Please can we have our bomb back?
Rye’s bomb has been stolen — and not just the bomb and up to perhaps £50 in cash inside, but the trolley, padlock and chain, screwed very firmly to the wall outside the F.E Centre, which is what really mystifies its keeper, Keith Boreham. The bomb was part of a batch which fell in and around the Old Brickyard one Sunday morning in August 1940. It failed to explode, and Tom Upton, who was assisting the Bomb Disposal Squad, asked if he could have it as a souvenir — “they reluctantly agreed”, his account says — and in due course he chiselled and then burnt out the TNT, cut a slit in it and used it as a collecting box for the Spitfire Fund. After a period of service supporting a birdbath, it was repainted and moved into the town, collecting first for the Community Centre and then for Cancer Research. Keith Boreham took over responsibility for it on Mr. Upton’s death; last year it raised £220, and this year the total was already over £230.
We feel that this may have been just a Saturday—night prank, but Mrs. Upton and Mr. Boreham are very sad about the loss, and we do hope that whoever took it will let one of them know where it is now, so that it can be restored to its place of honour and keep on with the good work.
Pictures from the “Rye’s Own” Archive – Words from Issue 10 of Mary Owen’s Rye Gazette dated 10 November 1982
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