This section is dedicated to memories of residents. There are many contributions made by past and present residents about people and dwellings in the village. If you want to contribute or make comments, please use the feedback option or contact the authors directly if their contact details are provided. We will make every effort to put you in touch, should you wish so.
The order of the document is that first there is a section with contributions around memories in general and then those that concerned with a particular dwelling, person/family or event.
There are also more general document relating to the planning history of the village.
As published in the Village Venture April 2019
Brattleby at war 1939 – 1945
Further memories of Arthur Melton
Our family’s war began on 6th of April 1939, some five months before the official date, when we were forced to vacate the farm house we lived in at Ingham Cliff for the Ministry of Defence to begin to build RAF Ingham airfield. This, when completed, was to be manned by two squadrons of the Polish Airforce, flying Welling- ton bombers.
From Ingham Cliff, we moved to Glebe Farm at the top of Brattleby hill, just a ‘stone’s throw’ from RAF Scampton airfield (RAF Brattleby became RAF Scampton in 1938) where my father took on the job of Stockman, looking after the animals. The effects of war became startlingly evident with the issue of identity cards, gas masks and ration books. My identity number was, TNSD 46/3.?Gas masks came in various forms, a standard one for adults and ‘larger’ children, a smaller ‘Mickey Mouse’ one for toddlers and an all-encompassing rubber/ canvas model with a plastic ‘window’ in it, for babies. I remember mine came in a metal box with a shoulder strap, which was very handy for carrying my school lunch in.
(Gas masks were also available for horses and dogs) Food rationing was a big issue for families. Fortunately, as my dad was a farm worker, he was entitled to a 25 stone pig each year (part of a farm workers wage at the time) this was reduced to half a pig following the outbreak of war.
Father had a 410 shot gun and supplemented our meat ration by shooting rabbits. However, it wasn’t long before cartridges became unobtainable, after which, we were obliged to ‘snare’ them, poacher style.
As the war progressed, the local Home Guard was formed with Mr Fieldsend being appointed Commanding Officer, with the majority of the ‘troopers’ recruited from local farm workers.
In the troop was a conscientious objector called Claud H, who refused to take part in any military exercises, but he was never ostracised for his beliefs.?Before any kit or arms were available, they had to carry out their ‘drill’ with long sticks, or pitch forks. They were eventually issued with uniforms and Lee En-?field .303 rifles. These could be fitted with a thing called, ‘A Cup Discharger’, this was fitted to the end of the rifle - which was loaded with a blank cartridge – a flat bottomed - hand grenade was placed in the ‘cup’ and when fired, had a range of about 100 yards.
War games (training) took place in Pitts Wood at the top of Brattleby Hill, where ‘cracker strips’ (similar to those in Christmas crackers) were attached to the sten guns, which when pulled, sounded like automatic gun fire, blank cartridges not being available.
Regular regiments too, were involved in training in Pitts Wood, notably, the Sher- wood Foresters and the Lincolnshire Regiment, after which, they were obliged to build a fire and cook a hot meal in their ‘billycans’.
Just below the brow of the hill road, several 40 gallon drums filled with Phos- phorous were hidden in the banking, about 25 yards apart, the idea being, if the enemy came up the hill, the barrels would rolled down the hill and ignited by an explosive device.
Another weapon designed to be used if we were invaded, was called a ‘Blaka- bombard’ (a Mortar) this was sited on Aisthorpe hill (now a track to the sewage disposal plant) in a 60 acre field. The weapon was quite capable of shooting a projectile 350 yards.
After the war the remaining projectiles were disposed of - still in their card- board containers - down a deep Well and covered with soil.
I guess, they must still be down there? ---------
Next month – “There was a massive explosion, as a 4000 pound bomb blew in the school windows!”?About the Author - Arthur – Art to his friends - was born in Brattleby on the 8th of July 1933. As his story says, his childhood and teenage years were dominated by the Second World War. He joined the RAF as an eighteen year old to do his National Service. He left as a qualified RAF engine fitter in 1956. His hopes of continuing a career in the aircraft industry as a civilian were curtailed by the advent of the Suez war, the resulting shortage of fuel causing a recession in the industry.
He completed a welding course at Lincoln Technical College and worked as a welding engineer for various local companies, including Den Wiles’ at Aisthorpe (now AJ engineering)
In 1964 Art married Sandra and they bought a house in Albany Street, off Bur- ton Road. After working as a welding foreman at Ruston’s Boiler-Works for twelve years, he was made redundant in April 1972, when the company was sold.
Due to job issues, Art and Sandra took the decision in September 1972 to emi- grate to New Zealand, settling in New Plymouth, a city on the west coast of the North Island, taking up a job as a welder with a firm making electrical trans- formers. He continued his career taking various welding industry courses, eventually becoming a ‘Certified Welding Inspector’.
By now, they had two grown up sons, both working in Australia, one in Perth, the other in Melbourne. Art and Sandra eventually followed their second son to a place called Werribee, a suburb of Melbourne, where they’ve since lived for many years.
