Worth was at Downside then

Worth started out as the prep school for Downside. During the war it moved there as well.

During the conflict Bernard remained at Downside, the Catholic boarding school in Somerset. When the Comtesse sent him a box of oranges, he had to share nearly all of them with the other children. His brother Laurence became a writer and brought the Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to Britain.

One Saturday afternoon in 1943, while most of the school was watching a cricket match, two Sea Hurricanes circled. One went out of control, clipped a tree and crashed into the pavilion. The 22-year-old pilot and nine children were killed: Kelly was unhurt but traumatised.

Father was there that day as a 10 year old. One of those things he never quite got over……

5 thoughts on “Worth was at Downside then”

  1. That’s awful. I don’t think you could ever get over something like that, and maybe one shouldn’t. The pilot was just a laddie himself, what a terrible way to go.

  2. When I was young and read about the war I thought one of the saddest episodes was the Mosquito attack on the Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen, designed to release prisoners. But bombs also hit a nearby school: civilian casualties included 86 schoolchildren.

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