Wet day on the Marsh.

After the warm sunshine over the last week rain was the order of the day.  I decided to make the most of the inclement weather and cycle to the coast hoping that there would be few people around.   There wasn’t to my relief and I had an enjoyable visit to the Braunton Marsh and Crow Point.  The area is often used by the military for manoeuvres as it was  during WW2 and today was not an exception. 

Beaufighters over Blackpool Mill.

I haven’t photoshopped any WW2 planes lately but after seeing these on the Imperial War Museum Archive, which came to my attention on Google, I decided on this. The cottage is at Blackpool Beach in North Devon and has been used in many films The Night Manager being the most recent. Below I’ve added some people from a WW2 photo taken during a supplies drop in Holland again referenced off Google Images. Picture of Blackpool Mill cottage is my image.


Avro Anson approaching RAF Chivenor 1941.

P1030386 copy copy (3)Another image in this WW2 photo montage series of planes flying from RAF Chivenor. This is what it may have looked like to see an Avro Anson flying low over the flood barrier heading back to RAF Chivenor, part of Coastal Command 1941.
My mother (who lived as a child in the cottage at Little Raleigh, Roborough, Barnstaple, North Devon) remembers an aircraft crashing into the wall opposite to where she lived, near to where the North Devon District Hospital now stands. Her brother Terrance visited the site the morning after and retrieved some of the clear perspex canopy. He then made rings inlaid with paste diamonds for some of the local girls in Derby. The account in now available from Robert Palmer MA, Titled The Last Flight of Avro Anson N9817. http://www.BritishMilitaryHistory.co.uk. January 15th 1940: Avro Anson 652 reg K6271. While on a night training mission, the crew was forced to attempt an emergency landing in a Barnstaple field for an unknown reason. At the time of the accident, the visibility was poor. The crew fate remains unknown. PLANE CRASH NEAR BARNSTAPLE Albert Percival Snelling 45, Pilot Killed: Engineer Rescued. MACHINE BURNT OUT: RICKS DESTROYED. The pilot lost his life and the other occupant was seriously injured when a twin engine aeroplane crashed which had for some considerable time been at Barnstaple and North Devon Aerodrome. Bureau Of Aircraft Accidents Archive.May 15th 1941: Avro Anson N9817. Crashes at Roborough, North Devon. Two pilots were killed as was an unfortunate road worker. The crash was documented as youthful exuberance. The had been performing a falling leaf manoeuvre and had sadly stalled their aircraft.August 27th 1941: A twin engine aircraft (probably an Avro Anson ) was reported “missing” in northern Cornwall, perhaps at Harland ; This plane was from Chivenor.July 4th 1958: VV362 Avro Anson, After taxiing in at RAF Chivenor, Devon, an ambulance was reversed in front of it to transfer a patient from the Anson. The pilot increased rpm to prevent oiling the plugs but the aircraft moved forward and struck the ambulance. The fuselage was twisted and the tail damaged. There were no injuries.October 17th 1960: WD451, Following an uneventful training mission from RAF St Athan, the crew mistakenly belly landed at RAF Chivenor. The aircraft slid for several yards before coming to rest and was damaged beyond repair. Both pilots were unhurt. The probable cause was thought to be that the crew mistakenly raised the landing gear on approach instead of lowering the flaps.

Bristol Beaufighters in North Devon.

The image above is of Blackpool Mill Cottage at Hartland in North Devon.  Images of the planes are from the Imperial War Museum Archive.  The people are from Google Images of people receiving supplies during a WW2 airdrop.  The cottage has been used in many films and TV dramas and is an image of mine.

final (2)

The image above is as if you happened to be cycling around the Braunton Marsh in North Devon during the second world war. RAF Chivenor is very close to the marsh and seeing such scenes must have been common place. Original aircraft image taken from Google Images and the marsh picture is one of mine.

In July 1942 three squadrons of Bristol Beaufighters were located at RAF Chivenor in North Devon to offer protection to shipping in the Bay of Biscay and to undertake anti submarine duties.  These comprised of 235, 236 & 248  Squadrons of the RAF. Wikipedia

The cockpit of a Beaufighter 252 Squadron RAF Chivenor Imperial War Museum.
A Beaufighter and personnel of 235 Squadron, October 1942. North Devon Gazette.