Battle of Britain

Major air battle which took place over Horsmonden

This page aims to gather recollections of the Battle of Britain from the local perspective.

Memories from a Hopping Holiday

We were a family who spent late Summer Holidays hop picking so soon after returning to London in 1940 we went to Thompsetts Farm in Horsmonden.

Here I saw dogfights between the R.A.F. and the Luftwaffe. Many planes fell out of the sky. I vividly remember a British pilot parachuting to the ground and a British plane circling him until he was safely on the ground, then he zoomed back up to rejoin the battle.

We worked normally picking the hops while this was happening but occasionally had to take cover in ditches.

The London Blitz had already started when we got back home, so spent all our nights in the cellar for weeks on end.”

Frederick G Lumley from the WW2 People’s War. Visit bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar


German Airman Grave at Horsmonden Churchyard

“…Although Hop Picking was a working holiday for the adults, for us kids it was a holiday and we used to roam far and wide. One of our rituals was to place some hops on the grave of the German airman who was buried in the churchyard. I do not remember whether there was a name on his grave or not.”

“I do know that on one of my many return visits to the churchyard his grave was no longer there. I assumed he was ‘re-patriated’. Who was he and were his remains claimed by his family?”

Kahleen Pearson

Email response…

German Airman Grave at Horsmonden Churchyard I have just read the article by Kathleen Pearson on your site. I might be able to help.

On 20th Oct 40 a Messerschmitt Bf110C-5 (Serial L2+MR) from Gruppe 7(F)/LG2 was shot down (during a photo-recce of the Thames Estuary) by Spitfires from 92 Sqn. It force-landed at Bockingfold, Horsmonden. The aircraft burnt out and although the pilot (Oberleutnant Lemmerich) was captured, his radio op/rear gunner was killed. His rank and surname was Uffz. Ebeling. He may have been buried locally. All German war dead that died over Britain were re-interred in the German War Cemetery at Cannock Chase, Staffs after 1959 so he now be buried there.
Source The Battle of Britain – Then and Now – W.G.Ramsay.

Other aircraft we also shot down over the skies of Horsmonden so this may not be the definitive answer but it does seem to fit the bill.

Hope this helps,

Regards Simon Blackwell

Horsmonden Village Website