Second World War


(Featuring the Articles and Archive of Iain Wakeford)




Like the articles on the First World War, these are based on themes rather than years, as so many items span the whole of the period 1939-45.

For the latest articles, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Evacuation - Including the records kept by Cyril Vincent, Headmaster of West Byfleet Central School regarding the chaos at Woking Station with the billeting of children from South London Schools including Southfields Secondary School from Wandsworth, and memories of the Mayfield Girls School at Putney, later accommodated at Barricanens Hill whilst sharing premises with the Woking Girls Grammar School in Park Road. Also the opening of hostals for evacuees at places such as Dunblane House, Constitution Hill, Rockhurst and Highlands at Danes Hill, Lismore in Heathside Road, The Old Vicarage, The Gales, The Cedars, Berton Hatch, The Pines, John of Gaunt, Marigolds & Foxton (Old Woking Road) and Marmion in Station Road, West Byfleet; The relocation of the Marist Convent School from Fulham to The Knowle in Madiera Road and The Gables, Old Woking Road, West Byfleet; Memories of Freddie Foreman of evacuation to Woking.

Comandered Buildings & Salvage - Including the use of Uplands, Maybury Hill by Surrey County Council as a remand home for boys, the use of Day Nurseries at St Fillian's Maybury Hill, St Michaels Chobham Road Horsell, Penlea in Claremont Avenue and Arden House at Byfleet. Also the controvercial proposals to turn Kilworth in Onslow Crescent into an outbuilding of Botley's Mental Hospital, the opening of a TB convalescent home at Comeragh Court in Hook Heath, the London County Council hostel at Aigburgh in Mile Path, the Servers of the Blind League's use of Arraton House in Shores Road and the proposal to turn Redcourt in Blackdown Road at Pyrford into a convalescent home for young children. Other comanderred buildings included the Swiss Bank taking over West Hall at West Byfleet, the Scientific Poultry Breeders Association occupying Deerstead House at St Johns, the Performing Arts Society's Benevolent Fund using Church Hill House at Horsell, the Naafi at Mayhurst and the 523 Field Survey Company's use of the Dane Court School at Pyrford; The scrapping of railings around Victoria Gardens, the council houses in Walton Road, the triangle at Hillview Road and the superstructure of the Swimming Baths roof in Woking Park, as well as waste paper collections at Beech Hill in Mayford, Howell's outfitters in High Road at Byfleet and the Fire Station in Old Woking; Chobham's Crimean War canon being sold for their 'Spitfire Fund'.

Kilronnan Nursery - The former home of Adeline Palmer-Meares in Horsell Rise (later Cable School) converted by the Red Cross into a nursery for children from London, supported by the Junior Red Cross of America with photographs from the Imperial War Museum's collection.

Air Raid Precuations & the Auxiliary Fire Service - Including trenches provided by Woking Council at Knaphill Recreation Ground, Goldsworth Road Allotments, Goldworth Road Car Park, Opposite the Woking Victoria Hospital, in the grounds of John of Gaunt at West Byfleet and in Oyster Lane at Byfleet - basement shelters in Woking (such as the Red House Hotel, the Rendevous Resturant and Mr Lutleys shop) and West Byfleet (in Rosemount Parade - including Eltons, MacFisheries and Sainsburys) - shelters on Wheatsheaf Common and at Byfleet (built by W.G. Tarrant) - domestic shelters built in Old Woking by C Firbank & Sons and at Woking and Byfleet by E & L Berg. Also open-fronted shelters constructed in Victoria Gardens and Woking Park and Morrisons, Andersons and Norcon shelters at local homes; The Auxiliary Fire Service training on the Basingstoke Canal and in Chobham Road; and the probfire siren at Byfleet Fire Station and the Sanway Laundry.

