The Thurlows

Village News & Information

The world wars

Two World Wars took their toll. The First World War claimed the lives of ten villagers and also that of William Ryder who was killed while flying in 1917 near Arras in France. Sadly, the War Memorial in the church records five more victims in the Second World War, four with the same surname as their predecessors, although not necessarily the same family. The telegram boy was much feared during the Second World War in Little Thurlow Green, as four out of the five who were lost came from that part of the village.

The war brought excitement to those too young to understand the horror of war. Two planes came down, one in the field behind Little Thurlow church, setting the haystacks alight in Manor Farm Yard, and another in Little Thurlow Green opposite Green Farm Barn. Children spent many happy hours searching for ammunition and bits of fuselage. The war brought strangers too, the London Irish were billeted at Mungo Lodge and at the Hall and there was a search- light battery at the top of Dark Lane in Little Bradley. Sadly one young soldier was shot on sentry duty outside the Hall gates and two other villagers were fatally injured by military vehicles. The village also played host to evacuees, so there were new and different faces in the village school. As the village was an agricultural village the vast majority of men and women were in restricted occupations and had to stay to work the land, although some saw service and some women left the village to work in London and in the ammunitions factories. There was an active Home Guard and some ex-soldiers from the first war were assigned special duties should the country be invaded. Sandwiched as the village is between two wartime airfields at Wratting and Stradishall, the drone of the aircraft became an all too familiar sound, and the children became experts on the differences in engine noise of the various aircraft.