Freda Thorpe

Incident Date:03/07/1942
Incident Address.Sett View, Spring Vale Road, Hayfield, Derbys
Died Address:Sett View, Spring Vale Road, Hayfield, Derbys
Grave Details:S/2784 CoE
Grave Photo:Yes
Cemetery or Memorial:Manchester (Southern) Cemetery
Town Memorial:Not Listed
Extra Information:
CWGC - Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Thorpe, of
78 Mount Road, Belle Vue, Manchester. Died at
Spring Vale Road, Hayfield.

One of the Ironies of war.   Freda was evacuated
out of Manchester up to Hayfield, Derbyshire - a
"safe" area.

Born during the March quarter 1932 in the
Manchester South R.D. - ref: 8d/37, daughter of
Edward & Lillie Thorpe (nee Callaghan), 78 Mount
Road, Belle Vue, Manchester.

Her mother - Lillie Thorpe (Nee Callaghan) was the
sister of Able Seaman Peter Callaghan who was also
killed during WW2.  Her two young brothers, her
grand-mother - Mrs. Callaghan and her aunt - Mrs.
R. Bramhall, were all injured in the incident.

Hayfield Bombing Incident - July 1942 - Two low
flying Junkers attackers which appeared on clear
midsummer evening of July 1942 were not so lucky. 
 These caused an alert in Manchester which lasted
from 8.l0pm to 8.23pm. Approaching from Morecambe
Bay on a south-easterly course, their target was
what they believed to be the Havilland propeller
works Lostock Hall, near Farington, south of
Preston.  Apparently unable locate their target,
they continued on course and were seen to pass low
over Trafford Park, where if had opportunity to
bomb to effect. Instead, they pressed on and were
recognised over Withington by an RAF man on leave
and were again recognised low over Burnage Lane
near the Renolds works.

The real de Havilland Propellers Ltd works, which
should have been the target, confusingly for the
Germans was at Lostock, five miles west of Bolton
and close to the bombers’ route, but again this,
if sought, was missed.
Passing into Derbyshire, one them bombed New Mills
gasworks whilst the air-gunners fired into the
town. The machines then head north-east to
Hayfield, where two 50 kilo HE and some incendiary
bombs demolished three cottages. Six people were
killed here.

The pair then crossed Kinder Scout, turned
south-east again and bombed Eyam Quarry, where a
crusher shed and blacksmith’s shop were damaged.
Passing over Chatsworth House, they machine gunned
its roof, but the ROC post at Collingham,
Nottinghamshire, reported their approach to 12
Group of Fighter Command. Four aircraft from 303
Squadron, based at RAF Kirton in Lindsey,
Lincolnshire was scrambled to intercept them.

303 Squadron's Operations Record Book for the 3rd
July states that:-  At 20.05 hrs, Four Spitfire Mk
Vb aircraft were scrambled.  Flt. Sgt. Wunsche and
Flt. Sgt. Popek - Yellow Section. Fl. Off. Koleki
and Sgt. Rokitnicki - White Section.

Yellow section were up first and Flt. Sgt Wunsche
observed two enemy aircraft Ju88's over the Wragby
area of Lincolnshire, flying very low in a
south-easterly direction.  Sgt. Wunsche attacked
first, three-quarters from astern and above firing
a short burst from 300 yards. Flt. Sgt. Popeck
took the right hand aircraft and attacked from
astern and above giving a long burst which he
broke off at a distance of about 20 yards.   The
Ju88 with both engines smoking was seen to hit
farm buildings  - [Odin's Farm,  Aswardby,
Spilsby, Lincolnshire - east of Horncastle] -
about 6 miles from Wragby [?] - the crew of four
were all killed.

Flt. Sgt.Wunsche and Flt. Sgt. Popeck attacked the
second u88 firing a series of short bursts. At
this moment Pilot Officer Kolecki also attacked,
gave a burst and broke away followed by followed
by Sgt. Rokitnicki who gave a series of bursts
causing this Ju88 to force land near Harcastle
(sic) - [actually at Limes Farm, Baumber,
north-west of Horncastle].  One blade of the
propellor of Flt. Sgt. Popek's airfcraft was
damaged by bullet holes.  Two Ju88's destroyed.

Commemorated on both St. Matthew's Parish Church,
Hayfield and the Hayfield Village Hall War

Manchester (City of Manchester)
Memorials found on:
Hayfield Village & Village Hall
St. Matthews P.C., Hayfield
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