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Thursday 23rd of November 2017
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Kegworth At War 1939 - 1945 and After

By Geoff Sewell. Extracts from the Scrapbooks of Mr F.W. Roberts.

Once again, Mr Roberts (Headmaster of Kegworth School 1931 - 1959) scrapbooks are able to provide an insight into the day to day life of the village, this time over the years of the Second World War (1939 - 1945). This can never be a comprehensive history of wartime Kegworth but the pieces do provide an interesting glimpse.

The scrapbooks reflect the progress of the war with the real impact not being felt until 1940, when two or three dark years of threatened invasion and bombing, gradually gave way to optimism and looking forward to a return to normality when hostilities ceased.

1939

At the turn of the year, preparations were already in hand for the imminent outbreak of war. The school building on Dragwell was being used as an ARP (Air Raid Precautions) headquarters and a first aid post.

The new School was to open in May of this year.

One of the important matters at the time was the numbering for the first time of all the houses in Kegworth.

FEBRUARY and MARCH

A new course of lectures began at the Adult School, presided over by Mr R. Sutton. Over 50 people enrolled on an ARP course. The subjects included a lecture on "How to deal with gas casualties " The prospect of gas warfare was considered a very real possibility after it's use in the First World War

MAY

At a British Legion meeting, ex-servicemen were reminded to volunteer for Home Defence duties although many of them were already involved on ARP work.

SEPTEMBER

As Britain declared war on Germany, the Parish Council were debating whether or not to proceed with the purchase of the land on Nottingham Road for use as a playing field. In the event, the decision was made for them when a proposed loan was withdrawn and the land was retained for agricultural use.

OCTOBER

Although a "phoney war" state existed into 1940, the consequences of warfare were soon brought home to the village when a local lad, William Roy Hall died following the sinking of the First World War battleship "Royal Oak" in Scapa Flow.

This haven was supposed to be secure but a German U-boat (U47) was able to enter and leave without detection. Although close to the shore, the rapid sinking meant 833 men out of a crew of 1200 perished. William Hall was only 17 but had been in the Royal Navy for eighteen months.

Because of the blackout, more kerbs were to be painted white, especially on Nottingham Road.

DECEMBER

The Kegworth War Welfare Association was formed to provide comforts for Kegworth men and women serving in the forces.

1940

MAY

As the threat from bombing increased, air raid shelters were to be provided at Kegworth School along with other safety measures. The Parish Council were encouraging the use of allotments by making more land available but there was a distinct lack of interest.

JULY

Kegworth School closed for only a fortnights summer holiday with just a Bank Holiday off in August: This was to allow the children to help both local farmers with their crops and the teachers cultivating the School field. A further break in October was arranged for them to help with the potato crop.

Everyone in the Country was being encouraged to join savings schemes and the school had a thriving group with 205 members. Local businesses and organisations were also starting up schemes. North west Leicestershire organised a 6-a-side football tournament to raise funds for the Leicestershire Prisoner of War Fund. Amongst the referees was a Kegworth septuagenarian. Mr W. P. Woolley.

With the Battle of Britain raging, the East Midlands with it£s airfields and industry was a prime target for bombing. Much of the bombing was wayward and a local farmer, Mr Pritchard was called upon to extinguish some incendiary bombs in a grazing field. The very effective way he used was by covering them in cow dung.

AUGUST

Two bombs landed in Kegworth resulting in a 300 yard crater in a road which burst a water main. At Long Whatton, the rectory, being rented by a Captain Wetherley, was severely damaged and a maid, Ellen Burrell, was killed.

SEPTEMBER

A farm at Diseworth suffered extensive damage when hit by a bomb. The Kegworth Home Guard paraded for the first time in uniform to a special service when they were led by their Assistant Platoon Commander. Mr S. A. Smith. Also taking part were, The Red Cross led by Mrs Roberts, The Fire Brigade led by Superintendent Bostock, The Air Raid Wardens led by Mr W. A. Robertson and the Special Police. Mr Robertson's son Andrew, a Lance Bombardier in the Royal Artillery was killed in 1942.

