Aircraft - Brian Jay mentions he pulled up a Typhoon from the river and Paul talks about the types of plane to be seen flying into Bradwell Bay. Paul and his friends used to get upstairs in the Waverley on Coast Road with his spyglass, watching what was going on.
When incendiary bombs fell on the Cobmarsh, the bombs were brought back to the house and dismantled by the boys. The scrap metal could be sold and the powder went up well when sprinkled on the fire. The adults did not worry about these activities - but Paul did have a visit from the local policeman (Webb ?) who pointed out he should not be keeping bombs in the house. He had to visit Mr Gray, head of the ARP, at his house on the Esplanade.
A Halifax crashed on the marshes - it was believed to be on an operation for Special Operations Executive and was lost in fog. Only one of those on board [it is believed] survived. Paul and his brother hired a boat from Sid Hewes and even in 1947 there was a lot of debris to be found.
[The Battle of the East Coast (1939-1945) by J.P. Foynes says the Halifax was from 138 Squadron and crashed 17 December 1943. Air Sea Rescue Boats picked up 3 bodies, dressed in civilian clothes. They were said to be SOE agents on their way to Poland].
[20m]Paul left school as soon as he could - went to work at the Griffon Garage and then in Shop Lane East Mersea mucking out on the farm. At the age of 18 he started work for Manny Farthing on the milk round - all on a bicycle with a large milk tank, dispensed in cans. Milk bottles would be quickly washed and refilled.
[26m]He was waiting to be called up - but it did not stop a lady in Fairhaven giving him a white feather and saying he should be in the Army. Mr Winch in Empress told Paul he did not want to see him again - but his housekeeper said he had just lost a son [it is thought] in the War.
[30m]A little talk about the Barton family (who went out to New Zealand) and the Nothe School (which they had gone to).
The Hewes family lived in High View, on the corner of Rosebank and Victory Roads. Uncle Will kept about 3,000 chickens there.
During the worst of the War, Paul and Auntie Violet [Hewes] used to go up to Manny Farthing's for shelter - he had a strengthened room in the house.
Later, when the blitz was on, there were nights when they never went to bed. A lot of German planes would dump their bombs in the area, having failed to drop them over London.
Despite many bombs dropping on the island, there were no serious casualties. A large land mine blew a big hole in the road in East Mersea.
Towards the end of the War, Paul went into the RAF, serving in Singapore and Rangoon.
Paul had to return by flying boat when Will Hewes died - and Violet died about a year later. Paul's parents had died in the war, from TB and cancer.
[60m]Paul covers the rest of his life. He went to Southern Rhodesia in 1949 and joined the police force there, returning in 1955. He got married to Anne (who was born in 33 Cambridge Road) and they returned to England.
He worked in the showroom at Kent Blaxil for a year or so, and then got a job on the road selling water softeners; worked for Pertwee at the Hythe for 6-7 years; worked for a rag trade firm at the bottom of North Hill cutting material;
finally moved to a research and development job with the government doing research on uniforms. The job lasted 20 yrs till retirement.
Paul Jasper was born 17 June 1929. Died 14 September 2009.
Copyright(c) Mersea Island Museum Trust 2019 This item is part of the Mersea Island Museum Collection The information is accurate as far as is known, but the Museum does not accept responsibility for errors.