King's Own Royal Regiment Museum

Lancaster

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 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.


Second World War  On This Day

August 1940

1 August 1940
Adolf Hitler issued Directive Number 17, declaring his intention to intensify the air and sea war against England in order to "establish the necessary conditions for the final conquest of England".
The Duke of Windsor, former King Edward VII, left Lisbon, Portugal, in order to take up the post as Governor of the Bahamas.
The 7th Battalion, King's Own, was based in Newark.  It supplied aerodrome guards at Woolsthorpe; Swinderby; Winthorpe and Balderton.
The 8th Battalion, King's Own, moved to Bournemouth in order to take over beach defences.
2 August 1940
A French Military Court tried General Charles de Gaulle in his absence and found him guilty of treason and sentenced him to death.  He remained the leader of the Free French in London throughout the war.
3 August 1940
The Italian Army invaded British Somaliland in East Africa.
The 8th Battalion, King's Own, took over the coastal defence in the Bournemouth area from the 4th Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.  They had many duties and a long stretch of beach to guard.
4 August 1940
Operation Hurry ended in British success and RAF Hurricane aircraft landed in Malta to aid the defence of the island.
5 August 1940
The August Bank Holiday was cancelled.
The 5th Battalion, King's Own, with headquarters in Thirsk, received the first day time air raid warning.
6 August 1940
It was stated in the House of Commons that it was the aim to have a canteen in each military camp, which would be either run by the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute (NAAFI) or run by a voluntary body.
A question was asked in the House of Commons as to the cost to the taxpayer of the change of title from 'Local Defence Force' to 'Home Guard'.  The Secretary of State for War, Anthony Eden, said that the cost was estimated at 3 500.
7 August 1940
Exeter was bombed by the Germans for the first time.
Another question was asked in the House of Commons about the cost of the supply of Home Guard arm bands to replace the LDV arm bands, and if the change of title would be re-considered.  The answer was no.  In Lancaster the LDV arm bands appear to have been reused, with the addition of a sew on patch with the words 'Home Guard', which no doubt reduced the cost.
8 August 1940
The German Luftwaffe began targeting British ports and harbours.
In the House of Commons it was reported that more than 11 000 refugees from Gibraltar had been accommodated in flats in London.
9 August 1940
The German Luftwaffe made its first air raid on Birmingham.
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester visited the 8th Battalion, King's Own.
10 August 1940
Across the country road signs had been removed so as not to give aid to enemy troops in locating their position.
Men of the 5th Battalion, King's Own, underwent training in the gas chamber.
11 August 1940
The German Luftwaffe campaign to defeat the Royal Air Force over the English Channel ended with only limited German victory.
12 August 1940
General Alan Brooke, Commanding UK Home Forces, visited the 8th Battalion, King's Own, to inspect the coastal defences at Sidmouth, Devon.
The second phase of the Battle of Britain began, and the Luftwaffe began to target Royal Air Force airfields.  Coastal Radar installations were also bombed, five being damaged.
13 August 1940
The German military operation 'Aldertage' or 'Eagle Day' was put in to action - this had the aim of the destruction of the Royal Air Force, but eventually this failed.
A question was asked in the House of Commons about the damage done to crops, fences, walls and buildings, as a result of the defence works, including pill boxes, which were being constructed across the country.  A Royal Engineer officer was responsible for all local works and care was to be taken over the damage done.
It was stated in the House of Commons that an airmail letter from the UK to the USA was usually delivered in ten days.
It was reported in the House of Commons that some 9 120 Germans, Austrians and Italians were sent from internment camps in the UK to Canada or Australia at various dates between 21 June and 10 July 1940.
It was reported in the House of Lords 11 000 refugees from Gibraltar, most not speaking English and the majority women and children, had been accommodation in hotels and flats in London.  This has required the relocation of 23 families from the flats.
In Australia, the Canberra Air Crash resulted in the death of the Chief of the Australian General Staff; Minister for Air; Minister for the Army; the Vice President of the Executive Committee; a staff officer to the CAGS and four air crew.  A major blow to the Australian war effort losing so many senior officers in the crash.
14 August 1940
Lancaster's Home Guard had just taken receipt of medical equipment, rifles and bayonets.
It was reported in the House of Commons that a shortage of towels meant that the London Midland Scottish Railway were only placing towels in first class lavatories of troop trains.
15 August 1940
Today was the biggest air engagement of the Battle of Britain to date, major attacks were launched by the Luftwaffe.  The Germans lost 76 aircraft to the British 34. 
A bumper plum crop which had ripened earlier than expected, meant there was a great surplus of plums.  These were to be harvested and supplied to both the Royal Army Service Corps and the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes, as plum jam or tinned.  The manufacture of plum jam also affected the sugar allocation.
16 August 1940
The Royal Air Force attacked the Fiat manufacturing plant in Turin, Italy.
The 5th Battalion, King's Own, took part in a Divisional scheme at Osmotherly, when four carriers got bogged.
17 August 1940
Adolf Hitler ordered a total blockade of Britain as a means of weakening the islands prior to the German invasion.
The 5th Battalion, King's Own, were ordered to dig slit trenches at Thirsk Racecourse and Skelfield School
18 August 1940
In the Battle of Britain the Germans lost 69 aircraft and the British lost 29.
In Lancaster the Home Guard dug slit trenches and weapon pits around the city to defend against invasion.
19 August 1940
Poor weather between 19 and 23 August meant that the Germans were unable to fly and the Royal Air Force ground crews were able to repair the airfields.
The Commanding Officer, 5th Battalion, King's Own, exercised the motor cycle platoon and Molotoff Platoon.  The 'Molotoff' platoon was equipped with improvised bombs, made from petrol filled glass bottles, with a ignitable rag in the top.  The name originates from the Finns in the Winter War against the Soviet Union, when Molotoff [Molotov] was the Soviet Foreign Minister.
20 August 1940
Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a speech in the House of Commons about the on going Battle of Britain in which he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
The House of Commons was told that British troops in Iceland had a good supply of games equipment, radio sets and books.  A mobile cinema has been sent out and others will follow.  It was hoped to send a concert party when the necessary arrangements could be made.
21 August 1940
The SS Anglo Saxon, carrying Welsh coal to Argentina was sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser, the Widder.  The Widder machine gunned survivors who had taken to lifeboats and failed to search for any survivors.  Seven survivors were able to escape in the ships 'jolly boat' and 70 days later and after travelling 2 800 miles two survivors landed in the Bahamas. 

