Raid 6: 16th January 1941

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.


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.


  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.


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.



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


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