News:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th September 1917  (Read 9815 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline uplandsboy49

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Appreciation 0
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th September 1917
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2017, 22:56:52 »
No:2 Church Terrace Bombed house 1917 3rd September 1917 22 years exactly before we started WW2

Offline kyn

  • Administrator
  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7407
  • Appreciation 419
    • Sheppey History
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th September 1917
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2017, 23:28:43 »
   List of killed, and those who have since died from injuries received on 3rd Sept. 1917.   
                        
                              
                              
   ….993      Michael Brown      Sto.I. K5508      Wife-Kathleen, 111 Latchman Road, Battersea, S.W.   
   …3800      William G, Berwick      Sto.I. K39601      Not known   
   …3554      Reg. Clark      Sto.I. K24752      Mother-Elizabeth Clark, 31, Hyde Road, Hoxton N. 1.   
   …990      Albert Goddard      Sto.I. K33394      Mother-Ellen Ferry's Farm, Saxstead, Fremlingham, Suffolk   
   …34      William A. Osborne      Ldg.Sto. K11280      Mother - Kate, 9, Compton St, Newington, Green Road, London. N.   
   …816      Frederick Diver      Sto.I. K33593      Wife-Ethel, 42, Castle Street, Thetford, Norfolk.   
   …3298      Alfred Andrews      Sto.I. K21348      Mother-Louisa, 14, Palmerston Road, Folkestone.   
   …6.RFR      Alfred Moss      Atoker 100079      Not known   
   …064      Edmund Walsh      Sto.I. K24613      Wife-Linian, 44 Rackham St, North Kensington, London, W.   
   …3798      Beaverley, Walter      Stoker K21357      Friend-Elizabeth Payne, Pattscrouch Farm, Nr. St. Albans, Herts.   
   …076      Rigden, Sidney G.      Stoker K34626      Wife-Anne Florence, 17, Norfolk Street, Whitstable, Kent.   
   …182      Lutitt, Frederick      Stoker 102213      Wife-Edith. M, 39, Kelly St, Kentish Town Road, London. W.   
   …560      Brightwell. Joseph      Stoker. K16330      Mother-Ellen, 1 Bishops Bldgs, Thames St. Greenwich.   
   …8.RFR      Wakeford. William      Stoker. 103386      Mother-25, Brounton Road   
   …3593      Sharpe Horace B.      Sto.I. K17954      Sister-Violet, Bridge Road,5, Win***** Street, Luton, Beds.   
   …13455      Smith. William H.      Stoker K23064      Mother-Spa Terrace, Boston Spa, Yorkshire.   
   N.K      Gibson, W. H.      Sto.RFR      Included Elsewhere   
   13328      Macey, Sidney A.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   
   13636      Benmore, F.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   
   12775      Shirley W.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   
   3023      Bavister, H.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   
   13438      Watt, H.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   
   13464      Harthall, J. A.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   
   181      Walton, W.      Sto.RFR      Included Elsewhere   
   3057      Pegram, B.      Lg. Sto      Included Elsewhere   
   4766      Crocker, Frank T.      RNR X.2226      Job Crocker, Front River, Bonne Bay, Newfoundland N.K.   
   667      Butler George      Ord Sea J 69094           
   13431      Seymour or Seamore S.      Sto.           
   5615      Cluett Albert      Sea R.N.R. X2222      Mother-Johanna Kape Coveb Fogo Newfoundland   
   43      Webb Arthur S,      Ord SSC 7805      Not known   
   3100      BEMA J.      Sto.I.      Included Elsewhere   
   13630      Corker B.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   
   2935      Collett R.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   
   1365*      Loose J.      Sto.      Included Elsewhere   

Offline kyn

  • Administrator
  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7407
  • Appreciation 419
    • Sheppey History
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th September 1917
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2017, 22:41:01 »
TELEGRAM

Date 4 9 17

From C. in C., Nore

IMMEDIATE
My 16 of 4th September revised report is as follows:-

Chatham. 4 bombs fell in R. N. Barracks wrecking drill shed and some offices.  Casualties killed about 110 men including those who have died since removal to hospital seriously injured 115 slightly injured eight.  No officer casualties.  2 bombs fell in dockyard no casualties and practically no damage.  Bombs also fell in town Sheerness.  2 bombs near railway line between dockyard station and West Minster, 3 in grounds of Kite Balloon Station no casualties, no damage.  Bombs also fell in river near sea wall.  Work of identification is proceeding and lists will be forwarded this Tuesday afternoon if practicable.

It is imperative for medical reasons that funeral of victims take place not later than Thursday afternoon 6th September and arrangements are being made accordingly.
1135.



Chatham Air Raid 3/9/17

List rec’d 2/40 AM 5/9
Killed 68.  Cards written read off & checked by CRS
Wounded 114.  Cards written, read Off & *a*t checked.

1)   43 Killed – require telegrams – list typed for telegraph clerk.  Not read off.
2)   3 killed Newfd RNR
3)   8 killed Require next of kin
4)   14 killed RNR to be wired or sent to ****
5)   1 ******* (DOFW) additional
6)   1 George Gilbert additional
7)   2/72 Fredk Ash & A Gladwell (DOFW) additional



Offline kyn

  • Administrator
  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7407
  • Appreciation 419
    • Sheppey History
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th September 1917
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2016, 16:22:58 »
The Chatham Air Raid.
I was living in Trafalgar-street, Gillingham, and was home on leave that night. We heard the bombs dropping and the heavy detonations, and then saw the ambulances conveying the wounded and maimed to Chatham Hospital. They passed about 100 yards from my house.
I had a good look round the next day and there were big craters on the great lines from Marlborough-road to Chatham railway station. A house In Luton was cut in half cornerways. It was a three-storey place. Thorn and Moakθs bakery was hit in Canterbury-street. I saw bomb craters at Rochester, on the farm of a Mr. Robinson, about three miles from Short's seaplane works. Men from the anti-aircraft gun station were told  to fill in one crater about 15 feet deep, but it was, never filled in while I was living at Gillingham.
MAN OF KENT, Hither Green.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Appreciation 218
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2015, 21:05:45 »

The funeral took place on Thursday 6 September with the procession consisting of 18 lorries draped with the Union Jack and each carrying 6 coffins. These 98 men were buried at Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham with another 25 men being interred elsewhere and later burials taking place once the ratings had been identified. All the men were buried with full military honours and were followed by a procession of marching soldiers and sailors with thousands of people lining the streets.


© IWM (Q 54046) Funeral procession of seamen killed in a raid passing along a street at Gillingham, September 1917.

© IWM (Q 54048) Mayors of Rochester and Chatham attending the funeral of seamen killed in a raid over London(Sic). Gillingham, September 1917.

Offline kyn

  • Administrator
  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7407
  • Appreciation 419
    • Sheppey History
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th September 1917
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2014, 22:49:01 »
The Chatham Air Raid.

DEAR "Non-Com."-Re "Man ofKent's" query (W.M. March 23) about the Chatham air raid. I remember it only too well, but what I am about to tell you is mostly hearsay.

On the night in question I was in a destroyer and we left the Medway in the afternoon with an army officer and two Tommies aboard. We were   going for night firing, but on passing a light-ship we received a signal that an air raid was on and that five or six flights of planes had gone inland. Then we were ordered to return and on the way back a further flight of planes was reported. We turned in the Medway after the boom defence was opened, and the Garrison Point Fort had her lights searching the sky.

We were only a couple of hundred yards or so in, when quite a few bombs dropped in the entrance and the Point searchlight went out, as it was evidently the target.
We proceeded up harbour to our buoy. Meanwhile the detonations all round were deafening. Rumour said that the man working the searchlight in the barracks had 22 machine gun bullets in him, and in all 125 men, mostly in their hammocks, were killed, 97 of them being buried in one grave.

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this.

L.2522 (R.N.), Forest Grove.

Offline peterchall

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3620
  • Appreciation 186
  • 25.06.1929 - 12.03.2016
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th September 1917
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2014, 22:18:24 »
Thanks for the explanation :)
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Appreciation 218
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2014, 21:50:36 »
Thanks for the correction Numanfan.

On the subject of warnings, what form did they take? I don't think there were sirens, as in WW2.

If sufficient warning was given (clearly not the case in Chatham) the following would apply, at least in 1917-18. During the first two years of the war it had been thought unnecessary to warn of impending air raids.
Once word had been given by the authorities that a raid may take place 'Readiness' was announced and the military, police and hospitals were notified. Air-fields, anti-aircraft guns and searchlights were put on alert. Police, Specials and the 'All-Clear Boys' reported to their local police station.
With the order 'Mobilise'  police took up position at shelters and strategic points.
On the order 'Grave Warning' maroons were sent up, police cars with illuminated 'Take Cover' signs were sent out and cyclists and men on foot blew police whistles.
At dockyards sirens or steam whistles were blown. Theatres and cinemas dimmed their lights to warn their patrons.

When the 'All-Clear' was announced, the 'All-Clear Boys', cadets and Boy Scouts with bugles, would be sent out to blow the All-Clear.


Offline numanfan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
  • Appreciation 125
    • www.move2medway.co.uk
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2014, 17:15:55 »
It's amazing how varied (and sometimes incorrect ) the reports of an incident can be.

