Englefield History

The Bournefield Bombs

 

The official report from the night of 21/22 October 1940 mentions 11 bombs landing in a line across the fields to the south of Bournefield Farm. Seventy years on there is little trace in the fields except for what appears to be the remains of a crater after 70 years of cultivation in the field in front of the houses on Union Road. There may also be another crater in the wood in front of the old Waylands Hospital site. However there are two very large and deep craters (pictured below) in the wood at the bottom of Common Hill opposite the Bradfield Lodges together with a number of smaller ones, including two in the Deer Park behind the Lodges. The German Heinkel HE111 bomber of the time could carry eight 250kg bombs internally and two 1000kg bombs externally, making 10 in all so the report of 11 may be the result of miscounting. The smaller, internally carried, bombs were in held in a nose-up vertical position, four on each side of the fuelage, and were released sequentially rather than all at the same time as with British bombers. This gave a distinctive pattern of two long, closely-spaced but staggered rows of bomb craters which seems to fit the pattern at Bournefield. The two large craters may be from the 1000kg bombs.

 

The report states that there were no casualties or damage but it’s hard to believe there were not at least some broken windows from the blast. If the apparent pattern is true it was also a miraculous escape for the Bradfield Lodges with bombs on either side.

 

 

 

© 2019 Richard J Smith

Englefield History

Englefield History

Englefield History
Englefield History