‘To Hell with Hitler’: war hero’s letter thanking him for Blitz actions

Christine Sanderson from Thetford, has taken ownership of a letter to her grandfather thanking him f

Christine Sanderson from Thetford, has taken ownership of a letter to her grandfather thanking him for his efforts during the Blitz of Cardiff and the bombing of the British Ropes Ltd factory where he worked. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

When the Second World War came to these shores, it was men like Arthur Cave Tyler who made the difference.

Christine Sanderson from Thetford, has taken ownership of a letter to her grandfather thanking him f

Christine Sanderson from Thetford, has taken ownership of a letter to her grandfather thanking him for his efforts during the Blitz of Cardiff and the bombing of the British Ropes Ltd factory where he worked. Pictured is her grandfather Arthur Cave Tyler and her grandmother Elsie on their wedding day. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

An employee at British Ropes Ltd in Cardiff, Arthur, an engineer, was on shift on January 2 1941 when bombs fell on his factory.

Thinking fast, he and some colleagues put out the resulting flames, saving the factory, and ensuring it could continue to produce vital equipment for the war effort.

In thanks, Arthur was sent a telegram by his grateful bosses, complete with a small sum of money, and a typically salty British instruction - to drink the toast 'To Hell with Hitler'.

Arthur went on to serve in the Home Guard from November 1940 until December 31, 1944, receiving another letter of thanks on the completion of his service.

Both those letters, along with photos and other memorabilia, are now in the hands of his grand-daughter, Christine Sanderson, from Thetford.

Her father, John Cave Tyler, has had the letters in safe keeping for years, and was keen to see them kept for future family generations to enjoy.

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'I remember him getting the letter - I was six at the time.

'Typical of him, he just put it away in a drawer somewhere and never made a big deal of it.

'But he was doing very brave work there because the factories were regularly targeted by the Germans, because of what they were making.

'I am proud of what he did, no doubt about it. He was doing what was needed at the time and never made an issue of it,' he said.

A subsequent incident saw Arthur lose the use of one of his arms after getting it trapped in a machine.

Being the designated repairman, it also meant he had to stay conscious in order to talk colleagues through the process of freeing him.

Mrs Sanderson said she would be taking good care of the letters, and recognised their significance.

'It was such a huge thing for them to be on the home front.

'People did dangerous jobs back then, and he was one of them.

'Everyone had a story from the war, and this is his,' she said.

Do you have any interesting artefacts? Let us know by emailing tbw.news@archant.co.uk or by calling our Thetford office on 01842 752510.

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