The School continued it's air raid precautions and had regular gas mask drill. Kegworth Home Guard, this time led by their Platoon Commander. Mr J. Harrison marched to Long Whatton at a time when complaints were being voiced about the effectiveness of the Civil defence groups.
The Parish Council felt obliged to give a vote of confidence for the Home Guard, ARP, Fire Brigade and First Aid section and to deprecate the irresponsible criticism.

OCTOBER

500 evacuees, mostly women and children from London arrived in the village. Families were allocated to empty houses and the rest were taken in by residents.
Derby Road Sunday Schools were to be used as a social centre for the newcomers.

As bombing increased, so more and more effort was concentrated on providing adequate air raid shelter provision in the village. The old Brewery in the Market Place had a cellar which was considered capable of accommodating 100 people. Other shelters were hoped to be erected where they could be used after the war as bus shelters or public conveniences.

NOVEMBER

The property housing Kegworth Fire Brigade was in a poor state and urgent repairs were requested to the roof to prevent vital equipment being damaged. The Parish Council authorised the purchase of 3 more lengths of hose.

With the increasingly worsening situation. Armistice Day took on special significance this year.

The Town Band conducted by Bandmaster Marshall led a large procession to the War Memorial. The British Legion under Mr J. Baxter followed their standard which was carried by a colour party consisting of Messrs T. Toon, F. Booth and W. Brooks. Also present were the local Home Guard platoon under the leadership of Messrs E. F. Winser, F. W. Roberts and W. Marshall. Amongst the wreaths placed on the War Memorial was one on behalf of the teachers and pupils of Kegworth School which was laid by head boy, Derrick Webster and head girl, Peggy Roper.

Mr F.W. Roberts read the Act of Homage and during the service conducted by the Rector, Canon E. R. P. Devereux, the names of the dead from the new conflict were read out along with those who died in the First World War.

DECEMBER

Locals with their own stirrup pumps were asked to volunteer to assist the Fire Brigade who were touring the village each night. As a result fire-fighting teams were organised by many of the streets in the village. Thus the first full year of the War ended with a sense of apprehension.

1941

JANUARY

The threat of incendiary bombing continued to be the greatest fear faced by Britain, and in Kegworth emphasis was put into preparations for dealing with air raids. Stirrup pumps were to be supplied by the RDC at £1 each for businesses and the public; they were also to supply sandbags and sand for general village use. The Parish Council was urged to take a lead on organising fire-fighting capabilities in the village: they were seeking to have each street with a fire-fighting team so that the Fire Brigade would be free to deal with more serious problems. Chief Warden Robertson said that he had authority to compel, if necessary, householders to play their part in fire-fighting groups.

An appeal was made for 15 auxiliary firemen and for volunteers by the Red Cross to act as stretcher bearers and first aid personnel.

The War Department agreed to pay £2 p.a. for part of the Recreation Ground. The Women's Institute, in reporting on their previous year's activities, revealed that as part of the Food Preservation scheme, they had produced 3,082Ib of jam, 642 bottles of fruit and 1,777 cans of fruit. They had also assisted in the reception of evacuees and in the billeting of officers.

FEBRUARY

A Kegworth flight of the ATC (Air Training Corps) affiliated with Loughborough College was to be set up under the command of Mr Roberts. Over 20 boys had expressed an interest in joining the ATC which would give the boys basic training in drill, PT etc. as well as relevant lectures as preparation for when they were old enough to join the RAF or Fleet Air Arm.

The Parish Council in seeking to encourage more effort on growing produce came up with the idea of a best kept vegetable garden competition. An ARP lecture on fire-fighting and how to deal with incendiary and high explosive bombs attracted a large attendance at the School.

MARCH

Insufficient sandbags had been received and no sand!

