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Author Topic: Bomb Damage Bluetown & Sheerness  (Read 28005 times)

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Gieves Navel outfitters, Bluetown, 5th June 1917.
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2009, 23:09:59 »
From the South-Eastern Gazette, June, 1917. Concerning the bombing of Gieves Naval Outfitters, Bluetown. full text.
"Four employees of the firm of R Corben and Co, builders, of Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, had a thrilling escape in Tuesdays air raid.The firm was doing contract work on premises which were twice struck by bombs, and the four men-three painters and a bricklayer-had arrived there only the morning before to commence the job. They had finished work for the day on the outside of the building, and as it was closing time they were going on overtime indoors. Mr E Piper, of no 3, Waterlow Road, Maidstone, one of the four workmen, a few moments before the first bomb fell, was chatting to the manager, who was killed by the falling debris. He, poor fellow, had returned only that morning from ten days leave. Most of the occupants of the premises were able to rush out into the street. Mr Piper, who was left behind, remembers that one of the young ladies rushed up and clutched him by the arm, appealing for protection. He had just said to her "I think i can see a gangway" when the second bomb fell and demolished the rest of the front of the premises. The bomb crashed its way right down to the ground floor and exploded within five feet of where Mr Piper stood, carrying him down into the basement, whence he was eventually rescued by some officers. They carried him to a hotel close by. He was afterwards treated at a local hospital, and was able to return home by train the same evening, reaching Maidstone about 11 o'clock.
The terrific force of the explosion, from which Mr Piper had a miraculous escape, ripped the overalls off his back and tore his waistcoat into shreds. He was serverly burned about the arms and face, his hair and moustache being singed off. He was lacerated all over with splintered glass and other fragments, and received an extensive wound on the right thigh. The explosion rendered him stone deaf for several hours; he is still suffering from the effects of gassing, and remains an out-patient at the West Kent Hospital.
One of the other there of Messrs, Corbens employees was badly cut across the eye by a large fragment of glass, which he pulled from the wound with his own hand. He was able to remain on the spot, and assisted in barricading the damaged premises."

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Re: Air raid, 5th June 1917, Local paper extracts.
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2009, 22:51:53 »
Edited extracts from the Guardian and East Kent Advertisiser, Saturday June 9th 1917.
( )= my additions.
"News of their approach was received at 6.25. five minutes afterwards the syrens were blown, and later the sound of bombs was heard. (the beach)"was crowded with women and children at the time of the raid" said an eyewitness, "while hundreds of wounded soldiers were enjoying trips in little sailing vessels. Suddenly a heavy cannonade broke out from the shore batteries. Little excitement was caused at first because it was thought that gun practice was being carried out". Then the enemy aircraft came into view, the raiders had a punishing reception, and shells exploded close to two of them.
A few minutes later one of them was observed to be "somersaulting" from the clouds, and amid a hurricane of cheers it dropped into the sea. instantly a number of motor-launches and other craft manned by sailors raced to the spot where it had fallen.
"The raid on this place was all over in a few minutes," said an R.A.M.C. Sergeant. "the afternoon was ideal for such an enterprise. The sea was perfect, and there was little wind blowing. As usual there were large numbers of people about. Nurses and children predominated though many wounded soldiers were in evidence.I was just about to take a couple of soldiers back for tea when "bang" went the shore guns. personally, i thought it was simply gun practice, which is usual about this hour. Then suddenly a tommy pointed to some streaks above."The Huns are here, he said with a smile, and he was right".
Notices were exhibited in some places of entertainment to the effect that enemy aircraft were reported to be approaching, and people were advised to make their way home as quickly as possible.There was no sign of panic, however, or even of alarm. Patrons of the houses where these notices were displayed left their seats quietly, and the buildings were cleared in a few moments with the greatest ease.

