V1 Flying Bomb site, Oldham.

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V1 Flying Bomb site, Oldham.

My Uncle Amos was bombed out of his house in Oldham, Lancashire, when a V1 flying bomb struck near the corner of Abbey Hills Road and Warren Lane on Christmas Eve, 1944. He was lucky to survive; 27 people were killed and a further 49 people were injured.

45 of these missiles had been launched from Heinkel He-111 bombers off the coast of Yorkshire and about 30 made it to the target area. Some landed harmlessly on the moors but the one that struck Oldham did the most damage.

The photo above shows the corner of Abbey Hills Road and Warren Lane. The building at the extreme left of the photo is from before the attack. The rows of newer houses on both sides of the road, and some older buildings in the immediate area still bearing scars from the shrapnel, are the only evidence of the attack today.

Abbey Hills Road, Oldham. Christmas 1944.

See here for an overview of this attack;

52 comments on “V1 Flying Bomb site, Oldham.
  1. Tech Owl says:

    What an amazing series of shots Ian, and so interesting that there are marks from the time still to be seen

  2. Mark McKie says:

    Excellent set of shots Ian.

  3. pasujoba says:

    Good work Ian , the destruction seems to cover a wide area .

  4. andyholmfirth says:

    Must have been terrifying ! Nice bit of family history though with your uncle survivng

  5. SolarScot. says:

    youd never have guessed it looking at the houses now..bit of trivia here Ian,there is a little cottage near here sat by a bridge next a PaperMill and it was bombed by a Zepellin in the First World War !

  6. Billy Currie says:

    I was watching "Al Murray’s Road to Berlin" recently and there was a piece about these.

  7. MokuCo says:

    Ian,
    Your Uncle was neighbours with my family then.
    My grandparents and mother (who was just over one year old) were dug out of that rubble. As I have heard the story, people in houses on both sides of theirs were killed, but they all survived pretty much unscathed. They lost everything though.
    My Gran never liked the sound of motorbikes, she said she was always waiting for their engine to cut out as that was what the bomb sounded like just before it hit.
    My Dad, who is a few years older than my Mum remembers being taken by his father to see the bombsite on Christmas day.

  8. chrissie_uk says:

    Hi
    I was interested to see your photograph. I used to live on Abbey Hills Road and was 20 months old when the Doodlebug struck. It is my very first memory and was in my grandmother’s arms, obviously, as a baby was not sleeping and she was trying to get me back to sleep. I remember seeing the Doodlebug flying silently past and this was followed by a loud explosion. Apparently I was very ill with colic afterwards due to the shock.

    My Aunt and Grandmother brought me up, my Aunt was headmistress of the local primary school on Brook Lane.

    Moko your mother was very lucky to survive.

    I came across this site as I am writing my memoirs for my grandchildren.

  9. Ian D B says:

    Thanks MokuCo and chrissie_uk

    This link is to a page about V1 bombs. At the bottom of the page is a link to a sound file of a V1 bomb passing overhead – you hear the cut out of the engine, like a motorbike as you say and the ghostly silence before it impacts. Scary stuff.

    timewitnesses.org/english/doodbug.html

    Good luck with your memoirs Chrissie.

    I’m afraid I don’t know anymore about my Uncle’s home on Abbey Hills Rd, my mother was just 3 at the time.

    In this set are a few more photos of bomb sites in Oldham that may be of interest.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts/sets/7215762...

    Many thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

  10. audrey_birch says:

    I’ve just come accross this site by accident. I was four years old at the time of this bombing and lived on Glodwick Road, just lower than St Marks Church about 100 yds or so from Abbeyhills Road. I remember my mother throwing herself over me and a very loud bang, all the lights were swinging and large chunks of plaster fell off the ceiling. My mother had been getting ready for Christmas Day and had food for Christmas on the kitchen table and it was all covered in plaster. We were very lucky that night.

  11. Ian D B says:

    Thank you Audrey, this sort of detail – from people who were there at the time – is priceless. It must have been terrifying for you and your family. Your Mum’s reactions were quick and selfless! All things considered, I’m not surprised you count yourself fortunate.

    This happened at 5.50 in the morning. I believe the air raid siren had sounded at 5.15 (though I’m not certain of that detail) and possibly most people thought it was a false alarm – things were more relaxed at that stage of the war, so that could account for why so many people didn’t take cover?

