Moulton during World War II

Moulton in the Second World War

Out of a population of about 600, Moulton was able to put 48 persons into war service. Of those, 7 were killed.

In the 1939/40 a small army camp existed on Primrose Hill. Twenty or thirty men were billeted in wooden huts. Their task was to man and maintain the searchlight which was positioned on the crown of the hill.

(The last traces of the searchlight position were removed in 1988.) There were two pill boxes sited on each side of the road, at the turn into Primrose Hill Farm, these were demolished soon after the war.

Further along the Gazeley Road on the right hand side is an air raid shelter, used by personnel manning a mobile beacon, which flashed morse letters, used to guide the bombers home after raids, to their bases at Snailwell, Newmarket and Lakenheath. The shelter was built as the beacon was attacked on at least one occasion. In the last years of the war the U.S.A.F took over the manning the beacon.

Beside the footpath from Moulton to Dalham, on the left hand side, trenches can still be seen. These were dug by troops camped in the woods nearby in the early stages of the war. The presence of troops must have been spotted by the enemy, who dropped a stick of bombs from Catford Bridge out into the fields towards to the north west. Until recently several craters could still be seen, one being beside the footpath.

More bombs fell behind Moulton Manor, near Lanwades House and on Chippenham Hill, all in separate attacks.

Moulton Paddocks House became H.Q. for one army command as well as accommodation. The surrounding woods provided cover for equipment of all kinds. In the village several soldiers were billeted with local families.

A large R.E.M.E. workshop was situated in Lanwades Park, on the left of the Moulton/ Kennett Road, not far from the Bell Inn. (Lanwades Park is in the Parish of Moulton). Up to the 1970's the old Guard Room still stood by the road and some wartime buildings were still standing. Most (1993) have now been demolished.

A Blenheim bomber, with its crew of three, crashed in Moulton Paddocks. The remains of the aircraft and crew were scattered near the end of Chalky Road, not far from the Bury Road, there were no survivors.

Both Italian and German prisoners of war, worked in the village on local farms and clearing the river. Some were billeted with local families or lived in huts, near their places of worked. The Italians were noted for their carving skills and the Germans for their hard work. Both the Jennings and Saltmarsh families kept in contact with their 'guests' long after the war.

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