Bombs Fall on Ramsgate

From an Old Ramsgateonian:

We as a family were very lucky to come through the war unharmed. We did have one incendiary bomb at the bottom of the garden and on another occasion, after an air battle overhead, we found damage to the roof and ceiling of my bedroom. This was due to the nose cone of a cannon shell. The incendiary bomb fell one night just as I arrived home from work. I heard an aeroplane but as it was after nightfall I didn’t see it. I heard a bomb coming down but there was no explosion, this was not unusual as a lot of them were delayed action and would explode later. Shortly after there were a series of ‘plops’, and we became aware that incendiary bombs were lighting up in the neighbourhood. The bomb that had dropped was one of a type nicknamed, ‘Molotov Breadbaskets’. It had fallen somewhere near the railway station and on bursting it had showered incendiaries over a large area. Throughout the war we had had two sand bags standing outside our front door for just such an emergency. I grabbed these to take them to put on the bomb but as I carried them through the house the sacks, that had become rotten due to standing wet for so long, fell apart and there was wet sand all over the floor. Fortunately the bomb had fallen on soft ground and was easily put out by covering it with earth. The cleaning up indoors took longer.

There were a number of raids that were quite alarming. The first was on August 12th 1940. I had just arrived home for dinner when all hell let loose. Just as the air raid sirens were sounding a fleet of German aeroplanes flew in from the sea low over Ramsgate to bomb and machine-gun Manston aerodrome. With anti aircraft guns of all calibres firing at them it was a taste of things to come. There was a big raid on Ramsgate town on Saturday morning August 24th 1940. I was in a house in Wilson’s Road at the time and, on hearing the noise of many aircraft, I looked out of a window to see a large number of planes flying in from the direction of the coast. As I watched bombs began falling from them and a very large area around our gasworks and the gas works itself were hit. Much damage was done and many people were killed and injured. The following morning I walked around the area with one of my brother in laws to view the damage. Shops in King Street had had windows blown out and had been boarded up with what he informed me were coffin boards. He was a carpenter so he knew about these things. We noticed a number of holes in the road way and pavements, about a foot in diameter, it was obvious that something heavy had made them and we later found out that they had been made by unexploded bombs. These were the early days of aerial bombardment and afterwards every effort was made to keep inquisitive people away until the U X bombs had been removed.

More information about the August Raid on Ramsgate can be found HERE in a book written by by D.T. Richards and available from Michael's Book Shop

1 comment:

Michael Child said...

Click on the link for some pictures of the raid and a bit more info