A few of the women in the village joined the Land Army and worked on local farms whilst others worked in ammunition factories. The women who stayed at home were busy knitting for the troops, making jams and preserves and collecting salvage.
Some of the men joined the Home Guard and exercised with other local villages whilst some became Air Raid Wardens going around the village making sure the households had their windows blacked out. Knapton was a farming village and the farmers and farm workers worked hard to produce the food which was needed for the country. Later in the war there were German and Italian Prisoners of War working on the farms at the grain and potato harvest times.
Troops were billeted in nearby villages, the nearest being Swafield Hall. Pigney’s Farm was used for training and the village school used for housing troops on manoeuvres. The American Air Force were station nearby and on Thanksgiving Days came to the school to give a talk about their country. The highlight of their visit was the chocolate and sweets which were given out before they returned to their base.
Some evacuees came to Knapton in 1939, mostly from the London area, but most went back home when it was safe to do so.
Knapton got off lightly with the odd bomb falling in open fields. An aircraft crashed in 1943 at the end of White House Farm Loke. The crew were killed.
Anti-Aircraft guns were located behind the school but how often they were used Richard doesn’t know.
Knapton History Club
In the current circumstances, due to the COVID-19 virus, the people of Knapton have shown us that the British spirit is still alive with neighbours helping neighbours,
our Knapton Angels and our Thursday 8.00pm appreciation of the NHS and all our Key Workers.
Long may it last