City of York.
Air Raid Damage.
15th November, 1940. (01.35 hours and 06.50 hours).
Warnings received were:-
No. 303 – 01.29 hrs. Purple to 02.32 hrs. White. (No Yellow or Red).
No. 304 – 03.07 hrs. Purple to 03.15 hrs. White. (No Yellow or Red).
No. 305 – 03.19 hrs. Purple to 03.31 hrs. White. (No Yellow or Red).
No. 306 – 05.23 hrs. Purple to 07.15 hrs. White. (No Yellow or Red).
Areas Affected – Fishergate Ward. Post F.2
Acomb Ward Posts A.3. & A.4
At approximately 01.35 hrs enemy aircraft passed overhead and Incendiary bombs fell in the City.
The first report was received from Post F.2. of an I.B. having fallen in front of No. 41 Hartoft Street. At 03.30 hrs a further report was received of a fire at the L.N.E.R. Power Station Leeman Road, where an Incendiary bomb had penetrated the roof setting fire to ladders and timber stored on the premises. At 07.31 hrs . a report was received of an I.B. falling on the spare ground opposite No. 36 Swann St, Nunnery Lane at 01.45 hours. No material damage caused.
06.50 hours – 10 H.E. bombs (estimated at 50 k.g.) fell in the City.
Eight of these fell in a line running from west to east of Penty’s Farm at the rear of 17 Askham Lane, Acomb. Six of these bombs exploded and caused craters in the grassland approximately 6ft in diameter and 3ft. deep. The seventh bomb caused a crater in similar ground approximately 10 ft in diameter and 5ft deep. The eighth bomb penetrated soft ground but failed to explode. Very little material damage was done, only damage to glass and slates of nearby houses being reported. A pony and three beasts in a paddock were killed outright, more head of cattle were injured by flying glass.
At 06.57 hours a further incident was reported from Post A.4. of two H.E. bombs in Beckfield Lane. The first bomb fell between two semi-detached houses Nos. 204 and 206 Beckfield Lane demolishing a large part of the end of each house. The occupier Mr. Fenney No. 206, received slight cut to the face and sustained shock. Mrs. Fenney suffered a compound fracture of the arm, burns to the face and shock. The second bomb had fallen in front of No. 210 Beckfield Lane and demolished so much of the outer wall as to render the house unsafe. No casualties were reported from this incident.
Copy. 32 Parliament Street,
15th Nov. 1940.
The A.R.P. Controller,
Air Raid Damage – 15.11.40
I beg to send you herewith a report which Sergt. Andrews has prepared.
Incident No. 1.
At 01.35 hours enemy aircraft passed overhead and incendiary bombs fell in the City.
The first report of this occurrence was telephoned to Control H.Q’s from Post F.2. Alma Grove, by Warden Gertie Crouch at 01.52 hours, in reference to a 1 kilo I.B. which had fallen in front of 41 Hartoft Street and burnt itself out on the pavement. The bomb had been covered with sand by Warden Edna Sykes and C. Bannister of the City A.F.S. At 3.30 hours a call was received at the City Fire station asking for an engine to be sent to the L.N.E.R. Power Station, Leeman Rd, where a fire had occurred. On the arrival of the Brigade it was found that a 1 kilo incendiary bomb had penetrated the roof of this building and set fire to ladders and timber stored therein. The fire had got a good hold but was quickly under control and finally extinguished by members of the Regular Fire Brigade.
At 07.31 hours a message was telephoned to Control from Post M.1. Nunnery Lane to the effect that an incendiary bomb had fallen in the spare ground opposite 36 Swann Street at about 01.45 hours and that this bomb had burned itself out without doing any material damage. Mr Hick of 40 Swann Street covered the bomb with sand.
Incident No. 2.
At 06.50 hours aircraft again passed over the City and 10 H.E. bombs (estimated 50 kg) were dropped. Eight of these fell in a line running from west to east at Penty’s Farm, to the rear of 17 Askham Lane. Six of the bombs had exploded and caused craters in the grassland approx. 6 ft. in diameter and 3 ft. in depth. A seventh bomb caused a crater in similar ground approx. 10 ft in diameter and 5ft. in depth. The eighth bomb had again penetrated soft ground but failed to explode. Very little material damage appears to have been done – only damage to glass in nearby housed and displacement of a few slates on farm buildings being the result. A pony and three beasts which were in the paddock at 17 Askham Lane were killed outright, another beast seriously injured and dying, and three more head of cattle wounded by flying splinters. All these casualties were caused by one of the H.E. bombs which fell in the garden at the rear of 17 Askham Lane. A report of this incident was telephoned to Control H.Q. at 06.59 hours which read as follows:-
“A3/120 Penty’s Farm Askham Lane, H.E. No casualties, 06.40 hours. Remarks:- Class, probably casualties, crater 3 – 4 ft. across, still smoking, no shrapnel.”
No A.R.P. Services were required for this incident but being advised by Air Raid Warden. Mr Arnott, Butcher of Front Street, slaughtered the injured cattle.
Incident No. 3.
At 06.57 hours the following messages was received at Control H.Q.:-
“A4/131 Boroughbridge Road, between Ouseburn Avenue and Boroughbridge Road. Remarks:- 1 ambulance and first aid.”
I was present at control H.Q. when this message was received and at once proceeded to Beckfield Lane where I found that an H.E. bomb had fallen between 204 and 206 Beckfield Lane (semidetached houses) demolishing a large part of the end of each house. The occupier of No. 206 Keith Fenney, suffered slight cuts to the face and sustained shock. Mrs. Fenney received a compound fracture of the arm, burns to the face and shock. A second bomb had fallen in front of No. 210 Beckfield Lane and demolished so much of the outer wall as to render the house unsafe. No casualties were sustained at this site.
In consequence of the above I telephoned the following message to Control H.Q. at 07.08 hours:-
“Air Raid Damage A4/131 Beckfield Lane, 2 H.E. 5 Casualties, 1 serious, 1 Ambulance present. Message ends.”
On further inspection of the three houses most badly affected I decided that there was danger of collapse and caused a telephone message to be sent to Control requesting the services of a rescue party to carry out the necessary shoring.
Two Wardens were present on my first arrival and these were set to work ascertaining the full extent of casualties and rendering all possible assistance. A contingent of Police arrived and took charge of the situation and control of traffic near the scene.
Accompanied by the A.R.P. controller (T.C. Benfield Esq.,) I went to Penty’s Farm, Askham Lane, and on arriving there searched the fields at the rear of this farm, while Mr Benfield reported the injury of animals. In Bachelor Hill Field, Warden W. Sherwin pointed out to me a hole in the ground approx. 12” in diameter which I immediately identified as being caused by an unexploded bomb of approx. 50kg. caliber. At 07.56 hours I telephoned the following message to Control:-
“A3/121 In field at rear of Askham Lane, 1 unexploded H.E. 07.55 hours. Message ends.”
This messages was supplemented by a written report to the A.R.P. Controller on the prescribed form at 08:30 hours. An officer of the Bomb Disposal Squad from Leeds arrived about 12.00 hours.
All services arrived promptly and worked well together. The situations were well in hand from the time they were first reported.
(Signed) W. Bunch.
Photograph of Number 206 Beckfield Lane
No. 206 Beckfield Lane
Photograph of No. 204 Beckfield Lane
No. 204 Beckfield Lane
Google Map showing areas bombed on 15th November 1940.
Key to symbols:
||Unexploded Bomb (U.X.B)