In Art’s own words,?“Maybe this will be our final resting place, so remember me to Brattleby”.
Sincere Thanks to Art for his enthralling stories. Without his memories, the account of the Brattleby war years would be lost forever.?
A View from Brattleby June 2018 by Mike Spencer (as published in the Village Venture June 2018)
Derek Franklin (Memorial Fund)
Following the Coffee Morning of the 9th of December the current total raised amounts to £1040. We would like to thank all those who have donated so generously and kindly. These included Jo Mark and Patrons of the Black Horse, Ingham.
As the sum raised is greater than the cost of a head stone, a ‘bench seat’ will be purchased and placed in Brattleby village in memory of Derek.
by Roy Thornhill
I believe most of us think it is a good idea to commemorate both Derek and his mother with a memorial.
Ernest Derek Franklin may not have been easily understood, he was different, as most of us are in many ways. All I will say is that fate dealt Derek a very poor hand losing both his mother and his sister leaving him sadly to cope with his serious illness alone.
Imagine a son reunited with his loving mother and imagine what she, his mother, would like to see as a fitting tribute to her son.
I trust we all bear this in mind when we hear or read of any account of his life.
by Janet Rose
Dear Mike, I read your moving description of the very sad circumstances in which Derrick passed away and the subsequent events which followed. I am in complete agreement regarding a proper head stone for both him and his mother. Even if people who cared when he was alive were unable to help because of his reluctance to accept any,it is important to mark his life in Brattleby with the head stone in St Cuthberts. I hope the coffee morning will be a success and will try to attend but I will make a donation anyway. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, it shows how important neighbourliness is in our villages,Kind regards,Janet.
Brattleby in 928 -1086
In 928 to be exact - to 1086, a man called Colswain – or Kolsveinn - was lord of the Manor of Brattleby and tenant in chief of Lincolnshire. He was one of only two Englishmen holding estates of Baronial dimensions at the time of the Doomsday Survey, with some 50 other Lincolnshire Manors under his control. So, with so many different places he could have lived, why did he choose Brattleby?
Colswain had a daughter called Muriel - born in 1105 at Brattleby – she eventually married Robert De La Haye and as far as can be ascertained, continued to live in Brattleby.
To save confusion for the reader, the story of the family moves on. Their daughter, Lady Nicholaa Del La Haye was born in 1169. Nicholaa proved to be one of the great women of her time, becoming Castellan of Lincoln castle, Sheriff of Lincolnshire and a valued friend of King John.
History says - “In May 1217 she doggedly led the defence of Lincoln Castle during the battle of Lincoln, she possessed extensive estates in Lincolnshire, centred on Brattleby.”
In the 13th century the barony of Brattleby eventually passed to Nicholaa’s granddaughter, Idonea de Camville (married name) again born in Brattleby – in 1209.
Just where in the village this important family lived is anyone’s guess. I suspect the most likely place would be where the current Brattleby Hall now stands?
So at some point, our village must have been a very important place, the question remains unresolved as to why this would be.
The Great War
2014 will be a significant year, it being 100 years since the start of the First World War. Many ‘older’ residents – myself included - will have parents or grandparants who were involved – in one form or another - in what became known as, ‘The Great War’.
One Brattleby resident, William Simons, who lived in a ‘two up and two down’ Brattleby cottage with his parents, 4 brothers and 3 sisters, wrote - with pencil on lined paper - the following letter from the trenches in France...
Just a line hoping to find you quite well as it leaves me at present. You will think I have forgotten you but it is such a job to get paper where we are now. You will know I am not with the battalion and my proper address is B Company 1st Lincolns attached to 175 Tunnelling Company BEF France.
I have not got the parcel you sent I may do yet as it would go to the battalion and it might have got lost but I have got your other letters alright we are having a good time here and having some beautiful weather. I think the news is better and I don’t think it will be long before its all over. I wish I was back at the old job again now it would be a change. I like this job better than the other and get on with it well I must now conclude hoping to hear from you again soon. With best love to you all your loving brother William.
William wrote this letter on 14th of August 1918. He was killed 2 months later. Whether he eventually received his parcel or not, we’ll never know.
William’s tragic death – like a number of other Brattleby residents during the war – is celebrated for ‘all time’ on the pillars of the Memorial Gates to St Cuthbert’s church on the main road.
His parents out lived him by 40 years, both dying within half an hour of each, on the 27th of November 1947 - in different hospitals. They were laid to rest in Brattleby Churchyard . Those haunting words by John Maxwell Evans,
“When you go home tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today”
seem even more poignant considering William never did make it back to his beloved Brattleby spending almost 100 years buried somewhere in a field in France.
As the village has a number of listed war casualties, it’s the intention of Brattleby Parish Council to commemorate the Centenary of the 1st World War during the current year. If any resident would like to be involved, please contact the author.