Wartime in Aldeburgh

Inspired by their involvement in the recent Heritage Lottery Funded project, ‘Ebb & Flow’, the Aldeburgh District Local History Society, are continuing to collect a substantial archive of oral history stories from their town.  Dudley Fryer, lifetime resident of Aldeburgh, was recently interviewed by Heather Mabey, a volunteer for the group.  Here he tells of an incident he witnessed on the beach at Aldeburgh during the Second World War.

‘…During the war one Sunday … we were on the beach with father and my mother and my sister and there was lots and lots of people on the beach because in those days there was lots and lots of fishing boats and they usually all came in together on the tide.  People used to go down and see what they had caught and of course there’d be a lot of military people, Army and Navy on the beach. 

And one day I remember now that there was two planes circling and they went down, came in from the southern end of Aldeburgh right up the beach where there was all these people and they just literally sprayed all the way along … shooting everybody on the beach.  But I think they were way off target, they were just a little bit, you felt as if you could almost put your hand up and touch these planes they were so low, obviously my father pushed us all down onto the beach underneath a boat and there was all this commotion going on and, I think it was a miracle, but I don’t think anybody was hit. 

It just makes me wonder sometimes that my son Dean, who’s a fisherman, sometimes when he’s pulling his nets in he gets empty bullets, spent cartridges and I very often wonder would that be the day that we were shot on the beach.’

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1 Response to “Wartime in Aldeburgh”


  1. 1 Cynthia Jones July 20, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I have found a photo in my late fathers possessions with a note on the back saying Aldeburgh 1940. The picture looks like an explosion on the beach. I hope to visit Aldeburgh soon as this is a part of our country that we have not explored. My father served as a Reserve with the 83rd Royal Artillery. My father passed away in 1982 and I never asked him about his war time experience.


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