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 Romford News Stories

31 minutes ago
Left to right: Actors Charlie Borg and Jai Sepple

“I wish I were big” were the words that changed everything in hit 80s movie Big and theatre-goers will be able to follow what happens next as the musical adaptation makes its way to the Brookside Theatre.

10:00
Roxana received plaque certifying her IQ results from the mayor

An 11-year-old girl has been awarded membership to an exclusive society, reserved for people with the highest IQs in the country.

Yesterday, 15:00
John Brouder, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust chief executive

A £12m grant is set to train talented graduates as social workers to help people living with mental health conditions.

Yesterday, 12:00
Tower blocks, Napier and New Plynouth house

The “forgotten flats of the Mardyke Estate” could soon be demolished and replaced with modern, affordable housing.

Yesterday, 10:00
Linda Borg, Maureen Ballard, Janet Abbott, Manvir Kaur and Charlotte Oxby

A retired district nurse will join hundreds of women for a moonlit walk through Romford to support a charity close to her heart.

Fri, 16:56
A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after a collision in Southend

A motorcyclist from Upminster has been taken to hospital after a collision in Southend.

Fri, 13:40
Upminster Windmill is having its entire cap removed, including fantail and sails, for the first time since 1803, as part of the continuing resotration programme.

Today is a historic day for Upminster’s 213-year-old windmill.

Fri, 12:13
Tricia Dear, mother of 16-year-old Paddy Dear who died after falling down a cliff on his school trip.

“In your mind, you know that so much time has elapsed that hope is drifting away.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

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

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe