Archive for February, 2009

Raid 7: 3rd April 1941

February 26, 2009

CITY of YORK.

Civil Defence.

Enemy Action – 3rd April 1941.

At 21.35 hours on the 3rd April 1941 the “Alert” warning was sounded and at 21.50 hours a flare and the light of many Incendiaries was seen in the Boroughbridge Road and Clifton Ings District (which was under water owing to floods).

Reports of this occurrence were received from Posts J.1., A.3., and A.4. The A.F.S. Service was advised and two units were despatched to the Sugar Beet Factory, Boroughbridge Road, and Ainsty Building Estate. No fire was found.

The Incendiary Bombs (16) which fell within the premises of the Sugar Beet Factory were dealt with by the Home Guard on duty there, only three of these having entered the buildings.

A large number of Incendiary Bombs from the same salvo fell in a line extending from the Sugar Beet Factory across the river into Clifton Ings and the North Riding Mental Hospital, where again many were dealt with by the Hospital A.R.P. Staff.

A small percentage of explosive incendiaries were detected but no casualties or damage resulted therefrom.

At 21.59 hours a report was received from Post A.4. of one H.E. bomb falling in a field behind Sherwood Grove. This bomb fell on soft ground and no damage was caused. This incident was in the West Riding Area and no action was taken by York Wardens other than reporting the matter.

Operations on 3rd April 1941

A few Incendiary Bombs and one High Explosive fell in the City at approximately 21.55 hours.

The following messages were sent to the North Eastern Regional Officer by telephone.

1. YK. 37

Time first bomb dropped 21.55. Incendiary only. time of origin 22.04 hours

2. YK. 38

Further to YK 37 Incendiaries and one High Explosive only reported. No Damage. time of origin of message 22.45 hours.

Google Map of Locations bomed on 3rd April 1941:

Key to symbols:

High Explosive High Explosive
Incendiary Device Incendiary
Unexploded Bomb Unexploded Bomb (U.X.B)
Casualties Casualties

Raid 6: 16th January 1941

February 17, 2009

City of York.

Air Raid Damage.

16th January, 1941. (03.30 hours and 05.05 hours)

Warnings received were:-

No. 411 – 02.05 hrs. Purple to 05.32 hrs White (No Yellow or Red).

No. 412 – 05.51 hrs. Yellow, 05.56 Purple to 06.15 hrs White (No Red).

Area affected – Clifton, Fishergate, Guildhall, Holgate and Monk Wards.

At 03.30 hours enemy aircraft passed over the City and Incendiary bombs of the 1 k.g. type were dropped at several points in the City, causing the following fires:-

St. Maurice Church, Monkgate, The bomb penetrated the roof and fell to the floor burning a hole approx. 2ft. 6in. in diameter under the pews.

Presbyterian Church, Priory Street. Sparks were reported coming from the roof, but no fire was found.

No. 13 Nunmill Street. I.B. penetrated the roof, cam to rest in the lath and plaster ceiling of the bedroom. Burnt through the ceiling and fell to the floor causing a fire which was extinguished by the occupants who suffered slight burns to the feet.

No. 16 Prospect Gardens, Priory St. I.B. penetrated the basement area cover and lodged in the cellar causing a small fire which was quickly extinguished.

Many other incendiaries fell at various points in the City but no fires were caused.

At 05.05 hours enemy aircraft again passed over the City and 8 H.E. bombs (presumed to be 50 k.g. type) were dropped in the Groves district. A double run was made on this occasion and the incidents numbered 1 and 2 occurred on the first run and the remaining 6 on the second.

  1. The first H.E fell on the pavement in front of No 10 St. John’s Crescent causing material damage to the front of this property and to houses on either side. Extensive damage was also caused to windows in St. John Street and district. A 4 inch gas main at the bottom of the crater was fractured and there was a leakage of water from the domestic service.

  2. The second bomb fell in Martin’s Yard, Lowther Street, approximately 10 feet from Warden’s Post N.3. A very shallow crater was caused owing to the bomb striking a stack of flag stones and detonating on impact. The Warden’s post was badly damaged and outbuildings nearby demolished. Damage was also caused to glass and surrounding property and to St. Thomas’s Church nearby.

