Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Bob Ogley, former editor of the Sevenoaks Chronicle, local historian and author, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘Surrey at War’.

Photos for his book ‘Surrey at War’, came from a public appeal because the local newspapers had already destroyed their old photographic plates.  Surrey made a considerable contribution to the war effort.  It was the home of the designer of the Hurricane fighter.  Aircraft and Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bomb were made at Brooklands.  The Dennis factory at Guildford made Churchill tanks.

Surrey received it’s share of child evacuees from London.  One girl wrote to her mother, asking for a gas-mask because of the smell of the pigs in Limpsfield.  One member of the East Surrey Regiment managed to evacuate his new French wife with him from Dunkirk.  The over 300,000 Dunkirk evacuees arrived by train at Redhill from Dover where they were temporarily looked after and a local team contacted their families with news of their safe arrival in England.

Like Biggin Hill, Croydon and Kenley aerodromes were repeatedly bombed.  The 92 Squadron at Croydon were the top scorers at shooting down enemy planes in the Battle of Britain.  Their commanding officer, Roger Bushell, was shot down at Dunkirk, became a prisoner of war and later organised the Great Escape.


Surrey at War a talk by Bob Ogley