The first incident of the Second World War to affect Brook was announced by The County Press in 1939, when one of the new RAF fighters tested its guns before it was quite over the sea, ‘more care should be exercised,’ the IOW County Press calmly suggested. 


The people of Brook had an alarming experience on Wednesday morning at about 10-30, when for a few moments they thought the village was being machine gunned from the air. An R.A.F. fighter swooped over Mottistone Down, heading out to sea, and as it passed over the village there was a sudden roar of machine gun fire, smoke emerged from the plane, and then came a shower of brass cartridge cases and black metal clips, which played a tattoo on roofs and thudded into gardens.

A few people who were about at the time, hearing the metal falling around them and fearing that they were bullets, dashed for cover, while others indoors came out to see what was happening, alarmed by the noise of the firing and the rattling of the falling objects on the roofs. Luckily no one was hit, but the occurrence caused considerable alarm.

It was afterwards discovered that hundreds of the empty cartridges cases and metal clips had fallen in the village; children filled their pockets with them as they picked them up from the roads, fields, and gardens. About a dozen were found embedded to the depth of an inch or more in the Rectory lawn, showing that they would have caused serious injury, if anyone had been unlucky enough to have been struck by them. Mrs Winser, wife of the Rector (the Rev. A.A.P. Winser) told a ‘County Press”’representative that she was indoors at the time, but heard what she thought was an explosion in the plane as it passed overhead, and the shower of metal striking the roof.

Those who saw the plane said that a cloud of smoke trailed out after the firing, but the machine was apparently undamaged as it flew away towards Freshwater Bay. The probable explanation of the occurrence is that those in the plane were sending a burst of machine gun bullets from several guns into the sea as the plane dived, but started firing too soon.

Whatever the cause, more care should be exercised as such objects falling from a height endanger life and property. was quite over the sea, ‘more care should be exercised,’ the IOW County Press calmly suggested.