  3. This bomb scored a direct hit at the rear of No. 6. Haxby Road, and demolished the rear end of the house and outbuildings nearby. The air raid shelter 8ft. from the point of impact was slightly damaged. Occupants of the house were indoors at the time but were not injured.

  4. School Gardens St. Hilda’s, Lowther Street. A crater was caused 8ft. x 4ft. in soft ground. The garden wall was partly demolished and damage caused to glass in surrounding property.

  5. No. 1 Dudley Street. Direct hit on outbuildings at the rear of the property. The outbuildings were completely demolished and the end walls of the house, much material damage being caused. There was also much damage to glass in surrounding property.

    There were three casualties to the incident. Mr H. bond aged 53 years sustained serious abdominal injuries and died later. Mrs. Bond had a slight cut to the head and ear and her daughter a slight cut to the forehead.

  6. Direct hit on the piggeries and garage behind No. 57 Eldon Street. Seven pigs were killed outright and two injured and subsequently destroyed. Much damage was caused to surrounding property (glass).

  7. Garden at the rear of No. 15 Penley’s Grove Street, crater was caused 8ft. x 4ft. in soft ground. Damage to outbuildings and glass in surrounding property.

  8. Rear of St. Thomas’ School, Lowther Street, in soft ground near to the lavatories attached to the school Several lavatories were demolished and damage caused to glass and ceilings of the school and the Church adjoining.

Points of interest are that the protection afforded in the newly constructed Wardens’ Posts was clearly demonstrated. A 50 k.g. bomb detonated close to the Post and although a Warden was on duty in the post at the time he escaped all injury.

The roof of the post was lifted and the walls badly cracked but no penetration by splinters or collapse occurred.

At Incident No. 3. a brick built domestic shelter (surface) stood up very well to a near miss (approximately 8ft. from the point of impact) and although the face wall was badly scarred by fragments, no penetration occurred. Any person taking cover in the shelter would have been adequately protected.

The preceding Incendiary attack entirely failed to light up any objective in the city and surprisingly few casualties were caused by the H.E. bombs, which fell in the most densely populated parts of the city.

CITY of YORK.

Civil Defence.

Reference Operations No. 20.

Report on the Operation of Civil Defence Services.

16th January 1941.

Nature of Attacks.

Raids did not appear to be directed against a target of Military or Industrial importance.

Effect of the Attack.

In the absence of a Public Air Raid Warning, the instructions of the Department on the taking of shelter could not generally be obeyed.

Operation of Services.

In dealing with the result of attack –

  1. The turnout of part-time personnel was satisfactory, being neither excessive nor insufficient. Reporting commenced at approximately 05.30 hours – shortly after the H.E. bombs had been heard.

  2. There was no difficulty in calling up personnel on call. The staff of a First Aid Post was called out on the snowball system and was in action 15 minutes after it was known to be required.

    Reporting System.

  3. Wardens’ reports were fairly satisfactory as a basis for action.

  4. Communications worked well despite damage to telephone installations at the scene of the incident.

  5. Motorcycle despatch riders were successfully used in these operations.

    Working of Services Generally.

  6. There was no delay in getting services to the spot.

  7. Incidents were dealt with on their merits, and services were not despatched in excess of requirements.

  8. No service was impeded by the none arrival of other services.

  9. Casualties were dealt with before the arrival of services.

  10. There was no difficulty in co-ordination.

  11. The public did not interfere with the operation of services and were generally helpful, particularly in dealing with Incendiary bombs.

  12. Public Utility services were quickly on the scenes of damage.

  13. Means of lighting were quite sufficient, this was helped by the fact of it being a clear moonlight night with snow on the ground.

    Rescue Parties

  14. No work of special difficulty was done.

  15. Equipment was adequate. Private houses only were involved.

  16. A First Aid Party arrived almost simultaneously with the Rescue Party.

  17. Rescue Parties were quite adequate for the type of work required.

    First Aid Parties.

