17 Bridge Close, Cippenham. Husband of the late C. Fletcher. Injured at 17 Bridge Close; died same day at Slough Emergency Hospital.
  • ALFRED WILLIAM WERRELL age 76 of 19 Bridge Close, Cippenham. Husband of Alice Georgina Werrell. Died at 19 Bridge Close.
  • ALICE GEORGINA WERRELL age 69 of 19 Bridge Close, Cippenham. Wife of Alfred William Werrell. Died at 19 Bridge Close.

On 28th October a lone bomber in poor weather dropped two bombs [1], one of which demolished a house in Dennis Way, killing two people. The house was next to Cippenham Primary School. The novelist Susan Cooper, who went to school there, wrote two fictional accounts of bombings based on her recollection of this tragic event. These victims were

  • EMILY LOUISA BUTLER age 32 of Dennis Way, Cippenham. Widow of Frederick Butler. Died at Dennis Way.
  • ALBERT EDWARD CLAPSON age 24 at 8 Dennis Way, Cippenham.

Sources

1 Bombs over Bucks website

2 World War 2 Eighty Years On – October 1940, Eton Wick History website

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