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Accident enigma over wartime 'invasion'

PUBLISHED: 20:56 21 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:42 03 March 2010

A BROTHER and sister are still searching for clues to their father's death 62 years after he died in a mystery accident with an Army lorry soon after it was feared Germans had tried to invade the Suffolk coast.

SIXTY two years after died in a mystery accident with an army lorry a A BROTHER and sister are still searching for clues to their father's death 62 years after he died in a mystery accident with an Army lorry soon after it was feared Germans had tried to invade the Suffolk coast.

Pensioner Phyllis Honey admits that some of her childhood memories have become hazy but she is quite clear about one conversation 52 years ago which has remained etched on her mind since she was aged 10.

She recollected her grandfather George Bridges talking to her father William Bridges when he said: ''These bodies had been discovered, they were burnt and had German uniforms on.''

This conversation is believed to have occurred shortly before William Bridges died on October 2, 1940, in an accident close to the family home at Hazelwood Street, on the outskirts of Aldeburgh.

It is widely believed that in August the Germans had attempted to invade Suffolk but they were beaten back when the sea was set alight, and some German bodies were washed ashore at Shingle Street. This has been strenuously denied by the Ministry of Defence.

Mr Bridges was working on the Aldeburgh river wall during the war when he was sacked on October 2. Mrs Honey said her father had walked into Aldeburgh to drown his sorrows at The Cross pub at the bottom of Church Hill.

The family was woken in the middle of the night by a policeman's knock at the door and they were informed Mr Bridges, 41, had been hit by an Army lorry, the lorry had gone up the bank and then fell on top of him. The accident occurred by the golf club when Mr Bridges was walking home in the dark and he had apparently been hit when the lorry swerved to avoid him.

An inquest was held but it was adjourned because of an air raid and was never resumed.

This has left Mrs Honey, of Norwich Road, Barham, and her brother Leslie Bridges, of Folly End, Aldeburgh, who was eight at the time of the accident, with several unanswered questions about their father's death.

Why was he dismissed from work?

Why was he hit by the lorry on the left hand side of the road when he was always mindful to walk on the right and he was seen doing so just minutes earlier?

The family said they were upset at claims made this month in a television programme that the ''failed Nazi invasion'' was nothing more than an elaborate hoax drummed up by the propaganda unit to boost morale.

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