It was decided to ask if the siren could be moved to a more central position rather than on the outskirts of the village. Foregoing their usual excellent meal for the AGM., the Cricket Club made do by meeting at the Red Lion.

APRIL

The Bowls Club had also continued to play matches on their green and their AGM reported a successful season with 14 wins out of 22 matches.

Problems with vandalism to play equipment on The Recreation Ground led to the caretaker being instructed to bar children over 15 years of age.

MAY

National Savings were very important and regular events were organised with set targets. This year it was designated as War Weapons Week and the whole Castle Donington area was looking to reach a figure of £20,000.

The week's events were fairly similar each year and in 1941 the programme included the following:

MAY 24 Whist drive and dance organised by Messrs A. W. Dakin & Co.£s employees.
MAY 25 Official opening with a parade led by the Town Band and consisting of the Home Defence Groups, ATC etc. followed by a service on the Recreation Ground.
MAY 26 Band of the Royal Engineers playing in the School grounds.
MAY 27 Mothers Day - various displays by the children and a cookery demonstration including one on packed lunches!
MAY 28 Civil Defence Services Day - Demonstration of first aid and fire-fighting: a tank on display in the Market Place.
MAY 29 A PE display by the RE Training Battalion on the Cricket field was cancelled due to the weather. But there was an AA gun and searchlight demonstration in the Market Place.
MAY 30 The RE Band played, this time on the Recreation Ground.

There were dances and whist drives throughout the week.
The final total for the area was an amazing £83,000 with Kegworth contributing £25,000. Much of this money was allocated to the Spitfire Fund.
Despite a great deal of discussion, no air-raid shelters had been provided in Kegworth.
Urgent proposals were put forward for 13 to be erected around the village.

JUNE

A couple of farms in the area suffered bomb damage with large craters being left in their fields. The farmhouse of Mr Sam Stretton at Highfield Farm had windows blown out and a ceiling collapsed as well as the roof being blown off a cowshed.

JULY

The apparently inexhaustible Mr F.W. Roberts was appointed organiser of a flag day on behalf of the Lord Mayor's National Air Raid Distress Fund.

As in the previous year, the Food Preservation Scheme started at St Andrews Rooms to make full use of the local fruit crop.
The "Wakes" took place as usual on Derby Road grounds despite the difficult conditions.

AUGUST

The local ATC unit under the command of Flying Officers Roberts and Westley visited an aerodrome for a flight in a bomber. 32 boys from Kegworth and Sutton Bonington were now involved with No 3 Flight.

With no direct bus service, it was proving necessary for Kegworth people to walk to Castle Donington for registration purposes. A request for a Registrar to visit Kegworth one day per week was initially turned down.

SEPTEMBER

Proposals for a Warship Week to be held in 1942 to encourage more savings was put forward. A target of £20,000 for Kegworth was suggested.

DECEMBER

A meeting was held to discuss the possibility of forming a Girls Training Corps, similar to the ATC. This organisation would prepare girls for when they joined the WAAF, ATS or WRNS. Training in drill, first aid. Morse signalling etc. were suggested. Mrs Gibbs and Mrs Cartwright offered to take charge. Age limits were 14 to 18.

1942

JANUARY

Twenty girls of the GTC held their first parade followed by drill instruction from F/0 Roberts and P/0 Hart. The Parish Council had received complaints about difficulties in getting on buses from Long Eaton and Loughborough; priority was to be given to long distance travellers who were workers. There was also a question about licensed houses opening hours with some only open for 2 days a week and others for only a few hours a day.

With an increased population due to evacuees and servicemen, a Mr Harrison considered that Kegworth should have a bigger allocation of beer. (No change there then - they've always liked their beer in Kegworth)!

A practice blitz took place to test the expertise of the Home Defence Organisations; many lessons were learned and deficiencies noted. ATC cadets took the role of 'casualties' and 'fires' required assistance from brigades and ambulances in surrounding villages.