Some house property was damaged, the worst case being that of a business establishment (Grieves, Bluetown) which was totally wrecked and sixteen hours after the manager was found dead under the debris. His end is believed to have been instantaneous, and it is thought that he was going up the stairs at the time the premises collapsed. His dog was found alive under the wreckage, but was injured, and had to be shot. The female assistants of the shop managed to get clear, one of them being rather badly bruised. The shop next door was also damaged. A public house was also hit, (the Crown and Anchor) and the side blown out, the furniture, including the pianoforte, falling on some vacant land adjoing. The other damage was all to private houses. Some of them were badly damaged, and others were pitted outside with shrapnel, whilst inside the front rooms were knocked about. It is when one viewed the houses, in some cases with thousands of fragments of glass lying about, that the immunity from personal injuries in most cases seemed remarkable.
The casualties included the loss by death of a gentleman who was known in a wide district as a singer of more than ordinary ability, (Samuel Hawes RN). he was on his way home, and was passing through a thoroughfare leading to his residence when a bomb fell close by him.
In some shops there were quite crowds of people who sought shelter in them when the first explosions were heard and remained there until the raid was over. A resident was sitting on a barrow in his garden, when a bomb fell twenty-five yards away, and smothered him with earth from the garden. No damage was done except to make a hole in the ground. One resident had just returned from his allotment, when a bomb burst in the roadway near him, inflicting such severe injury to his leg that he had to have it amputated. Two or three bombs fell in the back gardens of houses. In one road the end house was struck by a bomb, and damage was done to houses on the opposite side. One bomb fell on a patch of pasture close to the public highway, and a man who was passing received some injury to his foot. Another house had the roof blown in by a bomb, but the occupants escaped with some light injuries. In all about half-a-dozen shops and houses were extensively damaged, and numerous dwellings received slighter injuries due to the shrapnel being scattered broadcast when the bombs exploded. Two or three bombs fell on allotments on the outskirts of the town.
On thursday afternoon another body-that of a man making a purchase, was found under the debris of the shop struck by the bomb.(this was herbert Gandy RN.)

A police inspector (gave evidence at the inquest.) "I have made inquiries as to the facts with the following results;(George Frier) was killed whilst engaged at his work by an explosive bomb, a fragment of which struck him in the region of the back, death taking place almost immediately.
With regard to (Herbert Lucas) he was proceeding along a road on his way to work when a hostile aircraft appeared overhead, and dropped a bomb which fell in the centre of the roadway. He received severe injuries to his body, and died at 11 pm. in hospital.
The third body is that of (Edward Perry),who was manager in a large shop which was directly hit by a bomb and demolished. A large amount of debris fell on him. His body was recovered on wedesday. From the position of the body it would appear that he was attempting to escape by a passage. The injuries he received were- a deep wound on the right side of the ear; the left leg blown off below the knee; a deep wound inside the thigh, and a fracture below the knee of the right leg." The coroner said that the powder marks on the body indicated that the bomb must have exploded very near to the deceased. the foreman said that it had been stated that the deceased was going upstairs. The Police inspector; "I think he had been upstairs and was coming down. He was lying face downwards." The jury then returned their verdict "deceased met their deaths through injuries caused by the explosion of bombs dropped by enemy aircraft".

Offline Paul

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown & Sheerness
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2009, 21:04:59 »
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

Offline Paul

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown & Sheerness
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2009, 19:42:58 »
Ive searched the CWGC and cant find this grave ???

Killed 1917 Sheerness air raid.