  18. First Aid Parties did their work adequately. The very small number of casualties did not warrant the need for a doctor at incidents.

  19. Serious and light casualties were successfully segregated by First Aid Parties.

  20. Incident-control arrangements were not in force.

    First Aid Posts.

  21. Accommodation was adequate.

  22. Mobile Posts were not in action.

  23. Doctors reported immediately.

  24. One casualty originally sent to a First Aid Post was transferred to hospital with a suspected fractured base of the skull.

  25. It was not necessary to make arrangements for getting casualties home.

    Ambulances

  26. The number of ambulances and sitting-wounded case cars was adequate in relation to the number of casualties.

  27. No part-time auxiliary ambulances were required.

  28. The exchange system of stretchers and blankets at Hospitals worked according to plan.

    Other Services.

  29. Arrangements for salvage of property, removal of debris and rehousing of homeless persons were quite satisfactory for this small raid. Children were removed from a damaged Children’s Home to the nearby Institution – none of them were injured although they were all sick Children.

    Public Utility Services.

  30. Arrangements were quite satisfactory.

Note.

The Emergency slaughtering arrangements were again required in York. Some 60 pigs were involved in one of the incidents – the building in which they were housed being damaged. Six of the pigs were killed outright and none of the carcasses were salvaged as they were blown to pieces. A number of the remainder were slaughtered and the others were rehoused at nearby premises.

The arrangements for dealing with these animals worked very well.

Guildhall.

York

Google Map showing locations bombed in raid of 16th January 1941:

Key to symbols:

High Explosive High Explosive
Incendiary Device Incendiary
Unexploded Bomb Unexploded Bomb (U.X.B)
Casualties Casualties

Editor’s Notes

  1. St. Maurice’s Church on Monkgate was demolished in around 1966. Medieval Churches of York

Raid 5: 2nd January 1941

February 10, 2009

City of York.

Air Raid Damage.

2nd January 1941. (18.30 hours)

Warnings received were:-

No. 391 – 17.54 hrs. Yellow.

18.25 hrs. Purple.

19.25 hrs. Red to 19.40 hrs. White.

Areas affected – Castlegate, Fishergate, Guildhall, Heworth, Monk and Walmgate Wards.

At 18.30 hours enemy aircraft passed over the City and Incendiary bombs were dropped in a line extending from Hull Road to Peaseholme Green causing fires at the following places:-

St. Margaret’s Church. Walmgate, York.

Dwelling House, Landesdowne Terrace,

Bellerby’s Sawmills, Hungate,

Lazenby’s Garage, Hull Road,

Joiner’s Shop, Hull Road,

In no case was the fire serious.

At 19.15 hours more Incendiaries fell in the Heworth District and incidents were reported near a dwelling house in East Parade, and near the York Gas Works Monkbridge and to a house in Heworth. 20 other I.B.’s were detected in various localities on the east side of the City, but no fires were reported Reports were received of machine gunning at points where I.B’s were burning and that flares had been dropped, but these were not confirmed.

The I.B.’s were, in all cases, speedily dealt with, and when the enemy aircraft again passed over the City at approximately 19.40 hours no fires were burning.

Air raid messages “Yellow” and “Purple” were received later the same evening but no incidents occurred.

Copy. 32 Parliament Street,

YORK.

6th January, 1941.

The A.R.P. Controller,

T. C. Benfield Esq.,

The Guildhall,

York.

Dear Sir,

Air Raid, 2nd Jan. 1941.

At about 18.30 hours on Thursday, 2nd Jan. 1941 an enemy aircraft passed over the City and dropped incendiary bombs in a line extending from Hull Road, to Peaseholme Green causing fires as under:-

St. Margaret’s Church. Walmgate, York.

Dwelling House, Landesdowne Terrace,

Dwelling House, Nicholas Terrace,

Bellerby’s Saw Mills, Hungate,

Lazenby’s Factory, Hull Road,

Joiner’s Shop, Hull Road,

These fires were reported by Wardens and police, and fire services attended the outbreaks. In no case did the bombs cause serious fires.