MARCH

Warship Week had a RDC target of £85,000 to pay for a harbour auxiliary craft the HMS Barbican. Unfortunately only £37,022 was reached with Kegworth contributing £15,403 but the vessel was adopted by the area.

Complaints continued to be made to the Parish Council, including the shabby condition of the air raid shelters with bricks lying around them also the state of Ashby Road and Packington Hill after the recent laying of water pipes.

APRIL

The Parish Council was asked to nominate three people to act as an Invasion Committee. Subsequently, Messrs Gardiner, Sherwin and White were appointed. A scheme for supplying unrationed foodstuffs to the village was put forward.

MAY

The decision to move the First Aid Post and all its equipment to Castle Donington caused great controversy.

Proposals were put forward for a scheme similar to the "British Restaurant'' operating in towns whereby meat pies would be supplied to the village. Initially a figure of 2,000 pies was suggested. The Organiser was to be Mr B. Smith, the Manufacturer Mr H. Smith and the distributors were Mrs B. Smith and Mrs H. Smith.
The problems with bricks around the air raid shelters still persisted and it was stated that one child had lost a foot because of the rubble.

JUNE

Because of the continuing difficulties, the Cricket Club decided to stop playing competitive matches.

JULY

The success of the ATC resulted in the formation of a new squadron to incorporate the Kegworth, Castle Donington, Gotham and Sutton Bonington flights. This was to be known as the 2010 (North Loughborough) Squadron with F/0 Roberts as the commanding officer and P/0 Marshall as adjutant. Over 100 cadets were on their first parade.

The School closed for the summer but remained open to enable children to be occupied assisting war workers.

An open-air concert was arranged by three children on Moore Avenue, (Brenda Bassett. John & Kenneth Barker) to raise funds for the "Aid to Russia" appeal. The whole estate of 51 houses became involved and over £8 was later sent to 10 Downing Street.

AUGUST

Apart from the debris around the shelters, their general condition gave cause for concern with locks and doors broken, light bulbs missing etc.

NOVEMBER

Large numbers again attended the Remembrance Day Service with over 400 people in the parade from the School grounds led by Mr T. Toon D.C.M.

The month also marked the first ringing of Kegworth Church's octave following the addition two years earlier of the two bells acquired through the efforts of the previous rector Canon Devereux who died in January 1941.

The bell ringers led by Mr Felix Sutton included four ladies, two of whom also took part in the ringing at the Armistice in November 1918.

DECEMBER

At Christmas the Baptist carol singers were able to continue their traditional tour of the village; the local band played carols in the Market Place on both Christmas and Boxing Day and several dances were held in the School. On Christmas Eve it was for the local soldiers and on Boxing Day Slack & Parr's festivities had music provided by the RAF Band.

1943

JANUARY

With the war at a critical stage the major talking point with the Parish Council was the question of bicycles being ridden on footpaths, in particular Bridgefields. A request to the District Council for a bye-law banning this practice was refused.

FEBRUARY

The fund-raising event for 1943 was to be called 'Wings for Victory' with a target for the area of £40,000 for two Wellington Bombers. The use of the Recreation Ground for cultivation was proposed.

Slack & Parr held a dance at the School which raised £125 for the Prisoner of War Fund.

MARCH

'Wings for Victory Week' was set to commence on MAY 29th.

APRIL

Hot mid-day meals started at the School.

The Roper family on Borough Street received considerable interest in the press as they had 6 sons on active service. Fred (34) a stoker petty officer had been in the navy for 16 years. Leslie (33) was a driver in the RASC in North Africa. Samuel (26) was a gunner in the Royal Artillery. Harry (23) a seaman gunner with seven years service was on HMS Courageous just before it was sunk. Frank (19) was an engineer artificer in the Royal Navy and Charles (18) was a stoker in the Royal Navy.

