|1 September 1940
RAF Biggin Hill airfield,
in Kent, was heavily damaged in a bombing raid
|2 September 1940
The oil tanker
'Cymbeline' was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean, south
west of the Cape Verde islands by the German Auxiliary cruiser 'Widder',
with the loss of 7 crew. 26 survivors were taken prisoner
of war. This included 14 year old deck boy Kenneth Berry
who later became a member of the 'British Free Corps' which
recruited from prisoner of war and internment camps in Germany,
with the purpose of fighting against the communist forces on the
Eastern Front. In May 1945 Berry was captured by the Red
Army who thought he was a British prisoner of war out of
uniform, and handed him to the American Army, who flew him to
England on 12th May 1945. For his treason he was sentenced
to 9 months imprisonment.
|3 September 1940
Adolf Hitler sets the
date for Operation Sealion, the German invasion of Britain, as
21st September 1940.
|4 September 1940
Adolf Hitler told a crowd
at a rally in Berlin: "When the British air force drops two or
three thousand kilograms of bombs, then we will in one night
drop 150, 230, 300, or 400 thousand kilograms, we will raise
their cities to the ground"
|5 September 1940
Oil storage tanks at
Thameshaven, Essex, were targeted by German bombers. The
fire could be seen from London.
|6 September 1940
The Germans bombed
Grantham, the Headquarters of No 5 Group Royal Air Force.
|7 September 1940
The Blitz began when the
German air force stopped bombing air fields and aircraft
factories, and started bombing London and other cities in
response to the RAF bombing Berlin. This allowed RAF
fighter command to re-group.
The 8th Battalion, King's
Own, received the signal 'Cromwell' which was the signal that a
German invasion was imminent. 'Cromwell' remained in place
until 19 September with the battalion stood at full readiness.
The 7th Battalion, King's Own, also received the signal
'Cromwell'. All road blocks were manned and all guards and
detachments to 'stand to'.
|8 September 1940
London woke up to the
damage from a night of saturation bombing. Bombing took
place both during the day and over night. London would
experience 57 consecutive nights of bombing.
|9 September 1940
The Italian invasion of
Egypt began. Advancing from Libya the aim was to seize the
Suez Canal, but in effect the aim on the first day was Sidi
Barrani, 60 miles from the Libyan border.
air force also bombed Tel Aviv in Mandatory Palestine, killed
|10 September 1940
A German bomb exploded
at Buckingham Palace for the first time.
It was reported in the
House of Commons, that in the 12 months to this day sales of
National Savings Certificates had been £152 million (compared to
£22 million in the previous 12 months) and £149 million had been
raised from the sale of Defence Bonds. Small investors
were supporting the war effort by the purchase of these
certificates and bonds.
|11 September 1940
Prime Minister Winston
Churchill gave a radio address saying that a German invasion of
Britain could not be delayed for much longer.
|12 September 1940
In Lancaster there were
many basement air raid shelters established around the town,
including the Old Town Hall; 13 Great John Street; Slip Hotel,
James Street; Hodgsons Corn Warehouse; Mansergh's Warehouse,
Cable Street; King's Arms Hotel; Greaves Hotel; and the Tramway
|13 September 1940
Italian forces in Egypt
|14 September 1940
Adolf Hitler postponed
Operation Sealion to 27th September 1940.
The Royal Air Force
carried out a heavy bombing raid of Antwerp.
|15 September 1940
A large scale air battle
took place over the south east of England. The Luftwaffe
mounted an all-out offensive, sending 500 bombers to attack
London and the south east. The Royal Air Force managed to
break the German formations and shoot down 61 planes for losses
of 31. This was a major defeat to the Germans.
Hitler asked Spain's General Franco for the use of naval bases
in the Canary Islands and other places. General Franco
declined the request.
|16 September 1940
The Italian forces in
the Western Desert capture Sidi Barrani.
the carrier HMS Illustrious attacked Benghazi in Libya and sank
four Italian ships.
|17 September 1940
Adolf Hitler postponed
Operation Sealion, the German invasion of Britain.
Western Desert, facing the Italian advance from Libya, British
forces evacuate Sidi Barrani. The 2nd Battalion, King's
Own, cover the withdrawal of British troops. The battalion
now started coastal patrols.
In Lancaster arrangements for
Corporation Transport buses to be on stand by for use by both
the police and Home Guard in the event of an emergency.
Parks and Recreation Committee in Lancaster were advised that
any war time casualties should be buried and the grave marked
with a temporary wooden cross, which would be replaced after the
war by a permanent marker by the Imperial War Graves Commission.
|18 September 1940
The British passenger
ship City of Benares was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic
Ocean by the German submarine U48. It was an evacuee ship
going to Canada, and saw the death of 77 of the 90 evacuee
children. Public outrage at the loss ended the evacuation
scheme. Of the 407 people on board, 260 were lost.
105 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Hurricane.
|19 September 1940
The Royal Air Force
bombed the German invasion barges in ports along the French
|20 September 1940
The SS City of Simla was
torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by German submarine
U138 with the loss of 350 people on board.
|21 September 1940
The use of London
Underground as air raid shelters was officially approved, after
many civilians had been using it as such for some days.
The 8th Battalion,
King's Own, defending the coast in the Bournemouth area, again
received the order 'Cromwell' which indicated that a German
invasion was imminent. This alert continued to 24
|22 September 1940
The British destroyers
HMS Jervis, HMS Janus, HMS Juno and HMS Mohawk bombarded Italian
positions at Sidi Barrani in Egypt.
Bombers were launched
from the aircraft carrier HMS Furious, and attacked German
positions at Trondheim in Norway.
Radio Moscow reported that
RAF bombing had largely destroyed the German invasion fleet in
the Channel ports.
|23 September 1940
His Majesty King George
VI made a broadcast speech on the BBC Radio and announced the
creation of The George Cross medal for civilian gallantry.
The Battle of Dakar took place off the coast of French West
Africa, with the aim of capturing the strategic port and
overthrow the pro-German Vichy French authorities.
|24 September 1940
The King's Own Royal
Regiment Active Service Comforts Fund was approved under the War
Charities Act, 1940, by the Watch Committee of Lancaster City
Vichy French air forces attacked Gibraltar.
|25 September 1940
The Battle of Dakar
ended in victory for the Vichy French.
|26 September 1940
54 Vichy French air
bombers raid Gibraltar.
|27 September 1940
Germany, Italy and Japan
signed the Tripartite Pact, which was a defensive military
|28 September 1940
In Lancaster, Home
Guardsman Thomas Eric Rowland Hazeldine, aged 22, was fined £2
for trespassing and £10 for firing a rifle at a sitting grouse.
This matter was raised with the Home Secretary, in the House of
Commons on 17 October 1940 asking if the fine would be
cancelled. Mr Herbert Morrison, the Home Secretary, said
he was make inquiries in to the case.
transmitted from London to Nazi occupied Belgium for the first
|29 September 1940
British warships again
bombed the coastal road in Libya to disrupt Italian lines of
Randolph Churchill, the
son of the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was elected member
of parliament for the Borough of Preston.
The Lancaster Home
Guard paraded at Giant Axe Field, Lancaster, and were inspected
by General Sir James O'Dowda, Commanding Number 2 Zone, East
Lancashire Area, Home Guard.
|30 September 1940
An Italian Adua class
submarine was depth charged and sunk off Alexandria, Egypt, by
HMAS Stuart and a Short Sunderland Flying boat based at RAF
Alexandria. All on board, including four frogmen who were
to pilot manned torpedoes, and 43 crew were rescued by allied