    In all, over 1,000 homes in Oldham were damaged in this attack. St Marks church, as you probably know, was very badly damaged.

    Recently I have been visiting some of the other places that were hit in this attack, and documenting what happened there. If you’re interested, the link below will take you to a photo with links to the individual photos.

    Thanks again for your comment Audrey, very thoughtful of you to share your memory of tthis tragic event.

    Ian

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts/5654994348/i...

  12. bandman12 says:

    You would think that memories like these might save us from future follies. But…

  13. terrytamba says:

    I was 4 and a half years old at the time living in Goddard Street on the other side of Alexandra Park from Abbeyhills Road and this was my first memory, the motor cycle sound over the roof tops followed by a flash and huge bang. This article says the German bombers released their V1s over the Yorkshire coast, so they must have really got lost since where I lived was slightly west of where the bomb struck.

    Colin Broughton
    Toronto, Canada

  14. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/58879054@N06]
    Hi Colin, thank you for sharing your (first!) memories with us. The V1s had no navigation controls, the only aiming was done by the pilot of the He-111 as he released it in the general direction of Manchester. They came down all over the place, and none were on target in that the city centre was spared. But not Oldham, alas.

  15. MokuCo says:

    Chrissie_uk My grandparents ended up running a small shop on Greengate Street after that, Annie and Jim Taylor.

  16. cgullz says:

    really touches home when it gets personal and family are involved. especially considering the numbers that died. great photo and notes.

    keeping history alive

    in: Traces of War

  17. d j buckley says:

    My aunty and uncle Rene and Stanley Jones were killed in the raid. My mother remembers that when Rene was recovered someone had stolen her wedding and engagement rings.
    Militarily it seems such a strange thing to do – launch an attack on Manchester on Christmas Eve, what were they hoping to achieve?

  18. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/d-j-buckley] Hi David, thanks for your comment adding to this history. Awful to hear someone had stolen from your dead Aunty. There seems to have been a fair bit of looting and bad behaviour going on after bomb attacks which in popular memory we want to forget. During that same attack, this farmer was bombed out of his home in Matley. When he returned the place had been looted.
    Then & Now; V1 Flying Bomb Site, Matley near Hyde.
    Meanwhile in Stockport, the local paper quoted an ARP warden who was disgusted with the ‘idle curiosity’ of people who came to have a nosy at what had happened but offered no help.
    Then & Now. V1 Flying Bomb site, Stockport.

    As for what the Nazis hoped to gain from such an attack… It was late in the war, they were getting desperate. It was intended as a blow to civilian morale. The Nazis called them ‘revenge weapons’. Revenge, reprisal, retaliation… It was meant as a blow against the Allies, not to achieve anything except restore some pride. We have it good now, when we look back on what our families went through 70 years ago, we can’t complain really.

  19. d j buckley says:

    Ian.
    Thanks for the reply, I have found the comments and photos very interesting. I note what you say about revenge weapons, as I know that we were doing heavy raids. My neighbour’s brother-in-law was killed the day before (Dec 23rd) leading a bomber raid on a marshalling yard in Cologne. The Bomber Command Memorial was long overdue
    Once again thanks for all the photos

    • John Thorpe says:

      My father was a fireman at the time (NFS),and told us how they attended the tragic scene of demolished houses, Christmas trees and presents and bodies amongst the rubble. We lived in Middleton and heard the Doodlebug pass overhead, we were always told if we could hear the engine, we were safe because after the engine had run out of fuel the missile would continue as a glider for a short distance, we did hear the bang and explosion. Another few seconds of engine burn and it would have landed harmlessly near Hartshead Pike. I passed along Abbey Hills Road many time afterwards with my Grandad on the way to Stalybridge and after the houses has been rebuilt you could see from the colour of the roof tiles which houses had been demolished.My initial search in the Oldham Chron didn’t pull up much information on the event.

      • Ian D B says:

        Thanks for your comment John. The press were censored during the war of course, so as not to let the enemy know how well their missile performed. I imagine the newspaper you read referred to the V1 falling on ‘a Northern town’ even though the story was published in the Oldham Chronicle!

        My grandfather, who lived at Mortimer St, Oldham, was also an NFS fireman.

