Codeword Cromwell 1940 part 4 Battle of Rotherfield – Police Sgt Drake & Home Guard volunteer Pte Sponge first casualties amongst the defenders

Posted: January 18, 2015 in rotherfield, wargames

As the Germans concentrated their assault from the West with a feint from the North, Policeman Sgt Drake defending the bridge at Town Row Green kept the Germans at bay until his ammunition ran out. Reinforcements in the guise of the East Kent’s based at Crowborough Camp rushed to his aid but sadly it was in vain as Drake was overwhelmed becoming the first known British named casualty of the battle as well as allowing the Germans to capture the strategically important bridge.

The relentless pressure was beginning to tell as Aussie reporter Drayden Fox and a number of the surrounded farm hands joined Walker as walking wounded. The Farm Hands however managed to break out after eliminating the paratroopers who had pinned them down from the South.

Rotherfield cricket pitch - German troops had attempted to  cross from the far side before being stopped in their tracks after the firestorm unleashed on them by Cpl Jones  proficient use of DeGaulle cocktails

Rotherfield cricket pitch – German troops had attempted to cross from the far side before being stopped in their tracks after the firestorm unleashed on them by Cpl Jones proficient use of DeGaulle cocktails. The white building in the distance, the pavilion, scene of Pendrake’s robust defence and vicious hand to hand fighting.

As Bank Manager Arthur Pendrake galvanised the cricket team into a cohesive force from the pavilion, Home Guard volunteer Cpl Jones was covering the cricket pitch, armed with just a crate of DeGaulle cocktails (petrol & flammable spirit based bottles) he spied a couple of squads advancing over the pitch. In a sharp engagement he managed to stop the german advance in its tracks although the cricket wicket was irreparably damaged (much to Arthur Pendrake’s despair). Vicious hand to hand combat ensued around the cricket pavilion and the orchard to the West where more paratroopers were attempting to advance from. Despite inflicting some casualties on the Germans, a number of the cricket team and pub regulars were killed or wounded, unable to continue fighting. Bank Manager Pendrake leading the cricket team and Daisy Woods were also both wounded but fortunately able to continue. A fair exchange for holding onto the pavilion and keeping it free of enemy for another hour.pic661440_md[1]

To the South, 5th Jäger regt units moved out from the Copper Kettle newsagents but were cut down when caught in the open by a withering crossfire from the East Sussex Hunt equipped with the Vickers M.G. Sadly Pte Sponge patrolling Hornshurst Woods  was killed when about 10 troops from the 5th Jagers rushed his position.

The Germans now had a firm foothold on the East of the village outskirts but with the pubs and schoolhouse still in villagers hands the situation was far from hopeless despite an increasing number of wounded villagers.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s