'29th October 1940: One Day in the Battle of Britain' by Neil Wiffen from the Essex Record Office

Wednesday 03 April 2019
20:00 to 22:00

In many ways, Tuesday 29th October 1940 was 'just another day' in the Battle of Britain.  The handful of aircraft losses on both sides of the conflict and the associated deaths of young pilots on that particular day were tragic but nothing remarkable in those grim days almost eighty years ago.


29th October 1940 was the day the Luftwaffe selected for a dive-bombing raid by Messerschmitt 109s on the strategically important North Weald airfield.  The speed of the surprise attack ensured that the raid met with some success but then, pursued by Hurricanes, it became a race to the coast - during which four of the raiders were shot down.  Of particular interest is that the Me109s' escape route took them in the direction of the Blackwater estuary and the four downed aircraft fell near Maldon, Tillingham, the Blackwater estuary and Abberton.  As these pursuits were petering out, a Spitfire crashed in New London Road, Chelmsford killing its pilot, his aircraft possibly having been damaged by enemy fire.


Those attending the next meeting of the South Woodham Ferrers Local History Society will hear from visiting speaker Neil Wiffen MA something about the broad history of the Battle of Britain as well as the results of his detailed research into the events of that single day.  The speaker, a life-long Second World War aviation enthusiast employed at the Essex Record Office, has woven together a fascinating Essex microcosm of the wider conflict showing what this corner of the country experienced on what was anything but 'just another day'....


When it is considered that the route taken by the attacking aircraft on their way to North Weald in October 1940 is thought to have been over Woodham Ferrers itself, there is clearly much of local interest and hearing how familiar places were affected by the conflict will give you a valuable local context to the Battle.  The talk '29th October 1940: One Day in the Battle of Britain' by Neil Wiffen will take place at 8.00pm on Wednesday 3rd April at Champions Manor Hall, Hullbridge Road, CM3 5LJ.


Visitors are welcome to attend (admission £3).  Any inquiries, please telephone 01245 321518.

Contact John Frankland
01245 321518
Champions Manor Hall, Hullbridge Road
South Woodham Ferrers
South Woodham Ferrers
(view map)
Cost Free for Society members, admission fee £3 for Guests