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We are indebted to T.J. of March, Cambridgeshire for this splendid anecdote written especially for and recalling one momentous night in the defence of Middleton St. George, County Durham. Clearly, invasion panics were not restricted to the South Coast!


It must have been September 1940 when the country was fearing invasion
by the Germans.The days were warm but there was quite a mist which
developed during the night and around dawn. The Home Guard were
called to readiness in our village.

On this particular night they were detailed to take up defensive positions on the local golf course as it was thought that paratroops would land in this area. All was very quiet until about 2 a.m. when all hell was let loose. Firing was heard in
the distance and the church bells began ringing, warning of an
invasion and waking everyone in the village. After 10 minutes or so the
shooting stopped together with the bells and everyone was advised to
return indoors but no explanation was offered. At about 6 a.m. Dad
returned and he went off to bed without a word.

The next day the truth came out. It appeared that several aircraft
passed overhead their positions and they feared the worst. They
selected their 'targets' and opened fire. As the early morning mist
began to lift they counted the bodies.....22 sheep were killed that
night but not one paratrooper!!


T.J.........4th April 2006

© TJ 2006