About 19.15 hours the aircraft returned and dropped more incendiary bombs in the Heworth District which were reported as:-

  1. Near house East Parade.

  2. Near Gas Works Monk Bridge.

  3. Near house at Heworth.

The A.F.S. attended the first of these and the other two were put out before the arrival of the fire services. About twenty other incendiary bombs were detected in various localities on the east side of the City and were dealt with by wardens, police and members of the public before fires were started.

There are reports of machine gunning at points where incendiary bombs were burning and where flames were being dropped, but these reports have not yet been confirmed.

This light incendiary attack was speedily dealt with by the wardens, fire services, police and members of the public, no lights being visible at approximately 19.40 hours when aircraft again passed over the City.

It is significant to note that air raid messages “Yellow” and “Purple” were received later the same night indicating the presence of enemy aircraft in the vicinity.

Owing to the very scattered nature of this raid it would be extremely difficult to give a report in full detail, but the wardens in Fishergate, Walmgate, Castlegate, Heworth, Monk and Guildhall Wards were all called upon and did their work well.

In the remaining Wards there was a good turn out of wardens who patrolled their sectors, but I have received no reports of incidents there.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) W. Bunch.

Chief Warden.

Editor’s Note: I have not found any photographs relating to this raid.

Google Map of locations bombed on 2nd January 1941


Key to symbols:

High Explosive High Explosive
Incendiary Device Incendiary
Unexploded Bomb Unexploded Bomb (U.X.B)
Casualties Casualties

Raid 4: 15th November 1940

February 7, 2009

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,

YORK.

15th Nov. 1940.

The A.R.P. Controller,

The Guildhall,

York.

Dear Sir,

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.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) W. Bunch.

W.H.A

Chief Warden.

Photograph of Number 206 Beckfield Lane

No. 206 Beckfield Lane

No. 206 Beckfield Lane

Photograph of No. 204 Beckfield Lane

No. 204 Beckfield Lane

No. 204 Beckfield Lane

Google Map showing areas bombed on 15th November 1940.


Key to symbols:

High Explosive High Explosive
Incendiary Device Incendiary
Unexploded Bomb Unexploded Bomb (U.X.B)
Casualties Casualties

Raid 3: 5th November 1940

February 5, 2009

Copy. 32 Parliament Street,

YORK.

6th Nov. 1940.

The A.R.P. Controller,

(T. C. Benfield Esq.,)

The Guildhall,

York.

Dear Sir,

Air Raid Damage – 5.11.40

Air Raid Message ‘Purple’ was received at 21.46 hours on the 5th inst. Three explosions were heard in or near the City at about 22.10 hours. At 22.20 hours a report was received to the effect that a bomb had fallen within the York Waterworks premises. Investigation on the morning of the 6th inst. disclosed that an H.E. Bomb had fallen close to two reservoirs in the York Waterworks grounds, and had penetrated deeply into the soft ground.

The bomb appeared to have exploded and lifted a quantity of earth and masonry of the reservoir structure, but done little material damage.

The efficiency of the Filter Bed system doe not appear to have been impaired.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) W. Bunch.

W.H.A

Chief Warden.

City of York.

Air Raid Damage

5th November 1940. (22.20 hours).

Warnings received were:-

No. 272 – 17.40 hours, Yellow to 1802 hrs. White. (No purple or Red).

No 273 – 21.46 hours. Purple to 23.52 hrs. White. (No Yellow or Red).

Area affected – Acomb Ward. Post. A.5.

Three explosions were heard about 22.10 hours and about 22.20. hours a report was received that a bomb had fallen within the York Waterworks Company’s premises. Investigation disclosed that the bomb had fallen close to two reservoirs and had penetrated deeply into soft ground. The bomb appeared to have exploded and lifted a quantity of earth and masonry of the reservoir structure, but done little material damage.

The efficiency of the Filter Bed system does not appear to have been impaired.

Editor’s Note: In the top left quarter of the picture below you can see the reservoirs of the York Waterworks.

Aerial Photograph 1956 Showing York Water Works

Aerial Photograph 1956 Showing York Water Works

Google Map showing location of bombs dropped during Raid of 5th November 1940.