WONERSH
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HISTORY SOCIETY
PASSENGER TRAIN ATTACKED On Wednesday 16 December 1942, a two-coach train carrying Christmas shoppers from Guildford had just pulled out of Bramley & Wonersh Station when it was attacked by a single Dornier 217 aircraft. The plane machine-gunned the train and reportedly dropped three bombs one of which exploded on the embankment. 36 people were injured and seven people lost their lives: George Budd, 19 Cambridge Road, Horsham age 45 (driver of the train) - died in hospital Mr Jeal, 5 Cradstone Road, Horsham died in hospital (guard of the train) Donald Melville Clyde (a soldier) Mrs A M Sevenoaks, 80 Clarence Road, Horsham Mrs Ada V Newham, Parmella House, Market Place, Devizes George Marshall, Kippington, Sevenoaks - died in hospital Michael Broomfield, Alexandra Road, Farnbrough (a schoolboy from Christs Hospital) - died in hospital The fireman and the porter-in-charge of the station attended the wounded and dying, later helped by six soldiers who were billetted nearby. Afterwards fireman William Fairey and porter-in-charge Violet Wisdom were presented with certificates of merit for their actions, and Miss Wisdom was singled out for her " great courage and resource directly the bombs had fallen ". The plane flew on to Guildford Railway Station. No-one was hurt but there was damage to buildings in the area including to what was then known as the Guildford County School for Girls. In 2015, new signage was erected on the front of the main building and workmen discovered a bullet still lodged in the wall. Quotes taken from BBC WW2 People’s War website (Ruth Bailey and Richard E Moore) and getSURREY article from July 2013 (George Carter)
Photo from War on the Line by Bernard Darwin, Middleton Press
“ I can remember getting up off the seat and feeling blood running down my face from cuts on my head and ear and thinking well, I am still alive” Ruth Bailey
“The siren sounded so I got down between two houses for cover. It was a Dornier and I saw it follow the line of the railway, the bomb door opened and I saw three bombs fall out. I think one bomb went through the bedroom of a house in Eastwood Road and came out the other side." George Carter, Farncombe
“The blast had pulled one side of both carriages off, and pulled much of the glass from the opposite windows through the train; it was this that had inflicted most of the injuries" Richard E Moore