A History of YALDING, Kent, England


Between the twelfth of June and the end of August 1944, Britain was to be under a special invasion threat from the launching of eight thousand flying bombs. These were obviously aimed at London, but about five thousand were to fall or be intercepted at sea, over East Sussex, the Weald or East Kent. Yalding was in direct line of this Doodle-Bug attack, but was let off more lightly than some villages by only receiving the average number of nine incidents.

At 3-45 pm on Saturday the 19th of August 1944, the sky above  Yalding  echoed  to  the drone of a Doodlebug (flying bomb). It was nudged into different directions by a  fighter pilot  before  being shot down in the centre of the Kintons, causing a hole at least eight feet deep and 35 feet  across.
The  pilot  came to the village that same evening, receiving grateful thanks from the residents.
The  location  of  the  impact  shielded  much  of  the village, but minor damage was caused to  several  houses  in Vicarage  Road, High Street, Benover Road, and obviously the cricket pavilion which was only about 35 yards away from the impact  was  wrecked.  In  the  Church, windows of the South Transept were damaged, whilst  the  complete  stained  glass East  window  was  blown  out, apart from the top four small panes.

At five to eleven on the morning of 6th of November 1944 a bomb (the ARP diary records nature undetermined) fell in Mrs Hallam's orchard, making a crater approximately 60 feet wide and 15 feet deep. Extensive damage was caused to houses in the neighbourhood, including eleven windows shattered in the church. The casualties were :­
Dr W P Griffin, severe cut on left side of neck; was taken to Pembury hospital in Barming ambulance. Marie Lewis; cut face, ear and left hand.
Barbara Monkton; cut face. Mrs M Seager; slight cuts to both arms.
Mrs Smith, Brewery Cottage; cuts to arm and hand.
Note:- In fact this was a V2 rocket. As a small lad of six at the time, the author remembers standing at the corner of The Green with a young playmate, when they heard a great whistle, then a bang, and a large piece of shrapnel fell onto the road just a few yards away, but they were unaware of what had really happened at the other end of the village.

These  were  two  of  the  major  incidents in the Parish during the Second World War, out of a total of sixty four on record.