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Author Topic: Destroyer Bombardment of Ramsgate, Manston and Margate. 27 April 1917  (Read 2165 times)

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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The bombardment was also held to be responsible for the death from shock of two residents in the western part of the town.

Mrs Florence Cassidy, aged 60, of 20 St Mildred's Road and Mr James Barnes, 73, of Clovelly, 21 Southwood Road.

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Destroyer Bombardment of Ramsgate, Manston and Margate. 27 April 1917
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 00:55:28 »
Hurricane of Shells.

In the final destroyer raid upon Thanet which took place in the early morning of 27th April, 1917, it is believed that about 300 shells were fired in less than ten minutes. At Ramsgate, upon which fire was concentrated from a position opposite the East Cliff Extension, two people were killed outright, three others were injured and over a score of houses were damaged.

The majority of shells passed over the high buildings standing on the exposed land of the east cliff and landed in the more sheltered district of St. Luke's, which again suffered heavily as in most of the big raids on the town. One shell of shorter range, however, struck the roof of a house at the summit of Thanet Road - No. 1, Upper Dumpton Park Drive - where the daughter of a baker, Miss Ivy Edith Thorncroft, aged 22, was fatally injured. Her sister Hilda, who had been sleeping beside her in the same bed, was also severely injured but happily recovered, although it was not until nearly two years later that a piece of shrapnel over two inches long was extracted from one of her limbs.
The other victim, Mr. John Hobday, aged 61, a well known figure at the Ramsgate Market Stalls, died almost immediately from injuries received at his home, 32, Alma Road, one of a row of small houses in the centre of the town. He had left his bed to rouse his step-daughter, who was sleeping in the next room, and had reached the landing when a shell which first passed through the roof of a house on the opposite side of the road, exploded at the head of the stairs.
The bombardment was also held to be responsible for the death from shock of two residents in the western part of the town. On the other hand, from the ruins of several houses on the eastern side, the occupants emerged to congratulate themselves upon their wonderful escapes.

At 51, Percy Road John Belsey, a middle aged-man, was actually asleep when his bed was cut in several places by splinters of a bursting shell but he himself was not fatally injured.
At the Alexandra Arms, a public house in St. Luke's Avenue, where the public bar was wrecked, the occupants, an elderly couple, who were descending the adjoining stairs, were merely covered in dust.
Similar good fortune attended the occupants of No. 18, Belmont Road which was almost completely wrecked, and of houses in Anns Road, Boundary Road and Southwood Road, where damage was also caused by shells. One shell fell in Church Road, bounded over the wall of St. George's Churchyard and split a tombstone but never exploded. Another, whizzing past the tower of the church, chipped a small piece off one of the pinnacles. This is kept as a souvenir by the Vicar.

After shelling Ramsgate, the enemy attempted to destroy the aerodrome at Manston, near which the Cottage Homes are also situated, but only succeeded in slightly damaging one engine shed. Thirty-seven shells exploded in the vicinity however, and one, bursting in the drawing room of Ferndale, the residence of Mr. E. E. Philpott, a farmer at Manston, completely demolished a fine collection of furniture.
Pieces of shrapnel penetrated to the room above, where Mr. Philpott's wife was in bed and embedded themselves in the mattress and the pillow beneath her. Manston is about three miles from the sea.

In an indiscriminate bombardment to which the whole of the rural district of Thanet was impartially subjected before the enemy finally sped back to their base, over 150 shells fell harmlessly in fields at Lydden and Fleet and about thirty exploded near Rumfields Waterworks, St. Peter's.
Cottages were damaged at Northwood, Dumpton, Westwood and Upton, where many of the missiles also fell on farm land. At Northwood a horse was killed in a stable and included in the official list of casualties.
The last few shells fell at Margate, where one crashed through the ground floor window of 21, Addiscombe Road. A women and her children in the upper part of the house were unable to get down though the debris and were rescued by neighbours with a ladder.
In all the raid was accountable for damage to the extent of 7,500, of which 6,600 was inflicted at Ramsgate.


From Thanets Raid History 1919. Pages 12-14.

 

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