In addition a son, Jack, had applied to the Royal Navy but was rejected as he was employed on essential war work at Slack & Parrs; and a son-in-law, Cyril Pepper was with the Army in India. There were also 7 daughters - Maurine, Beatrice and Ethel were married and the others were Mabel, Mary, Sheila and Peggy. Mrs Roper was described as 'hale and hearty' and Mr Roper was in the Police Force.

MAY

Trooper George Shillcross (34) was confirmed as being killed whilst with the 8th Army in North Africa. His widowed mother lived in Borough Street.

As part of Wings for Victory Week' the School set a target of £700 with the boys looking to fund 6 machine guns and the girls, 8 parachutes. Concerts and displays were put on and the final total was a remarkable £3,147. The rest of the village's efforts were based on the usual events though one novel idea was to sell stamps to stick on a large bomb in the Market Place marked 'a Present to Adolf£.
Kegworth raised £23,083 in total both as fund-raising and in savings.

JUNE

After being missing for 18 months following the fall of Singapore, news came through that Driver Walter Lowe was a prisoner of war.

JULY

70 children were now receiving hot School meals which were brought from East Leake. Lady Belper on a visit to the School, had one of the meals and received a bouquet of flowers in compensation.

The Parish Council were faced with a variety of complaints:
Dangerous play equipment on the Recreation Ground.
The unpleasant brook on the Nottinghamshire part of Station Road.
A missing plank in the canal footbridge and the footpath between the High Street and Long Whatton Road was in an appalling condition.

AUGUST

A 'Holidays at Home' Week was organised over the Bank Holiday weekend. Over 1,000 people attended Hailstone Meadow where the attractions included a pram and baby competition (won by Mrs Malpas), a rabbit show, skittles, tank exhibition, a conjuror and sports events. In the evening there was a dance at the School where over 300 people were entertained by the Carparks Dance Band. Whist drives, gymkhanas, dances and concerts were arranged throughout the week. There was also a cricket match between the ATC and a team of young ladies.

The respective captains were F/Sgt K. Hoberfield and Miss Jessie Broadhurst. To even matters, the ATC were obliged to bat, bowl and catch left-handed.

The Parish Council wanted to make Dragwell one-way after a spate of accidents but this was opposed by the Ministry of War Transport.

SEPTEMBER

With continuing overcrowding on buses, it was decided to paint white lines at bus stops to indicate where to queue to prevent unruly pushing when a bus did arrive.

OCTOBER

There must have been a more confident feeling about the war's outcome by this time as proposals were set out for building 43 houses over a five year programme at the end of hostilities.

NOVEMBER

It was reported that pilfering from allotments had considerably increased.

DECEMBER

This month saw the marriage of Lieutenant J. E. K. Walters and Miss E. J. Roebuck. The groom had been a prisoner of war in Libya but managed to escape whilst being transported by train from Italy to Germany. After two months in Italy he was able to reach the British lines.

In the village the festive season saw carol singing and dances taking place and the School were able to provide the children with Christmas parties. The entertainment consisted of games and a silent film show of cartoons and Charlie Chaplin.

At the same time sports trophies were presented in a variety of categories including:

Girls Champion - Brenda Bassett
Boys Champion - Derrick Akers
Junior Girl - Ann Stevenson
Junior Boy - Peter Newham

1944

JANUARY

Gunner Norman Bagguley returned home after 2 years active service in the Western Desert, Sicily and Italy. He became the first Kegworth serviceman to be decorated when he was awarded the Military Medal. Both his brothers were in the forces - Lieutenant Fred Bagguley and Sergeant Peter Bagguley. Their parents lived on Borough Street.

FEBRUARY

The cemetery walls were suffering from repeated vandalism.

MARCH

Post-war housing projects suggested that 66 houses were to be built in Kegworth, the proposed sites were named as the field on Long Whatton Lane next to Pleasant Place; the 9 acre field on Long Whatton Lane and the field at the junction of Sideley and Long Lane.

