in the centre of the village was mined with explosives on its cast iron
supports, these would to be detonated and the bridge destroyed in the
event of an approaching German Army. Two concrete tank traps were placed
either side of the bridge in its centre making the roadway single lane.
the front wooden facia of the shop would drop down on hinges and the enemy blasted
off the bridge. ?
Further snippets of
information from local residents.........................
Large convoys of soldiers were a common sight passing through the village. They included Canadians, Australians and Americans.
The air raid hooter (not siren) was located on top of the Dye Works in Nayland Rd.
At the end of the Croft near to the Scout Hut there is an expanse of Poplar trees, These were owned by Mr Deaves (purchased 1930) who installed a saw mill to deal with the timbers. During the early part of the 1939 war, the sawmill was commandeered by the armed forces to supply them with timber. The Garrison engineer increased the width of the Croft to accommodate the larger vehicles
Although Bures was a rural village, it did not escape the attention of the enemy. Sadly a plaque inside St Mary`s Church lists the names of four residents ( Willingham family) who lost their lives in the village.
During the night of 6th November 1940, approximately five bombs were dropped from German aircraft landing in the fields between Nayland Rd and Colchester Rd leaving several large craters.
One fell on Nayland Rd causing a hole the full width and some 9 - 12 ft deep.
The main theory behind this random attack seems to be the German aircraft was being harassed by a Spitfire. To lessen the load it jettisoned its loads of bombs over Bures..
Today these houses have been re-built as No`s 29/30 Nayland Rd.
bombs fell on the Cemetery , St Edmunds Hill and land at Lt. Bevills.
V1 rockets were not only confined the major cities, one fell on farmland
between Bakers Hall and the railway line, breaking numerous windows.
There was also a search
light position on the hilltop looking up towards the Lt Cornard TV masts,
along the Sudbury Rd.
(a)Regrettably, we also suffered losses not by the Germans but inflicted by our own side. One day, a rogue anti-aircraft shell fired from Colchester landed on the abattoir in Cuckoo Hill, injuring several and killing Mr Drury, the slaughterman.
(b)Gordon Drake was treated at St Leonards
Hospital in Sudbury for his injuries when a stray antiaircraft shell
hit the slaughterhouse on October 19th 1942. One man, Reginald Drury
was killed and another two, including Walter Smith, admitted to hospital.
The shell was reported to have come from Colchester.
To keep morale high in the population, men arrived in the village to cut up iron railings and gates from every property without even asking for the owners consent. The intended destination for all this scrap was to be melted down and turned into munitions. Like a lot of other villages found after the war, it was just dumped and made no use of whatsoever. Another source of raw material was aluminum which was required to manufacture aircraft, Aluminum saucepans were the ideal candidate and were readily handed over by housewives.
The bridge spanning the river brought
back memories as I remember soldiers coming to pack dynamite under the
bridge in case it needed to be blown up if the Germans came.
For light relief the soldiers used small bits of explosive to blow up
the fish swimming beneath the bridge - Richard Cooper
The recreation ground was deemed to
be an ideal landing platform for German paratroopers. Consequently,
during 1941 it was protected by barbed wire authorised by the War Office.
In 1945 the Parish Council were left to arrange removal. The cheapest
quote by a local contractor was agreed at £8, with the contractor
retaining the posts and wire
Bures Hall (now Nether Hall next to Bures Mill) had rooms around the rear to accommodate a few German Prisoners of War.
These were employed on the farm such as Milking the dairy herd.
Additional German POW`s were held at the Tannery (see below)
November 9th 1945 - the USAAF are pulling out of Butlers Farm and Bakers Hall the following Monday.
World War One:- June 25th 1919 (Essex
and Suffolk Free Press)
Fred Staples recalls he came across an unexploded bomb on land owned by Secretaries Farm at the Lamarsh end of the village. He quickly returned to report the incident, but it was initially greeted with some scepticism.
The bomb disposal unit later turned out to defuse the object.
A dam was built across the River the recreation ground side of Bures Mill to prevent the Germans using it as a means of transport. Remains of this construction can still be seen when the water level is low. (2008)