        Some more info here from Peter Smith’s books; another NFS fireman in Oldham was a Mr Wilfred Swann who lived at Orme St and would probably have known your father and my grandfather. He was on the scene very quickly and was able to help the rescue party as he knew who lived where in Abbey Hills Rd. A first aid post was set up at the chapel at Nether Hey St, which was itself damaged by the blast.

        It is a sad detail about the presents and Christmas trees being among the rubble. One house had a wedding party of 12 people staying, of whom 4 were killed. A sailor on leave, Norman Travis, was among the dead at another house. The oldest to be killed was 70 year old Lucy Thornton, the youngest a six months old baby. Additionally, some 49 people were seriously injured in the attack.

        Of the buildings damaged, 18 were destroyed in Abbey Hills Rd, 9 on each side of the road. A further 91 buildings were severely damaged in the immediate area and in total some 1,100 buildings in Oldham were damaged, blast from V1s typically extending in a radius of a mile from the impact point. It is probable the construction of buildings at Abbey Hills contributed to there being fewer casualties, as each party wall had a chimney breast which strengthened the walls.

        Over Lees the missile released some propaganda* leaflets as the engine cut and it went into its dive on Abbey Hills. This detail makes me wonder about the V1 you heard in Middleton; it is possible it was the same one as hit Oldham, sometimes V1s did turn in a circle as the engine cut. But coming from the north east and passing over Lees to dive on Abbey Hills means it is unlikely it passed over Middleton first.

        However at least 2 flying bombs did pass over the Middleton area that morning. The one which came down at Worsley passed over the Blackley / Crumpsall area, while the one to fall on Radcliffe passed to the north of Middleton over Langley. Please see the overview page for photos of the sites where those two V1s came down. That page also has a soundfile of a V1 and then the engine cuts, followed by the silence you describe, before the bomb impacts.

        * Propaganda leaflet from a V1 similar to the type to be released over Lees. It was an unlikely-to-succeed attempt at determining the performance of V1s. The leaflets contained real letters from British PoWs in German camps. The idea was a civilian would pick up the leaflet, recognise the identity of the PoW, forward the leaflet to his relative whereupon they would write to their son and the Nazis would intercept it and read it – hoping that the relative had obligingly mentioned the V1 and the leaflet and where it was found!

        If you are interested, this page has a piece on the PoW camp at Oldham (which is at Lees – makes me wonder if any of the British PoW leaflets were picked up by German PoWs!)
        http://aircrashsites.co.uk/?attachment_id=2246

        This part of my website has a couple more stories of bombs which fell on Oldham during the war
        http://aircrashsites.co.uk/air-raids-bomb-sites/

  20. Sylvia (nee Cadd) says:

    Ian ………….. It is fascinating to read all the information that you have gathered together.

    We lived on Kingsbridge Road at that time, and I was almost 5 years old on Christmas Eve 1944.

    Whenever the sirens went, my grandparents would come across the road from their house on the corner of Kingsbridge Road and Kenton Street, and 7 of us would sit on the stairs down to the cellar in our house. This happened 2 or 3 times, I remember crying and crying and crying during one such episode because I was so scared! I think it must have been this one.

    Dad was in restricted employment, and had worked for a few months in London in 1939/1940. His landlady down there had told him to go around the house and unlock all the windows as soon as he heard sirens and before going to shelter. The theory is that this would allow the windows to move within the frame. He did this on that night, and we were the only house that did not have the glass blown out. All we had was one little tiny crack in the bottom corner of the downstairs window.

    ………….. and my abiding memory is looking out of our front room window at daylight.

    The street was covered with broken glass, and picking his way across from the open gate of my grandparents’ house was their fox terrier! They had forgotten him in the rush to get to shelter, he had jumped out of the kitchen window into the glass-strewn back yard, out through the gate which had been blown open, and over to us. He did not get even one little tiny cut on any paw!

    We went to look at the site some days later.

    As a follow-up to your comment about the POW camp in Lees …….

    ….. I went on a Counthill Grammar School ski trip to Austria over New Year 1956/7. Our ski instructor had been an inmate at the Oldham POW camp, and had very fond memories of his time there. He especially remembered a lady who used to invite the POWs to afternoon tea at her house. He did want to know whether the tennis court they had built was still in existence. I’m afraid we lied, and told him that it was!

    • Ian D B says:

      Sylvia thank you very much for adding your memories to this page. Interesting to read about opening the windows to minimise the pressure from the blast shock wave!