Dig For Victory, the YMCA and Rationing - The provision of allotments at Westfield Avenue Dump, Durnford Bridge Camp, Boundary Road Common, the Southern Railway at Twin Bridges, off White Rose Lane (Mr Derry's Field), at Wych Hill Way, Floyds Lane in Pyrford, Highclere Road at Knaphill, and at Rectory Lane in Byfleet. Also the establishment of 'British Restaurants' at Byfleet and Commercial Road and the grazing of sheep on Byfleet Recreation Ground by Cllr Lloyd Derisley, but not the grazing of sheep by Mr Tanner of the White Hart at Chobham on Waterers Park at Knaphill. The sacrifice of Jane Stilwell's rabbit at Rydens Way in Old Woking and the calves and pigs of the Putney Girls Grammar School at Barricane in St Johns, and the creation of a vegetable market on Goldsworth Road Car Park by Woking Council; YMCA (and YWCA) in Duke Street, Bath Road and Goldsworth Road in Woking and at Brookwood, St Johns and Knaphill; The Ration Cards of Mrs Drake of Wych Hill and the approved suppliers such as Guinness' Dairy and Greens Stores at Kingfield.

Bombing - The September 1940 raid on Vicker's factory at Brooklands,  the many raids in the Wey Valley recorded by the Send & Ripley History Society in their book 'Memories of War', the records of bombs falling on the Pyrford Court Estate (Roundbridge Farm and Lady Place Farm), Maud Ceeley's diary, the Hermitage Estate bombs, Trentham at College Lane and the destruction of John Bright's shop in Chertsey Road; The Bagshot Road and Brookwood Cemetery bombs and the destruction of the Necropolis Station at Westminster Bridge Road during the Blitz; Knaphill School and the dog-fights over the village including the crashed Mosquito in Lower Guildford Road.

Emergency War Hospital - The use of local hospitals during the war such as the  Woking Victoria Hospital on the corner of Chobham Road and Boundary Lane (by Wheatsheaf Bridge), Brookwood Mental Hospital at Knaphill, the Woking Maternity Home (Wynberg) and the Southern Railwayman's Orphanage in Oriental Road, the St Nicholas and St Martin's Homes at Pyrford, the St Peter's Convalescent Home on Maybury Hill, the Clock House at Byfleet, the Gordon's School at West End, and Ashwood in Ashwood Road - used by St Thomas' Hospital in London as a maternity home - as well as the establishment by St Thomas' Hospital of a new war hospital in the grounds of Botleys Park Hospital at Chertsey, later to become St Peter's Hospital; Woking Station and the towns part in Operation Dynamo - the evacuation from Dunkirk - and Operaion Overload (the D-Day landings), with memories of the local Red Cross and ladies of the Women's Volunteer Service.

Local Defence Volunteers - The Dad's Army (or Home Guard) in Woking, Byfleet, Horsell and Old Woking originally part of the 1st Surrey (Camberley) Battalion, but later split and re-named the 11th Surrey (Woking) Battalion in October 1942, with platoons in local firms such as the Woking Electric Supply Company, G Q Parachutes, Sorbo Rubber Products, James Walkers (each with their own unique home-made pieces of equipment) and the 12th Surrey, 3rd Southern Railway Battalion at Woking Station - with notes and photographs of training on Wheatsheaf Common and the Basingstoke Canal at Spanton's Timber Yard, Boundary Common; The Anti-Aircraft Command Post at the Broadmeads in Old Woking; The Basingstoke Canal pill boxes at Brookwood and St Johns part of the GHQ line built by Royal Engineers.

Inkerman Barracks and Entertaining the Troops - with free use of Waterers Park at Knaphill for the men of the Durham Light Infantry, reduced rate baths at Byfleet, swimming in Woking Park and library books in town. Also the stationing of Canadian troops locally leaving their mark on the trees off Robin Hood Road at Knaphill and the removal of trees along The Broadway in Woking to create more room for those queuing for the buses back to barracks; War work at local factories such as Vickers Armstrong, G Q Parachutes, James Walkers, General Aircraft Co., Fairoaks and local garages and workshops; The Broadway Fire Watchers and the shop front of Hugh Butcher's shop during the war.

Peace Celebrations - including memories of Ron Stillwell of Rydens Way in Old Woking and Keith Sadler of Oak Tree Road and the Garibaldi Crossroads in Knaphill, with photographs of the VE Day celebrations on Mayford Green, in Downsview Avenue at Westfield and in Cherry Street in Goldsworth. Also notes on additions to local war memorials and memorial halls and the council's official celebrations on Wheatsheaf Recreation Ground in Horsell in 1946; Having fun whilst raising funds for numerous events such as the Boxing Tournament at the Grand Theatre for the 'Wings for Victory' and the money raised for 'Salute the Sailor Week' etc.; The 'Egg Week' at the St Nicholas and St Martin's Homes in Pyrford in April 1940.

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