Search

World War Two bombs shed light on history of Upminster during the war

18:00 14 April 2012

Upminster Old Chapel, in St Mary

Upminster Old Chapel, in St Mary's Lane, Upminster

Archant

The discovery of an unexploded World War Two bomb in the grounds of a school just three weeks after 22 shells were unearthed has shed new light on the history of Upminster during the war.

Historian Brian Evans said that the shells, which were found on Tuesday April 10 near the Upminster Old Chapel on the site of Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School in St Mary’s Lane, Upminster are a “unique finding”.

He said: “There are probably unexploded bombs scattered all over the borough, but this case is unique because of the number that have been found in the same location.

“It is very unusual that so many were planted there and just forgotten about.”

The police and London Fire Brigade were alerted to the latest discovery at around 7.36am on Tuesday.

Residents were adviced to leave their homes and road closures were also put in place for two hours.

It came just three weeks after builders initially dug up two shells while working on the restoration of the Upminster Old Chapel.

When the bomb disposal experts arrived, they later found 22 unexploded shells.

Brian believes that the shells were buried near the Upminster Old Chapel during the war and were going to be let off in nearby fields, but had been forgotten about.

He said: “It just shows how much they were overwhelmed during the war.

“It was hard to keep check of everything and they had probably stored the bombs there and were going to let them off because the area was just open fields at the time, but it looks like they left in a hurry and forgot where they had stored them.”

Work is currently being carried out on restoring the Upminster Old Chapel so that the building can open again to the public.

Since closing in 1987, the historic building has been neglected and was placed on English Heritage’s At Risk Register.

Brian said: “This building has been abandoned for a long time and the fact that they were storing bombs near it, just shows how little it was regarded.

“Things were usually done very efficiently during the war, but the fact that so many potentially dangerous bombs were left there, is a big oversight.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 12:33
A portrait of Hayley Anderson (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Hayley Anderson gives her view on happenings in the jungle

Yesterday, 09:00
Troy Townsend and June Kelly posing with England manager Roy Hodgson (right) during the FA 150th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

Claims teenage footballers were subjected to “monkey actions and noises” during a match are being investigated by FA chiefs.

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Musk turtles sold by Tisburys Aquatic Centre

They inspire terror in wayward ducklings, are a menace for anglers and can live for decades. What’s more they’ve made Havering home.

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Performing arts teacher Elaine Spires, at the Stages Studio, The Mercury, Mercury Gardens, Romford,

She’s an author, a screen writer, an actress, a performing arts teacher, a playwright and now the director of this year’s pantomime at the Brookside Theatre in Romford.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

The final GP in the UAE may not have been a thriller, but it did kind of sum up the season for a lot of drivers.

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.