Antony Jacobs West Wickham
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I was ten years old and living where I still live in West Wickham in the Borough of Beckenham. I remember so well
standing with my parents in our front bedroom one night in the summer of 1944. The room was in darkness and the
curtains open wide. We were watching the searchlights just as we had done from the same window in July 1940 during the
"phoney war".To our surprise we saw what appeared to be a plane on fire travel across the sky from east to west. We
heard no explosion but the next day was filled with rumours about a mysterious explosion on the railway line. The rumours
as usual were placing the explosion at various points on the rail network to London.Two days later in the early morning my
parents and I rushed out into the garden because of what seemed to be low flying Aircraft I was keen on studying aircraft as
my father worked for the Air Ministry Before I got to the garden I remember saying they must be Mosquito's because they
made so much Noise  But within seconds I realised that they looked like "flying daggers" as I remarked to our Neighbour
There was no indication at that point that these weird things were carrying Explosive it was quite a while before we heard
any explosions. At that point we went down our air raid shelter where we had spent so much time during the battle of
Britain and the Blitz  Sometime during the morning we heard the now distinctive note of the "doodlebug" coming very near
and the engine noise suddenly cut out.I remember so well the swishing noise and then the enormous explosion which caused
our shelter blackout curtain to waft Inward  I ran up the steps against my parent's advice because I felt sure our house had
been Destroyed  When I saw it was still standing albeit with windows and some tiles cracked or missing I looked to my left
and saw a huge cloud of dust, smoke and debris. I watched it tower upwards and then as it started to fall I could see objects
and pieces falling  This of course as we now know was the Links Road Bomb  I remember that the nursery on one corner
was not there anymore and also the houses Opposite  This was a few days later. I also remember the tail engine unit of the
V1 lying on the ground where the nursery had been. It remained there for a long Time  From then on my parents and I
came and went because my father had an official car and travelled a lot between airfields and aircraft Manufacturer  His job
was fitting cameras into Aircraft  There were many near misses over the coming months but to us the Links road one was
the nearest V1 or V2.  It was many years later that we realised that a bus carrying repair workers took the direct hit
(web masters note : this incident occurred on the 16th June 1944 and the workers were returning from a previous incident
the same day at Tootswood Road Beckenham 7 were killed at Links Road and 3 at Tootswood Road )
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