William J Tapper. c/3972, age 18. Rifleman, 5th Battalion, Royal Rifle Corps.
            Buried Camerwell Old Cemetery
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Fatalities, German air raids, Sheerness, 1917-18.
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2009, 22:14:34 »
                  5th June 1917.
William Amos. R/38343, age 35. Rifleman, 5th Battalion, Royal Rifle Corps.
          Buried Sheerness Cemetery.
Arthur Galley. R/38573, aged 19, Rifleman, 5th Battalion, Royal Rifle Corps.
         Buried Greenwich Cemetery.
William J Tapper. C/3972, age 18. Rifleman, 5th Battalion, Royal Rifle Corps.
            Buried Camberwell Old Cemetery.
Benjamin Corby 26415, Age 29, Private, 2nd Garrison Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment.
             Buried Chingford Mount Cemetery.
Frank Smith,  85198, age 27, Private, middlesex Regiment, secondary Regiment, Labour Corps.age 27.
        Buried Oundle Cemetery.
Herbert H Gandy. RN. aged 26. Gunner, HM Torpedo Boat # 7.
              Buried Hove Old Cemetery.
Joseph D Davis, RN, l/2645 aged 22,  Officers Steward, HMS Dominion.
             Buried Sheerness Cemetery.
Samuel H Hawes RN, 340701 aged 41, Chief Armourer, HMS Actaeon.
             Buried Sheerness Cemetery.
George J Frier, age 50, Rigger, HM Dockyard.
            Buried Sheerness Cemetery.
Herbert  H  Lucas.  aged 31. Married with child.
               Buried New Brompton Cemetery, Gillingham.
Edward F Perry. aged 27. Shop Manager Grieves.
            Buried at Plymouth Corporation Cemetery, Weston Mill.

                   5/6 Dec 1917
Horace H Mouatt, RN, 347154. Shipwright 1st class, HMS Actaeon. Served at Battle of Jutland.        
             Buried at Sheerness Cemetery.
Mary A Hubbard, aged 55.      141 Invicta Rd.

James F Hubbard, aged 31.   son to above.  Husband and Father to Rosa and daughter.  141 Invicta Road.

Laura J Cox,  aged 37,  Wife and Mother.  129 Invica Road.

            January 1918.
Charles W Hibbins RN, k/632. age 29. Leading Stoker, Torpedo Boat # 19.
              Buried Nunhead All Saints Cemetery.
              Listed as C Hibben RN. On Sheerness War Memorial.
Albert Winmill, RN, 133210, aged 48. Able Seaman, HMS Wildfire.
         Buried Sheerness Cemetery.

   German 5 June 1917.
 Eric Kluck,Vizefeld webel, pilot, age 20, drowned.
 Hans Francke, Leutant, observer, died of wounds 6/6/17.
 Both originally buried in Sheerness Cemetery.
 Moved to Cannock Chase, early 1960s.
  

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Re: German air raids on Sheppey 1914-18.
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2009, 21:20:34 »
9/10 Aug,1915, night.  Zeppelin Lll dropped 12 bombs on Eastchurch airfield, main load fell in sea. broken windows and craters in airfield.

22 Oct 1916, daylight, 1 aeroplane, probably an LVG dropped 4 bombs over Bluetown. 1 fell at Bluetown railway station, causing minor damage, rest fell in sea.

5 June 1917, daylight, 22 Gothas attacked Shoeburyness and Sheerness, 13 killed, including 2 at Shoeburyness.

3/4 Sep 1917, night, 4 Gothas attacked Chatham, Sheerness and Margate. 132 Naval ratings killed at Chatham.

24/25 Sep 1917. night. bombs scattered over Sheppey, little damage.

29/30 Sep 1917, night. bombs dropped over Sheppey by Staaken Giant. hit on track of Sheppey Light Railway. 9/10 horses killed near Sheppey Court.

5/6 Dec 1917, night, Staaken Giant bombs Sheerness. 4 killed in Invicta Road.

28/29 Jan 1918. 2? Gothas bomb Sheerness. 2 killed.

  3 German aircraft were shot down over or close to Sheppey 1914-18.
  5th June 1917, Gotha 660/16 came down 2 miles north of Bartons Point. 2 crew killed, 1 pow.

  4/5th Sep 1917. night, highly likely Gotha crashed into sea off Eastchurch during raid on London. loss admitted by Germans, never found.

