Messack House

A War Time Story

 Messack House St. Just- in- Roseland

Messack House before bombingMessack House3 jpg

During WW2 Falmouth was an important target for Germany as the docks were full of Naval vessels of all types in for repairs. This is the story of one bomb that was a bit ofF target. Messack House, St Just in Roseland was bombed in the summer of 1941, the owners Mr & Mrs Acland were not there when this happened, but their gardener and his wife, Mr & Mrs Dudley, were. Mr Dudley was outside the house and was partly buried by a large piece of concrete. Mrs Dudley was inside the house and the blast threw her through the window into the garden. She suffered some minor injuries and shock.

Douglas Chaffin worked at St. Just Bar at Pasco’s boatyard and was about to leave work when the bomb landed. The tide was out and he was able to run across the beach to the house. He managed to move the concrete enough for Mr Dudley to crawl out. The two children who also lived at Messack House were in the garden at the time and were unhurt. A German bomber dropped a single bomb which destroyed the right wing of the house but the rest of the house was all intact. Mr Acland had been flying the red ensign and another flag, which must have attracted the German pilots attention.

In gratitude for their good fortune, in not coming to any harm, Mr & Mrs Acland paid for the heating system to be installed in St. Just Church. There is a plaque inside the church commemorating their gift Douglas Chaffin returned to the site two days later but was unable to move the large concrete slab. It just shows what inner strength in an emergency can do.

Recorded by Peter Teague following a chat with Douglas Chaffin.

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