      Your memories are very clear. Certainly if you were 5 years old and living on Kingsbridge Road (you were very close to the impact point – just 1000 feet from it!) then what you recall was this attack. There were others on Oldham – please see elsewhere in the Air Raids and Bomb Sites set for pictures of Lilac Lane and of Castleford Street. Oldham got hit a number of times.

  21. ALAN WALKDEN. says:

    HI IAN, I REMEMBER THAT SAD DAY THE BOMB HIT ABBEY HILLS ROAD WELL. I WOULD HAVE BEEN 12 YEARS OLD
    AT THE TIME , I WALKED FROM HOLLINS WERE I LIVED THEN .OVER HOLYWELL LANE PAST THE PARK AND UP THE ROAD TO ABBEY HILLS ,YOUNG KID JUST BEING NOSEY, ON THE WAY UP THE HILL ,THERE WAS A SMALL SCHOOL
    ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE, THERE WAS SOME ACTIVITY GOING ON WITH A FEW POLICEMEN ABOUT. SO I THOUGHT
    I WOULD INVESTIGATE ,
    I WENT IN THE SCHOOL YARD , CLIMBED UP AN IRON DRAIN PIPE. AND LOOKED IN THROUGH A WINDOW INTO A LARGE ROOM . (MAYBE IT WAS THE HALL OR THE GYM) I THOUGHT IT WAS AN HOSPITAL.AS THERE WERE ROWS OF
    “PATIENTS” INSIDE ,POLICE AND PEOPLE WALKING BETWEEN THE ROWS. I WONDERED WHY THEY ALL HAD THE SHEETS COVERING THEIR FACES. YES IT MUST HAVE BEEN USED AS A MORTUARY I DID NOT KNOW AT THE TIME I WAS VERY YOUNG. IT DAWNED ON ME LATER.I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS REPORTED OR HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT .BUT I KNOW WHAT I SAW .I CAN STILL SEE THE PICTURE .
    I WENT ON TO SEE THE DAMAGE , THEN WENT HOME FOR MY TEA. IT WAS WARTIME AND WE JUST TOOK IT ALL IN ..SAD DAY BUT I WAS JUST A KID . ALAN

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Alan,
      Thank you for adding your very detailed memoir to this history. I have never seen an account quite like this reported anywhere either, it is unique. There is a comment in Smith where he says the wounded were “treated in a first aid post set up in the damaged Congregational chapel on Nether Hey Street” but no report of the bodies lying somewhere as you describe. It is a haunting image.
      Ian

  22. ALAN WALKDEN. says:

    Thank you Ian for your reply and comments.I find your Web site very interesting and it has brought back many memories ,of my childhood in the war, I am always proud of my upbringing as a Lancashire lad.and never forget my early days in Oldham.
    In fact I put my feelings together and made a video ,It is now on You Tube..lots of people have seen it ,from all over the world. It´s called , ” OLDHAM MY DIRTY OLD TOWN”
    I have lived in Spain for many years. and have just put another Video on You Tube which may be of interest to you .You will be aware of the subject, it being in your line. It could have been the worlds biggest air crash ,casualty wise. and is a forgotten event ,played down by the American and Spanish governments .On You Tube type in …” CODE BROKEN ARROW ” and look for my name name . Thank again , ALAN WALKDEN

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks Alan. I looked at those videos, interesting to read of the B52 explosion over Spain. Also interesting to see the video of old Oldham. Mt mother’s family was from Oldham. I can just about recall my great antie’s house in what I suppose were the last of the slums cleared in the 1970s. I recall the toilet in the back yard had no flush, just a balanced plate which tipped into a pit. Not sure where in Oldham that was though, off Shaw Road I think, around Derker. She moved into what were new flats in Egerton Street. Other family members lived on Mortimer Street and for a while my uncle Amos had digs here at Abbey Hills.

  23. anthony clare says:

    THEIR WILL BE A 70TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION EVENT ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON 20TH DECEMBER 2014 AT 12 NOON. A COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE WILL BE UNVEILED, FOLLOWED BY TEA AND REFRESHMENTS AT HOPE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, WHERE YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BOMBINGS.