The death of Corporal Frederick Brooks aged 29 in Italy was reported. Before joining the forces he had served his apprenticeship at Brush in Loughborough and in Kegworth had been a scoutmaster, bellringer and member of the Amateur Dramatics Society.

APRIL

Damage to air raid shelters was continuing with locks being stolen as fast as they were installed.

Fund-raising this year was to be under the title ' Salute the Soldier' Week. Set for the week commencing June 24th, the target was put at £20,000.

MAY

This month saw the death of Mr George Thomas aged 90 who had been headmaster at Kegworth School from 1876 to 1919.

Private Harry Breward of Station Road became a celebrity when a steel mirror given to him by his wife saved his life. The mirror placed in his left breast pocket was damaged but deflected a Japanese soldiers bullet whilst he was in India.

JULY

' Salute the Soldier' Week followed the pattern of previous fund-raising events but this year included a boxing tournament with 7 bouts involving the RAF and one the ATC. There was also a display by the Home Guard in action under their Commander Lieutenant S. A. Smith on the hill opposite the School grounds. The ATC also put on a display on the School field after marching behind their band from Kegworth Bridge. An exhibition in the School by the RAF Station proved very popular.

AUGUST

After the successful event in 1943, a Holidays at Home Week was held again. Sports, dances cricket and bowls matches etc. enabled £190 to be raised for the British Legion.

OCTOBER

A Kegworth man was fined £5 for being persistently late for work at Slack & Parrs. Between July 31st and August 26th he was late on 21 occasions of between 5 and 18 minutes.

NOVEMBER

The Parish Council wanted to stop children under 16 years of age from attending dances at the School but this was rejected by the School's Managers.

A Home Guard supper was held to welcome home two former members who had been engaged on active service Mr B. Breakwell and Mr G. Bramley.

Derby Road Methodist Church celebrated the opening of their memorial organ with a recital by Mr Boulderstone with Madame Vera Roome as soloist and the Slack & Parr male voice choir.

DECEMBER

A Nativity Play entitled ' St Gabriel' was performed at the Parish Church with St Gabriel played by Pamela Gower and Herod by Dick Basford.

The butcher and farmer, Mr William Marshall Shepherd died at the age of 56. His shop was in the premises now containing the Cottage Restaurant on High Street.

With the war seemingly going the way of the Allies, thoughts could turn to the measures necessary to restore normal village life at the end of the War. New housing, a Village Hall and the deferred playing field would eventually be achieved but 1945 would see more local people killed in service before those thoughts be given some substance.

1945

JANUARY

The War Welfare Association reported that they had sent a £1 postal order to all the 210 villagers serving in the forces.

A large attendance at a parish meeting considered creating a fund for providing either a Village Hall or a Social Centre. A large majority were in favour of the former; over £700 was already allocated and a further £200 was likely to be available at the end of the War.

FEBRUARY

Corporal Howard Wright of 2010 (North Loughborough) Squadron ATC was the only Leicestershire cadet to be selected for Midland Command football team in their match against North West Command.

The Village Hall fund had rapidly increased to £990.

At the Parish Council meeting, complaints were made about the street lighting; lit some nights, not others and due to a labour shortage, with the lighting period ending shortly, this problem was shelved.

A letter was received from the Sheffield Education Authority thanking the village for the way that the city's evacuees had been welcomed into the village.

MARCH

Very heavy rain over several days caused severe flooding in the Kegworth and Loughborough area. In Derby, boats were used in the streets and bread was passed up to bedrooms with (hopefully clean) pitchforks!

Another young Kegworth casualty was reported when Stoker Reginald Baxter (18) was killed after his ship, the corvette "HMS Bluebell" was sunk off Russia by U-boat U-711. He had attended Kegworth and Castle Donington Schools before working as an engineer at Slack & Parr and had also joined the local ATC unit. His older twin brothers Harold and Walter (20) were serving in the Army. During leave just before Christmas, he had visited the local School to talk to the pupils.

