Bombs over Bucks records
The locations shown on the map were taken from a series of files deposited in the county archives, in 1990 by the county council’s Emergency Planning Officer (reference AR 59/1990). They comprise correspondence from local air raid wardens, reporting damage in their areas to the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Office in Aylesbury (an example is to the right). The majority of their contents are reports of air raids by German planes or flying bombs. However, many are damage caused by allied practice bombs or plane crashes. The reports were eventually to be used by the District Valuer’s Office for the payment of compensation to those affected.
The reports contain a variable level of detail, but are rarely precise enough about locations, for us to pinpoint exactly where a bomb fell. It is not unusual for the report just to say the name of the town affected and ‘No damage’. For the majority of the bombs, we have been able to be no more accurate than the street the bomb fell on. If you are aware a bomb fell on a certain place that is not marked on the map it is probably because the original report was vague.
The map is an index to the originals, not a full transcription. Additional information is sometimes present in the reports. ARP wardens were encouraged to be brief in their reports, and this was generally obeyed. Where the original report is brief, the database includes all the information. In other cases, only a summary of the report is on the database. The kind of additional information that may be available is detail on the type of damage sustained by houses, livestock and so on. Where the reports mention human casualties this information has been recorded.
If you are interested in seeing the originals, you can come and see them at Buckinghamshire Archives.