Villager recalls the night they were bombed

PUBLISHED: 10:02 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 26 October 2009

Flight sergeant W E Sapsed, from Bottom Farm, Codicote, standing, left, with his colleagues

Flight sergeant W E Sapsed, from Bottom Farm, Codicote, standing, left, with his colleagues

CHARLES Crane from Hill Road, Codicote, was 13 years old when German bombers targeted the village. The raid took place on October 2, 1940, the night before the infamous bombing of de Havilland. It was during the night, he said. We were in bed and these

The Codicote Red Cross team

CHARLES Crane from Hill Road, Codicote, was 13 years old when German bombers targeted the village.

The raid took place on October 2, 1940, the night before the infamous bombing of de Havilland.

"It was during the night," he said.

"We were in bed and these planes scattered Codicote with a load of incendiary bombs.

"My first memory of it was a gentleman who came up the road making a racket with a spade and a shovel shouting 'get up, get up, Codicote is on fire!

"My father woke me up and my brother.

"We grabbed shovels and headed into the village where we tried to extinguish it with soil.

"The allotments were alight, everywhere was alight.

"One cottage in New Town had a bomb go right through the roof of the bedroom.

"A lady was in bed with a child and the bomb had come through their roof."

The 81-year-old, who was living in New Town at the time, remembers how he didn't have to go to school the next morning as they were up all night helping fight the fire.

Mr Crane claimed this highlighted the "camaraderie" in the village during the war.

He added: "On that same night the farm was set alight by one of the doodlebugs. "Flames were pouring out of the building and all the animals were very scared. It was quite traumatic seeing Codicote on fire."

He also remembered seeing the plane that attacked de Havilland flying over the village.

"I was very surprised to read last week that the bomber had not flown from the Hatfield site before as the way he flew over us the next morning he looked pretty sure where he was going.

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