22 August 1940
The first German bomb dropped in the London Civil Defence Area fell at Harrow, North West London.
23 August 1940
At twenty past midnight members of South Lonsdale Battalion of the Home Guard spotted a group of men pushing something which looked like a machine gun mounted on wheels and with the Germans expected any hour, they nearly opened fire on them, but discovered it was a group of cocklers.
King George VI commanded that the names of all Germans and Italians be removed from the list of British titles and decorations.  Few German Nazis were affected, but honours to both Benito Mussolini and King Victor Emmanuel III were removed.
24 August 1940
The German Luftwaffe dropped bombs on the City of London and Oxford Street.  Winston Churchill ordered that the Royal Air Force was to bomb Berlin in retaliation.
25 August 1940
The Royal Air Force bombed Berlin for the first time, doing little damage and no one was killed, however it was a serious embarrassment that the RAF had been able to do this.
The 8th Battalion, King's Own, defending the Bournemouth area, noted a shower of incendiary bombs fell on Hengistbury Head (pictured).
26 August 1940
The German Luftwaffe bombed the village of Wexford on the east coast of Ireland, killing three women.
27 August 1940
The British armed merchant cruiser, HMS Dunvegan Castle, was torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Ireland, with the lost of 27 of her 289 crew.
28 August 1940
The first major air raid on the City of Liverpool took place.
The 8th Battalion, King's Own, defending the Bournemouth area, noted that high explosive bombs landed on the battalion's front, but they all fell in the sea.
29 August 1940
The Commanding Officer of the 5th Battalion, King's Own, exercised his Molotoff and Carrier Platoons.  The 'Molotoff' platoon was equipped with improvised bombs, made from petrol filled glass bottles, with a ignitable rag in the top.  The name originates from the Finns in the Winter War against the Soviet Union, when Molotoff [Molotov] was the Soviet Foreign Minister.
30 August 1940
In the Battle of Britain the German Luftwaffe launched 1310 sorties against Britain.  41 German fighters were destroyed with the loss of 39 Spitfires.  The Royal Air Force bombed Berlin and the oil refinery in Rotterdam. 
31 August 1940
The Texel disaster took place off the Dutch coast when British destroyers steamed into an unmarked mine field.  HMS Esk was sunk and HMS Express was severely damaged.  More than 300 were killed and 100 men were taken prisoner of war.

September 1940

 

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 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

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