  19/20th May 1918, night. Gotha shot down during raid on London by Maj Brand of 112 Squadron RAF Throwley, crashing in flames at Harty.
  crew killed.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown & Sheerness, sources.
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2009, 22:37:45 »
Thanks to Paul for starting this thread. A few odds & ends to tidy things up.
Sources used.
Article, Enemy Air Raids, the Guardian and East Kent Advertiser, Jan 18th 1919. Best source for events on the ground, but ignore the number of German aircraft shot down!!
The Air Defence of Britain, 1914-18, Cole & Cheesman. Putnam 1984.  Well researched and highly detailed. Mainly based on offical sources.
I have taken all times from this book.
A Glint in the Sky, Easdown & Genth. Pen and Sword. Based around the authors research on the Gotha raid on Folkstone 25th May 1917. This part is excellent. The part on the Sheerness raid of 5th June seems to contain several errors. The author is mistaken in claiming that Samuel Hawes RN was killed at Messrs Grieves. News paper reports of the time, while censored, make this clear.


Offline Paul

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown & Sheerness
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2009, 13:15:06 »
Went and had a look at Duttnell's Opening.

The two houses at the end have been replastered so you cant see any bomb fragment marks.



The wall opposite seems to show some damage and repaired areas.
Weather it because the plaster was "blown" or repaired bomb damage im not sure ???
There are a couple of marks on the Brickwall that look like fragment marks and the wall is leaning back.
(this could be due to blast or just subsidence).



Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Bomb damage, 1917-18.
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2009, 23:30:21 »
".....and i remember we had not been long removed to 23 Maple St before the German Gotha raids raids took place and my father took me to see the damage. First to see the stricken houses some 3 or 4 towards the top end of Invicta road on the left hand side, mainly roofs and windows.then to the badly damaged house on the corner of Berridge and Cavour road.
All the top half had gone, and i remember an illuminated text card which fluttered proudly from a gas bracket on the broken wall above the littered bed -all else had been blasted away! to this day one can easily see the dividing line between the old and new brickwork of the restored house."
    (This was the raid of the night of 5/6 dec 1917.Mrs Mary Hobbard and her son James were killed when a bomb landed on 141 Invicta rd. Mrs Louisa Cox was killed at 129 Invicta road, while Horace Mouatt, a naval shipwright was killed by falling masonry.  h. c)
 "In those days Maple St ended where the council houses now begin, and was sealed off by a high black iron fence penetrated by double gates.on the other side meandered a rough clinkery and often muddy track bisecting a huge army camp. I still recall the tents, the field kitchens, and the dug outs on the canal bank also the magazine that stood on its top. we youngsters became well enough known to be let into parts of the camp to see the soldiers and their condititions were pretty grim! seeing them shaving from a muddy pool was no unusual sight!"         W.H.Dawes, Sheerness Times Guardian .March 2nd 1984

