Memories and Stories of Thornton College

This picture taken circa 1940 shows (from left to right) Mrs.Fenton with bike, and Becky Fenton on the cart with her luggage on the way back from Thornton College, for the holiday. Her brother John Fenton is next to her.

Driving the horse is John Marchant. He attended Denchfield School, Buckingham. The family was evacuated from Ramsgate to Thornton during WW2 and stayed at Little Hill Farm. The farm worker in hob-nailed boots (Jim Cranwell), standing by the horse, used to walk every day from Leckhamstead, and arrive at the farm at about 6.30am.

Bomb that fell at Thorton.


On the whole the war passed Thornton by. The heir to the manor died in combat and if a bomb that was dropped had gone off Thornton might not be here.

One afternoon in 1943 at about 4.00pm a Lancaster bomber was passing overhead. John Marchant saw a white parachute open just under it with what he thought was a black food container. Then the plane began to circle. He then went to see where it landed and found it had landed nearly opposite the gates of Thornton College. He saw the end of the parachute going down into the hole. Within a short time the home guard had come from Beachampton and the police closed the roads. The next day the RAF bomb disposal team arrived to start steaming the explosives out of the bomb. It had gone down about 35 feet into the ground, and the sides of the hole had to be shorn up. The Sqd.Leader in charge had a word with John but would not say what had gone wrong .The bomb was four feet

Wide and made in sections and quite long so what was it? a Block Buster or a new type on test ? It took four days to remove it.