The report in The Times states that the wife had sought safety in the cellar of her home, whereas the inquest was told by her husband that they had been sitting in their dining room when she remarked that she heard very loud noises from aeroplanes moving about. He walked out into the yard to see if he could see anything, and then walked up three steps to his garden. As he reached the top he heard a loud clatter, turned around & the house was gone. So, with no warnings or previous bombs being dropped, it's highly unlikely the wife would have had the inclination or time to run to the cellar, especially as her son, daughter & niece were asleep in their bedrooms.

And the cutting that smiler has posted says that the only fatalities that night were confined to the barracks.


Just goes to show that you can never fully trust what's been written down in books & newspapers  :)
www.move2medway.co.uk - take the journey

Offline smiler

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 946
  • Appreciation 68
  • Far better to be screwed up than screwed down
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 15:42:11 »

merc

  • Guest
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2014, 13:51:21 »
From The Times.

"It was a moonlit night, with a suspicion of haze in the upper air, which made the visability low. The first indication of the presence of raiders was the sound of a loud humming noise, and the other a steady powerfull beat. With the naked eye it was impossible to detect the machines, but from the noise it was clear that they were of very high power. Their presence, however, did not cause much alarm, as notices had been published at the places of amusement earlier in the evening that anti-aircraft practice would be carried out at night. Then came the unexpected. Without the least warning loud explosions were heard in one part of the district, followed by the dropping of bombs in other centres. Then the sounds ceased, as if the raiders had made off. But after an interval of a few minutes they returned, and the noise of more explosions was continued. Judging by the sounds it appeared as if the raiders had made a complete circle of the town. During this period searchlights were flashing across the sky in several directions, but the absence of gunfire seemed to show that the efforts of the defenders to pick up the enemy had failed. Altogether the raid lasted nearly an hour."

"A tour of the district early in the morning revealed the fact that the majority of the bombs did very little execution, as they fell on vacant land or in gardens. One, however, made a direct hit on one of a small row of cottages, and razed the building to the ground. The tenant and his daughter had gone into the garden to see what was happening, and escaped with slight injuries. Not so for the wife, she had sought the cellar for safety, and was buried in the ruins. Her body was recovered shortly before noon. The concussion from this bomb was so great that a woman in another house was blown clean out of bed."

Offline peterchall

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3620
  • Appreciation 186
  • 25.06.1929 - 12.03.2016
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2014, 10:13:11 »
On the subject of warnings, what form did they take? I don't think there were sirens, as in WW2.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline numanfan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
  • Appreciation 125
    • www.move2medway.co.uk
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2014, 08:37:28 »
A civilian man was killed in Church Terrace Chatham.

Regarding the bomb dropped in Luton, I have the newspaper report on the inquest, because my Great-Grandfather was a special reserve police constable who searched through the debris the next morning and gave evidence.

It was a 58 years old female that died, and it's interesting to note that all the witnesses at the inquest said that there were no warnings given of the planes above.

 
www.move2medway.co.uk - take the journey

Offline peterchall

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3620
  • Appreciation 186
  • 25.06.1929 - 12.03.2016
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 08:15:43 »
My grandparents often spoke of that raid, but this is the first time I've read about it in detail, thanks to KHF 97 years later!

Many thanks to those who have posted :)
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Appreciation 218
Re: Medway Bombing 3rd/4th september 1917
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 23:14:17 »
The first night-bombing raid on England by Kagohl 3, the raid led by its commanding officer Hauptmann Rudolf Kleine.
The primary target was Chatham, with Margate and Sheerness as the secondary targets.
Five Gotha GV's were despatched, with one turning back due to engine trouble. In bright moonlight the first enemy aircraft was spotted at Westgate at 22.35hrs, the Chatham attack beginning at 23.10hrs.
A total of 2,898 lbs of bombs were dropped, some falling into the sea. 46 bombs, about half of those plotted as falling on land, fell on Gillingham and Chatham.
128* men were killed in the Drill Hall at Chatham Naval Barracks with c90 men injured, the worst UK bomb incident in the First World War. A sailor was killed in Maxwell Road and his girlfriend and another couple injured. A civilian man was killed in Church Terrace Chatham.

From Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drill_Hall_Library

The Bombing of 3 September 1917.
Throughout its life, the Drill Hall has been used as a temporary overflow dormitory when the barrack accommodation blocks were full. In September 1917 the problem of housing the men had been further exacerbated by two unanticipated events: Firstly, the men who had been earmarked to join the battleship HMS Vanguard had been forced to remain at the barracks, after she had been sunk at Scapa Flow in July 1917. Secondly, an outbreak of 'spotted fever' in the barracks meant that the sleeping accommadation had to be increased in an effort to avoid further infection. It was the necessity of using the Drill Hall at this time that precipated the saddest episode in the history of this building. On Monday 3 September 1917, the Drill Hall was therefore being used as an overflow dormitory for around 900 naval ratings when, at about 11.00pm, it suffered two hits from bombs dropped by German Gotha aeroplanes. One of the First of the First World War 'moonlight raids', it resulted in the loss of some 130 lives.