    THEIR WILL ALSO BE A TALK BY JOHN FIDLER, LOCAL HISTORIAN AT OLDHAM STUDIES CENTRE, 84 UNION STREET, OLDHAM, OL1 1DN ON WEDNESDAY 17TH DECEMBER AT 7PM.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION E-MAIL: oldhamremembers@oldham.gov.uk or call 0161 770 3297

  24. David Lees says:

    Three members of my family, the Roe’s, (Edward Denton Roe, who was my grandma Eva’s brother, his wife Alice, and son Norman) were killed in their home by the Abbeyhills bomb. William Roe, their other son, was out so survived. Edward’s brother Harold was killed 8 weeks before the WWI Armistice. The rest of the family of Roe’s and Lees’s, my grand and great grand parents, lived in Savoy St. Williams daughter died in an accident much later and the Roe family died out with her. So the bomb created the end of that Roe lineage. Hannah Roe, mother of Edward and my great grandma, lived in Savoy St to be 99.

  25. David Lees says:

    I’ve just noticed mention of Hope Congregation Church for refreshments. All the Lees family attended there. The Roe’s may well have done too. The last time I went there was to my Grandparents memorial service.

  26. David Seipel says:

    I remember the V1 in Dec 1944,I was nearly five, we lived at the northern edge of Ashton u Lyne and the V1 passed over us. We heard it in the early morning as it cut out. It fell about 1.3/4 miles away. My mother saw the aftermath later in the day from the bus.
    Prison camps in the latter part of the war and just after were usually in large cotton mills. My father had been born in Germany and came to England 1930. After the war befriended a German prisoner, called Alois Gadinger, who was a young man walking along the road near us. He came to our house. He gratefully always sent a Christmas Card to my parents until the mid 1980’s.
    I have many memories of that time.
    Eventually I went to Manchester Grammar School, and one master, “Basher” Bailey, had in the war served in Scotland near his home and had arrested Rudolf Hess when he landed on his getaway flight to UK. My father was a naturalized Englishman, but his youngest brother had remained in Germany and was in the Luftwaffe with Rommel in Africa, and he is still alive. I am writing a book on all this.

    • Ian D B says:

      Great to hear from you David. Thank you for adding your very interesting memories of the war and post war period to this site, and good luck with the book!
      Ian

  27. My mum was an ARP on duty in Abbey Hills Road (which is where she lived) when that V1 came down. She’s 92 and remembers quite a lot, including attending to the casualties.

  28. And regarding the PoW camp. My grandad was the insurance man who sold insurance to the camp guards. One day a “Polish” soldier turned up at my grandma’s house and scrounged a whole apple pie. Turned out to be a PoW so not Polish at all. I suppose he was recaptured as no-one is known to have escaped from the UK, I think (unless he was one who did!)

  29. David Seipel says:

    We lived off Lees Road, Ashton. Our house would have been more or less in the direction the V1 came from, if you were in Oldham, as they were launched from the North Sea. My mother went to Oldham shopping the morning after, and gave horrific descriptions of the chaos caused. I think I heard it, or it could be distorted memory from what my parents told me had happened. I was probably asleep. I do remember other bombs, and of course air raid shelters. And VE day party in the street..

  30. Dan says:

    My grandfather came from. This area. He signed up for the army under age, and lied to the recruiting officer. Was educated locally by nuns and wanted to leave. He served in various countries including Burma.

    I often asked about his family and he told me how he went home and their house was gone, flattened by a bomb and they were all killed.

    His Surname was Burns, I would appreciate any links or knowledge relating to the bombing and any families with the surname burns.

    Thank you.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Dan, I hope someone reading these pages might provide some info for you.

      What info have you already and what are you looking for? There is a book called When the lights come on again, which is all about Oldham’s war.I’d imagine there are details in there which might help?

      Or a visit to Oldham library would yield more. There was a major air raid on Oldham on 11 October 1941 in which 27 people were killed. http://aircrashsites.co.uk/air-raids-bomb-sites/then-and-now-oldham-13th-october-1941/
      It may be possible to find casualty lists from the library. Also if you can get there in person you could trawl the microfilm records of the local papers. It wouldn’t take long to find detail of every air attack in 1940 – 1941.

      Good luck with your research.

      Ian

    • Sylvia (nee Cadd) says:

      Dan ……

      …… if you would give the full name of your grandfather, I can try to see if I can find information on his birth and names of his parents and possible siblings. That would help to find where he lived before he joined up, and possibly give you leads to possible connections.