At a Parish Council meeting, a letter from the CDRDC suggested that 48 permanent houses would be built in the first two years after the War and 66 after 5 years. 44 temporary houses were also allocated to Kegworth. The sites for these buildings were suggested at Long Close and Pleasant Place but the land on the North sde of Long Whatton Lane was favoured.

The local ATC won an aircraft recognition contest against 27 other Squadrons with 279 points scored out of 320. The aircraft included Japanese and Russian and the winning team consisted of Sgt G. J. Johns (Gotham), Cpl H. Wright (Kegworth), Cpl H. L. Jephson (Castle Donington), ACI G. A. Burton (Castle Donington) with F/Sgt P. J. Bryan as reserve.

APRIL

A certificate of good service was presented to Sgt Francis Clarke of the Home Guard who had joined them in 1940 whilst continuing to work long hours as a miner at the plaster pits. He never missed parades, still attended though it was no longer compulsory and acted as an instructor in many skills. During the First World War, he served with the Sherwood Foresters.

The number of temporary homes allocated to Kegworth was drastically reduced to 10.

MAY

With VE Day reached, various celebrations took place in the village even though the War itself would continue for a further three months.

Thanksgiving services were held at the Parish and Baptist Churches and street parties were organised for the children. A large parade from the School grounds led by the ATC Band and consisting of all the local Civil Defence organisations marched to St Andrews Church for the service.

Mr and Mrs Sam Roper of Borough Street arranged a party to express their gratitude for the survival of all their six sons who had served in the forces.

Forty children from Borough Street and Nottingham Road were invited and after tea they all left with a coin and an orange. The Loughborough Road children had a party at Bryan's Garage organised by Mrs Porter.

A warm reception was given to L/Cpl Kenneth Brydson when he returned after five years as a Prisoner of War. He had been captured in Norway whilst with the Leics Regiment and most of the five years had been spent at a camp in Poland.

The police were asked to provide an escort for schoolchildren when crossing Derby Road near Plummer Lane. They declined because" children should be taught to be self-reliant".

Although the end of the War was approaching, the local ATC continued to drill with enthusiasm and a week was spent at an RAF airfield near Stafford by 50 cadets who whilst there, were involved in all aspects of life on an active RAF Station including flying.

JUNE

Because of the labour shortage, the proposed demolition of the air-raid shelters had to be deferred.

JULY

The erection of temporary housing on the south side of Long Whatton Road (Loughborough Road end) was agreed and was to be put in hand immediately.

The Bowling Club received a gift from Mr Neale of some land on Nottingham Road to provide a new and bigger bowling green with room also for a pavilion. The playing field proposals from pre-war were resurrected and considered but could not proceed whilst the ban on loans for local authorities remained in force.

Plans for 48 permanent houses on land west of the cemetery on Long Whatton Road were finally approved.

AUGUST

With the ending of the War on VJ Day, full celebrations started in the village with flags and bunting rapidly appearing and bonfires and fireworks arranged for the evening. Practically every street had it's own children's' street party and there were plenty of dances organised for the adults.

A fete and gala day was arranged by the Parish Council, held on Long Lane field and it was preceded by a fancy dress parade from the School. Tents and marquees were erected by the Military but the glorious weather made them unnecessary.

The local paper stated that '300 odd children' sat in a large circle. (Presumably they meant that slightly over 300 children were present.........knowing Kegworth, perhaps not!)

Sports events were organised for the Military personnel and the children, followed by tea. The ladies were apparently not forgotten and they had slow bicycle and plant pot races to participate in. There were also side shows and horticultural exhibits. Not wishing to miss an opportunity, a Thanksgiving Week was proposed to encourage National Savings and a target of £50,000 for the whole Castle Donington area was fixed for the week of September 29th to October 6th.

The week was to include special days designated as for ladies, the Schools and workers, with Kegworth£s target being £17,000 (Actual was £11,000).

The closing day's events were described as 'ambitious' with sports, fishing matches, fruit, flower and vegetable shows as well as a rabbit show.

