Stories about WW II

Market Rasen Mail had a

“Where are they now” section in the paper

Other headlines

This one is from December 9th 1944

Protest at Legion Meeting- Italians seen with Local Women

Ex-Service men criticised the freedom enjoyed by Italians now billeted in the town at the annual British Legion meeting for the area, held at The Red Lion Hotel, Market Rasen, om Thursday week. The meeting over which Major E B Broughton presided, was the best attended for some years past and a number of interesting questions were discussed.

A large number of Italians are now working in the district, it was stated , and at night they were able to roam the streets at will. Many complaints have been received said members, of the way in which local women and girls are fraternising with Italians.

The matter is becoming a scandal” said Mr J H Eyre. Mr Eyre suggested that the Italians were abusing their privileges and urged that it should be possible for some legal action to be taken against the Italians and women who consort with them. Inquiries are to be made in the hope of finding some way of dealing with the question.

January 29th 1944

Tradesman’s daughter married

Miss Kathleen Smith’s R.A.F. Bridgegroom

Many friends in Market Rasen and district will learn with interest of the marriage , at St Andrew’s Church, Cairo of Sister Kathleen Smith, of Princess Mary’s R.A.F. Nursing services, and the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs W A Smith, of 14 Queen Street, Market Rasen to Squadron Leader A H Pooley, R.A.F.V.R., the son of Mr and Mrs W H Pooley, of Hamilton Hill, Middlesex.

Sister Smith, was given away by Group Captain Paton, wore a gown and coatee of hyacinth blue corded silk, with a floral juliet cap and veil, and carried a bouquet of cream roses. Sister Chapman, who was the bride’s only attendant, wore navy silk with a spray of cream roses.

The church was decorated with roses for the ceremony, which was choral. Squadron Leader the Rev. W J Adams officiated, assisted by Group Captain Maddock Jones, C.F. A reception was afterwards held at the Carlton Hotel, Cairo, and the honeymoon was at Alexandria.

The Day the RAF bombed Rasen

Your number one Mail talks to the man who almost went down in the history books for bombing Market Rasen-Tom Huxtable

Tom Huxtable, now lives in Vancouver, Canada, but he clearly remembers the day in 1944 when he dropped a 500lb “clanger”.

He told us; “I was stationed at the RAF bomber base at Kirmington from January 1943 to March 1945 as a crash ambulance driver on a 24hrs on 24hrs off duty roster”. However, with the advent of the D-day invasion in June 1944, the 24hrs “off” went by hte board and the M.T officer assigned to me the extra duty of hauling bombs from the bomb dump at Donnington-on-Bain. The demands on the RAF support of the invasion forces continued to the war’s end. “Sometime, around September-October 1944 I was returning to Kirmington from Donnington with my bomb tender and trailer with 20 500lbbombs and decided to stop at the roadside for a rest before reaching Caistor. Within minutes, two more bomb tenders stopped behind me and the drivers came up to me for a smoke and a chat. One of them, L.A.C. Gilbert Crease from Somerset asked me why I only has 19 bombs on the trailer instead of 20.

“Panic set in, and with all hands on deck we quickly detached my trailer and with one driver guarding the convoy of bombs, two of us returned to look for the missing bomb. We were halted by police before reaching Market Rasen who explained that an unexploded bomb had been the town. The Fire Dept was there in force, as well as the A.R.P in an otherwise evacuated town. Imagine, if you can, the look on the constable’s face when we explained that the bombe was mine and we were returning to retrieve it!

On arriving at the scene, the problem of lifting it, 500lbs of it, back onto my tender presented some head scratching-when I suddenly had a brainwave and enquired as to the whereabouts of the nearest pub with a cellar. A gleam of comprehension lit up the constable’s face when he realized I wanted the skids which beer barrels are rolled down to the pub’s cellar. With this accomplished we were soon on our way back to Kirmington.

Whether or not the authorities in Market Rasen were good sports and did not report the incident to my C.O. or whether he knew about it and never made an issue of it, I cannot say. In any event, I did not hear any further about the day the RAF dropped a bomb on Market Rasen”