Brandon, Suffolk, UK.
When you travel through the town today you may not appreciate it has history. A rich history in fact. Hundreds of years ago it was a crossing point of the Little Ouse, from the fens into East Anglia. The High Street was adorned with inns and hotels for the weary traveller, and there is still evidence of this today. Then in the 1840s the railway came to the town. In fact the powers that be deemed Brandon was was more vital for receiving a branch line than neighbouring Thetford, although both towns did get one.
So, naturally when war came to the nation, Brandon with its railway, roads and river crossing were of strategic importance. This was recognised by the military in WW2 when it was classed as a “defended town”, and would be fought for tooth and nail should the Nazis invade. Even Mildenhall did not get this classification. Few people know Brandon was at the centre of a guerilla team who would unearth themselves and attack the occupying enemy.
But then, possibly of more interest, are the events and recollections of those who lived through the town during those times. In both world wars Brandon was overflowing with servicemen stationed in and around the town. It was also an exciting time for the school children who would cycle to aircraft crashes to look for perspex, although it was scary at time, especially when the school was machine gunned by a German bomber during one lunch time.
Please click on the links at the top of this page for more details of life in the world wars. You will also see a link to the ‘store’ where you can purchase to keep as a permanent reference of some of my research. You may also be interested in a Facebook page, where memories of Brandon are shared between the many members.
‘Brandon at War’ is my hobby. I hope you enjoy it.
– Darren Norton