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Re: German air raid on Sheerness, 5th June 1917.
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2009, 21:52:00 »
"After another raid, i was taken in the early morning to see the smoking ruins of Gieves Navel outfitters shop which stood opposite the Dockyard south gate in Bluetown."      W. H. Dawes. Sheerness Times & Guardian. 2-3-1984.
22 Gotha GlVs of Kagohl lll under the command of Hauptmann Ernest Brandenburg took off from the Gontrode and St Denis Westrem airfields in Belgium on the afternoon of Tuesday 5th june 1917.
The German formation crossed the English coast near Foulness Point, then turned South. Over England it was a fine early summer evening.
The Germans began bombing at 18.25 hrs from 15,000 ft, killing 2 soldiers at the Army Gunnery Establishment at Shoeburyness.
The German formation, somewhat scattered by anti-aircraft fire, then made for Sheerness, at this point 2 aircraft returned to Belgium. the guns at Bartons Point and Whitehouse farm then opened fire, the Bartons Point gun fired 93 rounds, nearly all high explosive anti-aircraft shells. one of the Gothas (660/16) dropped 4 bombs close to the Bartons Point gun , then crashed into the sea at 18.31, some 2 miles offshore.
At 18.30 the 19 remaining Gothas began dropping bombs over Sheerness, 32 X 50 kg bombs and 13 X 12.5 kg bombs falling within a space of some 5 minutes,  aimed mainly at military targets. the Navel dockyard received 5 X 50 kg bombs. one struck the Grand Store causing a blaze that lasted 3 hours. a dry dock was damaged and a bomb just missed a ship in no 3 dock, killing Mr George Frier. A 50 kg bomb hit the Crown and Anchor in West st Bluetown, a portion of the south side being shattered. The Criterion, occupied by Messers Grieves, Navel outfitters, was totally demolished. the shop manager Edward E Perry and Herbert Gandy RN, being killed. The premises of Mr Rye, greengrocer next door was partially destroyed. A bomb narrowly missed a train going into the Bluetown station. while another demolished the goods shed with out exploding. A 50 kg bomb fell in the moat 400 yards south west of Ravelin Bridge, causing 3 military deaths. Bombs also fell on the Well Marsh and Botany Army camps, as well as the gun battery near Ravelin Bridge.
Mr Samuel H Hawes was killed in Duttnels opening, while officers Stewart J D Davis RN, later died from injuries received just outside his mothers lodgings in Alma Road. A 12.5 kg bomb wrecked the rear of a house in Invicta Road. During this time the raiders were shot at by the 4 anti-aircraft guns at Bartons Point, Whitehouse Farm, Port Victoria and Queenborough. After attempting to bomb the Naval Balloon Training Base between Bluetown and West Minister, the Gothas returned to Belgium, flying east over the Thames estuary.
62 air defence sorties were flown, including 4 from Eastchurch and 1 from Grain. 5 aircraft made contact with the bombers, to little effect.
10 soldiers and sailors were killed and 26 injured, including those in shoeburyness. 3 civilian men were killed, 5,003 worth of damage was caused.

My Greatgrand father J R Record, was a Sheerness part-time fireman, recieving the Medal Of The Order of the British Empire for his service during the great war, so he would have attended some of these incidents.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2009, 22:19:53 »
The bombs dropped on Sheerness 5 june 1917 were P.u.W. high-explosive aerial bombs manufactured from high grade steel to give superior penetration.    
A unexploded 50kg bomb penetrated the roof of the goods shed, went through the office and buried itself 3 feet deep.  it was recovered some 10 or 12 days later and found to be almost undamaged. a slight defect preventing it exploding.
If anyone around Sheerness is looking for something to do on Monday ."the other person killed was a man who lived in Cavour Road,who was hit in or near a walkway called Duttnels opening,where, i believe the marks of the shrapnel are still visible." interview with Mrs V Simmons ,date unknown.

Offline Paul

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2008, 12:51:09 »
Cheers Kyn looking at that it must have been a raid with several Aircraft.
Are there any reports of any V weapons hitting the Area?
I know they were mainly Aimed at London but a few wounded ones did go astray.
Most of the London ones hit Lambeth where my family lived at the time.
You dont think they were trying to stop me do you ???
I bet Churchill was giving them My familys Address ;D
They got bombed out twice.
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

Offline kyn

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2008, 12:34:56 »
You can see it on here Paul


Offline Paul

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2008, 12:18:44 »
The only other marks in Bluetown high St were on the old railings by Naval Terrace.


Its opposite that flat bit and could be the result of a bomb that may have flattened a few houses or damage from something else.

That Quadrangle anyone know of its location? Because bombs fall in a pattern and may be able to work out the flightpath of the Aircraft/s
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

Offline kyn

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Re: Bomb Damage Bluetown
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2008, 20:46:45 »
The building to the left within the square and the larger extension behind is the Bluetown Heritage Centre! 

 

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