  31. Chris Payne says:

    Fascinating posts. I was nearly three at the time. My earliest memories were sheltering in the cellar under our house at Fern Street, Werneth. I clearly remember my parents taking me out in my pushchair in the dark to stand outside St Thomas’s Church, the highest point around. One could see right down the hill to Manchester where it looked like the entire city was on fire. It was still dark when Abbeyhills was bombed so the time could have been right after the all clear had sounded but before the fires had been put out.

  32. Ken Hayman says:

    Ken Hayman 9 yrs old,living in Strinesdale at the time my mother woke me to see the aeroplane on fire, It was the V2 that landed in Abbey hills. Road. it came from the Direction of Huddersfield Quite low down, a flame out of the back. It then went over Waterhead and arced round towards Oldham. As I was going back to bed There was an almighty explosion and I was sent tumbling back down the stairs as the Rocket landed, the whole house Shook and pictures also fell of the walls, We were maybe a couple of miles away so you can Imagine the force of the impact. It is a Chrismas eve I won’t forget.

  33. David Seipel says:

    Pretty sure it was not a V2! It was a V1. They did not circle, simply cut engine and then fell. Dropped in early hours of 24th, my mother was shopping there in the afternoon, and came home and told us all about the horror.

    • Ian D B says:

      Yes was a V1, I daresay that was a typo. Wouldn’t have any warning with a V2!

      But V1s often did turn around in flight. The propeller on the nose of the V1 counted down to a point at which it was the predicted to be over the target. At that point the missile was put into a dive which caused the fuel to cut. As far as the Germans were concerned that was a flaw which they overcame; later versions went into a powered dive with little warning for those on the ground.

      • Ken Hayman says:

        Like your reply Ian. However,watching the rocket as it was over the reservoirs at Strinesdale that was when the engine cut out. and as it began to descend it gently did so whilest arcing to the right.i know I was only nne but I am pretty sure that was the sequence of events

  34. william cook says:

    I recently found out about this event as my Uncle Bill was there.
    My mother had just been born on 21st December 1944 and her brother who was 13 (my uncle Bill) and my nan had been evacuated from South London to Oldham. My Grandfather was serving in the Navy but was due to get some leave to be with them over the Christmas period. They were allocated a house in Abbey Mills road.
    My uncle said he was upstairs in the house with my nan and my mum downstairs on that christmas eve night when there was an almighty bang. The explosion blew some of the roofing of the house and the upstairs floor collapsed making my uncle slide down the floor and he ended up downstairs.For a while he could not hear anything because of the concussion but he remembers everything was covered in dust.He wandered around looking for his mum and eventually an air raid warden or a policeman pulled him out of the house. The whole area was littered with rubble and broken glass and then he remembered the sounds of people screaming. My nan had actually grabbed my mum and sheltered under the dining table. She too was rescued. He said that when he went back to school a few days later there were empty desks in his classroom. My uncle’s name was William Miles and he told me this only 4 weeks before he died in 2012.

    • Ian D B says:

      Excellent account William, thank you for adding it. Great that your uncle spoke with you about it. For years now I have been asking older people for their memories of the war. Need to record it while we still can.
      Ian

  35. David Rhodes says:

    My father Harry Rhodes lived in Copsterhill Road a mile away his mother and brothers and sisters remember the V1 well but I always queried it because of the range of the V1 being so limited. As an aviation buff I discovered that a detachment of KG3 in Holland flew these missions in late 1944 in their Heinkel 111 h-16’s their loss rate was very high due to night fighters and the fact that the Heinkels top speed was reduced to under 200 knots by the drag of the V1.My father was in prison camp in Germany at the time having been captured in September 1944 at Arnhem where he served with 1st Batt. Border Regt.He returned to Oldham in July 1945 and was presented on stage at a local cinema as were other survivors of the battle.

  36. David Livesey says:

    I was 4 years of age and that V1 is my earliest memory, I remember the noise as if it happened yesterday and it was even louder when it stopped suddenly, seemingly right overhead. We did not hear the explosion because we were in Linthwaite, 8 miles from Huddersfield at the bottom of the Pennines, but we were told it had landed in Diggle.
    My next retained memory was of the illuminated tram going down Manchester Road on VE day.
    David Livesey.Queensland,Australia.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi David thanks for visiting and adding your memories. Not surprised it made an impression, it was a shocking event; at this stage of the war, the people in the north of England believed there would be no more bombs. No V1s fell at Diggle but one did fall on Oldham.

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