New book describes town in Second World War

New book describes town in Second World War

Eddie Prescott’s Tonbridge at War describes the ‘people, events and situations’ from 1939-45, including maps and more than 50 photographs.

The book is priced at £7.50 and is available from a variety of outlets, with all net proceeds going to The Salvation Army.

Mr Prescott has given several talks on the subject, including at Cage Green Primary School. He is a regular speaker about various aspects of the war – he has four engagements in Tonbridge this autumn, and recently spoke four times on a cruise ship touring Germany.

The book took him two years to write. He said: “I gained a lot of very useful information from meetings and interviews with Tonbridge residents who were children during the war.”

Among them was Harry Elliott, who was featured in the Times earlier this year. “Harry was a wealth of information about the two V-1 flying bombs that landed on the Racecourse Sportsground and Tinker’s Island.

“During an hour’s walk one day, he showed me exactly where the V-1s had impacted and where he had been playing when the Tinker’s Island bomb passed overhead.”

Mr Prescott also consulted two local historians, Pam Mills, co-author of this year’s  1,000-page The History of Tonbridge and Its People in the Great War, and Dr John Ray, who has written books about the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.

Mr Prescott’s stepfather Jim Butler (inset) was an RAF pilot during the war. “I was inspired by his memory, and the book is dedicated to him.

“Like myself, he was a lifelong Tonbridge resident and a former pupil at The Judd School. He had a lot of respect and admiration for The Salvation Army based on his wartime experiences.”

He chose to support the charity because it is ‘a very worthy organisation helping wherever and however they can with the poor and the needy.

He added: “I always admire the enthusiasm of the old gentleman collecting for them in the High Street. He’s happy and content to sing at the top of his voice with the aid of his little portable radio.”

Mr Butler’s Mosquito from the famous Banff Strike Wing attacked German ships carrying Swedish iron ore in the Norwegian fjords.

Mr Prescott has already been raising money for another worthy cause this year, donating £4,000 to Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex.

Following in the airborne footsteps of his stepfather, he performed a wingwalk on a Boeing Stearman biplane at RFC Rendcomb, a First World War airfield in Gloucestershire.

“It was the closest thing I’ve done to flying like a bird,” he said. “The most memorable thing whilst sitting on top of the wing, without any protection other than a pair of goggles, was the impact of the120mph wind on my face.”

Mr Prescott also abseiled 330 feet down the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, raising a total of £4,000 for the Air Ambulance.


Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter