World War II

At the outbreak of war, many Chipstead residents evacuated to potentially safer areas away from the London bombing, leaving a large number of empty houses in the village. In some cases, this proved to be a wise precaution as Chipstead suffered considerable bomb damage throughout the war.

In 1939 most of the valuable stained glass was removed from St Margaret's Church. This proved a wise precaution since the church was subsequently damaged three times by bombs exploding nearby. On 12 September 1940 a parachute mine exploded 250 yards away causing great damage to the roof tiles and windows. On 23 February 1944 the church was so badly damaged by blast bombs that services were held in the Red Cross Hut for five Sundays following.

Further damage was suffered on the 7 July 1944 when a V1 flying bomb demolished Nos. 2 and 4 Church Lane Avenue in Hooley, inflicting two deaths and two injuries.

Altogether, as recorded on a stone on Church Green, there fell upon Chipstead in World War II two parachute mines, some 450 high explosive bombs, 12 V1 flying bombs and one V2 rocket, besides innumerable incendiaries.

In 1940 a large detachment of the Canadian Army was posted to Chipstead and the surrounding areas to assist in the creation of a defensive ring around London. Most of the large mansions and every empty house were requisitioned with soldiers camped in every wood for miles around. Mobile anti-aircraft guns were positioned in Banstead Wood, the Long Plantation and along Elmore Road. Deep anti-tank ditches were dug and concrete blocks with pill-boxes were laid out along the line of the railway. The Canadian soldiers remained in Chipstead until posted to Normandy for the D day landings in 1944.

Approximately 208 Chipstead men served in HM Forces during World War II, of whom five became prisoners of the Germans and two were captured by the Japanese; one of the latter died in captivity. Thirty-six women joined the Forces. The names of the dead are inscribed on the War Memorial on Church Green.