Mr Albert Lester of 4 Frederick Avenue reckoned that he dug up a V shaped potato on VJ Day.

In Alexandria this month, 2 Kegworth lads bumped into each other, P/0 Frank Roper and Stoker Jack Hall. Between the two families, 10 sons had been involved in the forces. The Roper family has been mentioned before; the Halls had lost 1 son on the Royal Oak in 1939 and apart from Jack there was another brother in the Navy, one in the Army and the youngest was in the ATC.

SEPTEMBER

In response to an appeal, the children at Kegworth School collected 151Ibs of hip berries.

NOVEMBER

A mysterious item appeared in the Parish Council report that an anonymous letter had been received but that it had been destroyed unread.

DECEMBER

Two naval sons of Mr & Mrs Swain of 104 Station Road met in Singapore when their ships docked there Gordon had been on the Queen Elizabeth to New York, travelled through the Rockies to Vancouver, sailed to San Francisco, then Hawaii and on to Java Douglas and had been involved in dealing with troublesome Indonesians.

Before the War, Gordon worked for the LMS at Kegworth and Douglas was at Slack & Parr. A party was held at the Yews on High Street to welcome home Pte Albert Fairweather after 6 years in the forces.

1946

FEBRUARY

Army vehicles parked on Derby Road near Plummer Lane were moved because of the hazard created for schoolchildren trying to cross the road at that point.

MARCH

After several years, it was decided to resurrect the Cricket Club for the forthcoming season.

APRIL

With Parish Council elections approaching, it was decided to defer any decision on the distribution of 100Ibs of dried fruit and on arrangements for some Victory Celebrations

MAY

With few new recruits, it was agreed to disband the highly successful local ATC Squadron.

The new Parish Council's first meeting decided not to hold any Victory Celebrations even though reasonable expenditure had been authorised .
They also upset the Parish Clerk, Mr Flintoff, by refusing to sanction a pay rise, so he resigned.

Alternative celebrations appear to have been arranged for 400 local children in the Slack & Parr canteen.

JUNE

Questions were asked in Parliament as to when the dual carriageway between Derby And Loughborough was to be reopened now that the Army vehicles had been removed. In reply, it was stated that when the remaining Army hutments had been removed and the road repaired, it would be available for public use, hopefully by the end of July.

SEPTEMBER

Mr Kenneth Brydson was awarded a BEM (Military Div) following his five years as a prisoner of war. During that time he had put his knowledge of German to good use and as a result suffered interrogation by the Gestapo.

1947

MAY

After having their Schools occupied by the Military for 7 years, the Baptist Church had a re-opening ceremony.

1948

NOVEMBER

The British Legion discussed a memorial to the men who had died during the last war.

1949

JUNE

A Church meeting considered their own memorial to the villagers who had died. It was agreed to remove the present slate bed from Ist World War and to have it re-lettered to add the casualties of the later conflict.
The Parish Council at the same time were considering the options for the village memorial.

AUGUST

The Parish Council were told that a war memorial could only be funded by public contributions not from the Council's own resources.

OCTOBER

A public meeting voted to erect a new war memorial for the dead from the Second World War and this was to be placed in an alcove in the Church wall whilst removing the oak memorial from Ist World War if the British Legion agreed.

1950

JANUARY

The amount raised for the memorial from donations by local businesses and residents stood at £364.

DECEMBER

A floodlit Parish Church saw a large crowd gather for the dedication of the War Memorial by the Bishop of Leicester The money raised enabled them to renovate the Ist World War Tablet and place that and the one for the Second World War in alcoves in the Church Wall. The surplus cash was to be used to provide four memorial seats.

Of 274 servicemen and women from Kegworth, 14 men had died in the conflict, surprisingly the majority of them in the last 15 months of the War Of the 14, 6 had been in the Army, 5 in the RAF and 3 (all aged 17 or 18) in the Navy.





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