Major changes occurred for Bewdley in World War II. A sleepy backwater no more, it bristled with American and Canadian troops, Bailey bridges were slung across the Severn, tank carriers resided by the football ground, sentry posts sprouted on the town approaches, residents scurried to air raid shelters and cellars, German bombers followed the Severn, French cadets were trained at Ribbesford and General De Gaulle took the salute outside the town hall.
Women made ammunition and drove ambulances, Allied pilots trained in the skies above the town – sometimes with fatal consequences – and excitement and terror erupted on a day when claims were made of enemy parachutists landing on the town’s outskirts.
I am looking for more memories about Bewdley in World War II, told by those who lived through it and those who heard stories about it generations later. Perhaps ancient diaries still exist detailing the days of call-up, ration books, volunteering for the Home Guard or joining the Women’s Voluntary Service. And some residents may have photographs. The plan is to produce a Bewdley Historic Research Group publication available online on Bewdley in World War II.
If you would like to be included in the project, please contact David Thomas via the group’s website.