At 9.30 pm, 5 Gotha G.V bombers left Gontrode in Belgium. Since the greatest loss of the bombers was during the daylight raids, a decision was made to carry out a night-time attack. One of the bombers encountered engine problems and had to return to their air-base but the remaining four carried on and passed over Eastchurch at around 11pm where they followed the River Medway towards Chatham. As this was the first night-time raid, the Medway Towns were unprepared and the whole of Chatham was illuminated with none of the anti-aircraft guns prepared for attacks.

A practise alert had been carried out earlier in the day within the town, and when the planes were finally spotted and an alert sounded, a lot of people ignored the warning believing it to be another practise drill. 46 bombs were dropped over Gillingham and Chatham causing much damage. The Drill Hall suffered a direct hit. The bomb shattered the glass roof, sending dangerous shards of glass flying through the drill hall before exploding when they hit the floor. The clock upon the drill hall tower stopped at 11.12, giving the exact time the bomb exploded. The men asleep or resting inside had little chance of survival, those that were not injured from the explosion were cut to pieces by the falling pieces of glass from the roof.

Ordinary seaman Frederick W. Turpin arrived at the drill hall to offer assistance, he later recorded the scene in his notebook: "It was a gruesome task. Everywhere we found bodies in a terribly mutilated condition. Some with arms and legs missing and some headless. The gathering up of dismembered limbs turned one sick. It was a terrible affair and the old sailors, who had been in several battles, said they would rather be in ten Jutlands or Heliogolands than go through another raid such as this."

The rescuers spent 17 hours searching through the rubble for their fellow seamen, many using their bare hands to dig through the rubble. Officers and men carried the dead bodies of comrades into buildings which had been transformed into a mortuary and the seriously wounded cases into motor ambulances which sped to the local hospital.

Mr E. Cronk, who also attended to offer assistance, stated later: "The raider dropped two bombs; one in the middle of the drill shed and one near the wall of the parade ground just where the sailors were sleeping. I shall never forget that night- the lights fading and the clock stopping. We of the rescue party picking out bodies, and parts of bodies, from among glass and debris and placing them in bags, fetching out bodies in hammocks and laying them on a tarpaulin on the parade ground (you could not identify them). I carried one sailor to the sick bay who was riddled with shrapnel and had no clothes left on him. In the morning, to show that the officials could tell who was who, they had a general Pipe asking all the sailors of different messes if they could identify any of the lost; it was impossible in most cases. It was one of the most terrible nights I have ever known, the crying and the moaning of dying men who had ten minutes before been fast asleep."

Mr Gideon Gardiner described the scene of the temporary morgue within the gymnasium: "Some had never woken up; apparently the shock appeared to have stopped their hearts. They were stretched out, white, gaunt, drawn faces, with eyes nearly bolting out of their heads. Others were greatly cut up, mangled, bleeding and some blown limb from limb."

The sailors who survived with injuries were treated on site by medics and the sick bay staff, however many of the injuries were too serious and they later died at the hospital. It is estimated 90 men died whilst in their hammocks and another 40 so seriously injured they were not expected to live. The official total of dead after the raid was 98 however with the seriously ill in hospital the total rose to around 136 dead.

The funeral took place on Thursday 6 September with the procession consisting of 18 lorries draped with the Union Jack and each carrying 6 coffins. These 98 men were buried at Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham with another 25 men being interred elsewhere and later burials taking place once the ratings had been identified. All the men were buried with full military honours and were followed by a procession of marching soldiers and sailors with thousands of people lining the streets.

A list of the naval dead is @ http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1917-09Sep.htm 3 September to 11 September.

At the time the number of enemy bombers was grossly over estimated.  A British patrol line was flown from Goldhanger to Dover, but the enemy was not seen. Searchlights were ineffective due to the bright moonlight and there was minimal anti-aircraft fire.
16 defence sorties were flown, all by the Royal Flying Corps, Admiralty policy at the time was not to attack enemy aeroplanes at night.

Defence sorties.

7 flown by 37 squadron at Goldhanger and Stow Maries, flying B.E.2ds and Es.

2 flown by 39 Squadron at Northweald, flying B.E.2es.

3 flown by 44 squadron at Hainault, flying Sopwith Camels. Thus proving that Camels, a 'difficult' aeroplane, could be flown safely at night.

4 flown by 50 squadron at Bekesbourne, flying B.E.2cs.

In total there were 132 killed and 96 injured. Damage was estimated at £3,993.

*My reading is that 128 men were killed in the drill hall or died of wounds, 2 sailors were killed elsewhere in Chatham Dockyard, and one sailor and one civilian killed outside the dockyard.


 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines