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North-East Diary

Roy Ripley &
Brian Pears
© Copyright Brian Pears 1994-2011


18th June 1940 to
25th July 1940

Tuesday, 18th June 1940  D290

Churchill's 'This Was Their Finest Hour' speech given today. This quotation includes the famous phrase:- "What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour".

Day 290. All times BST. Blackout ends: 03.56, begins: 22.18

Wednesday, 19th June 1940  D291

'SS Roseburn' (3,103t) steamer, St John, New Brunswick, Canada to the Tyne with a cargo of pit props, sunk off Dungeness by torpedo and gunfire from a E Boat.

Day 291. All times BST. Blackout ends: 03.56, begins: 22.18

Wednesday, 19th/Thursday, 20th June 1940  N291

West Hartlepool.. Suffered its first air raid. Two people were killed, one of them, John Punton, an air raid warden, is according to the book 'West Hartlepool' the first British full time civil defence worker to be killed by enemy action. There were 43 air raids on the Hartlepools between June 1940 and March 1943, causing a total of 70 deaths, 48 of them at West Hartlepool (14 men, 17 women and 17 children) and 22 of them at Hartlepool (6 men, 12 women and 4 children). West Hartlepool had 480 warnings but only 36 raids in which bombs were dropped. 5,745 buildings of various sorts were damaged or destroyed. Hartlepool had seven raids in which 1,771 buildings were damaged or destroyed.

23.14-03.41.. Co Durham.. West Hartlepool and District.. Two dead, seven injured.. Eight HEs near main streets. Thirty shops extensively damaged and sixty-seven slightly damaged. Six houses demolished, sixty-three extensively damaged and eighty slightly damaged; one school partly demolished. Four HEs demolished Gunnersvale Farm, Elwick, gas and sewer mains damaged. Three small fires. A number of persons treated at first aid posts for shock and minor cuts. Several people rendered homeless - accommodated by local authority. Industrial works, key or vulnerable points were not damaged.

Co Durham.. Stockton, Billingham and Norton District.. Two dead, one injured.. About twenty HEs dropped, also a number of IBs causing several fires, some fires at ICI Billingham, and Malleable Works - gasometer struck. Considerable damage to property. The dead and injured were soldiers on duty at ICI.

23.13.. Hull.. The first recorded incident. After gunfire, an IB fell in a field at Marfleet. A little later, IBs showered on East Hull, Victor Street and Buckingham Street, the immediate neighbourhood being the target. There were a few HEs, but little damage was done. Fifty fires were reported. One HE and an IB cluster dropped in the area of Chapman Street Railway Bridge, the parapet of which was slightly damaged. No casualties.

Night 291. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.18, ends: 03.56
Public Alert (Newcastle Warning Dist): 23.33, All-Clear: 02.51
Public Alert (Hull Warning Dist): 01.00, All Clear: 04.02

Thursday, 20th June 1940  D292

'SS Otterpool' (4,876t) steamer, Bona, Algeria to the Tees with a cargo of iron ore was sunk by U 30. Twenty-four of her crew were killed.

Day 292. All times BST. Blackout ends: 03.56, begins: 22.19

Friday, 21st/Saturday, 22nd June 1940  N293

Enemy aircraft crossed the East coast at several places during the night. Bombs were dropped sporadically in a number of east coast counties, however a later appraisal of the air activity indicated that this appeared to be the opening of the air campaign against England. Minelaying operations were attempted on the East coast with coastal batteries and sea-plane bases as additional targets, large scale reconnaissance training flights against aerodromes, both civil and military were being made, and ranging on coastal railway lines in Yorkshire was being carried out. The fact that a French patrol boat was blown up a ½ mile off the mouth of the Tees, supports the opening conclusion.

Northumberland.. Tynemouth Borough.. Two HE in the Tyne, one just off "The Flatts" and the other just south of the North Pier. Tynemouth has had its baptism of fire, its first bomb, to be followed by a total of 329 such incidents, during which three Tynemouth policemen were killed: P.C. Clements, First Reserve Murray and First Reserve Hannah.

Northumberland.. Damage reported in Whitley Bay UDC as follows. 00.33: Damage at Fair Green, Monkseaton. 01.00: Damage at Thorntree Drive, Monkseaton.

South Shields.. The first bombs to be dropped on South Shields are recorded thus: Four HE bombs dropped on a field near the junction of Marsden Road and Centenery Avenue in South Shields. Several houses were slightly damaged by shrapnel. There were no casualties.

Yorkshire.. A twenty-seven year old man was killed in an incident at Middlesbrough.

Night 293. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.19, ends: 03.56
Public Alert: 23.32, All-Clear: 01.50
Public Alert: 03.36, All-Clear: 03.58

Saturday, 22nd June 1940  D294

'La Bastiaise' a Free-French corvette was completing her sea trials and, as she approached the mouth of the Tees, she struck a mine, killing her Captain, some of her crew and some shipyard engineers. She lies in 12 metres of water at 54°39'36"N - 01°07'04"W. The ship was built at Smiths Dock (Middlesborough) and launched 8th April 1940.

Day 294. All times BST. Blackout ends: 03.56, begins: 22.19

Monday, 24th June 1940  D296

'SS Albuera' (3,477t) steamer, Chatham, New Brunswick, Canada to the Tyne with pit props was sunk in the English Channel by E Boats. Seven of her crew were lost.

Day 296. All times BST. Blackout ends: 03.57, begins: 22.19

Tuesday, 25th June 1940  D297

'SS Windsorwood' (5,395t) steamer, Tyne to Sierra Leone with coal was sunk in the South Western Approaches by U 51.

Day 297. All times BST. Blackout ends: 03.57, begins: 22.19

Tuesday, 25th/Wednesday, 26th June 1940  N297

01.55.. Northumberland.. One HE Spital Point, Newbiggin [NZ311868].

01.45.. Northumberland.. Longhorsley.. Six HEs field at Linden Hall Farm, Longhorsley [NZ1596]. One sheep killed.

01.47.. Northumberland.. West Chevington.. Thirty-three IBs in fields at West Chevington. (Whitefields Farm, Chevington Drift) [NZ2598].

01.40.. Hull.. Eleven HEs dropped in the Chamberlain Road to Lodge Street area, causing slight damage to domestic property. One person was seriously injured.

A Heinkel He 111 crashed into the sea off Hull at 00.17 after two separate combat attacks off Withernsea. The bodies of two of the crew were recovered by 'HMS Brazen' some days later and buried at sea.

Night 297. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.19, ends: 03.58
Public Alert: (Newcastle Warning Dist): 00.05, All-Clear: 02.25
Public Alert (Hull Warning Dist): 00.10, All Clear: 03.19

Wednesday, 26th June 1940  D298

'SS Hetos' sank near Swedeman, a rocky outcrop E of the Megstone, Inner Farnes.

Day 298. All times BST. Blackout ends: 03.58, begins: 22.19

Wednesday, 26th/Thursday, 27th June 1940  N298

Practically the whole country was under a yellow warning between 23.12 yesterday and 04.21 today. Some 100 enemy aircraft were employed and they crossed the Scottish coast and the North East coast.

Sunderland.. HE at Witherwack Farm, Southwick, near Sunderland. No casualties.

00.06-01.48.. Co Durham.. Whitburn.. About fifty incendiary bombs dropped on village green, also one on a farm (haystack) and one on a house. No extensive damage caused.

Co Durham.. Billingham and Haverton Hill Districts.. One dead and one injured.. Both HE and incendiary bombs dropped. Fires started on North and South sites of ICI Works and at offices of Dorman Long and Co, Port Clarence. Four houses demolished or damaged - unoccupied. A haystack at Portrack was set on fire. Gas and water mains damaged and road blocked at Belasis Lane. Several unexploded bombs reported. At Haverton Hill a woman aged 66 years died from heart failure in an air raid shelter during period of warning.

A Heinkel 111 was lost at sea off Blyth, on a sortie to Middlesbrough.

Night 298. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.19, ends: 03.58

Thursday, 27th/Friday, 28th June 1940  N299

00.50.. Northumberland.. Warkworth.. Three HEs fell on the highway near Hermitage Farm, Warkworth (one on road, two in fields), near the searchlight on the road from Warkworth to the railway station [NU2406].

Night 299. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.19, ends: 03.59

Friday, 28th/Saturday, 29th June 1940  N300

Night 300. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.19, ends: 03.59
Public Alert: 03.55, All-Clear: 04.05

Sunday, 30th June 1940  D302

A Heinkel 115 crashed into the sea thirty miles off Whitby due to engine failure during a minelaying sortie at 02.15. The crew were rescued from their dinghy, after 28 hours adrift and landed at Grimsby.

Day 302. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.00, begins: 22.18

Sunday, 30th June/Monday, 1st July 1940  N302

16.40.. Hull.. East Hull was to have the first daylight raid in the country, a lone raider, apparently undetected until too late to give a warning, flew over the City from west to east, made a few sporadic attacks on barrage balloons and then dropped sixteen HEs near the Saltend oil depot. The majority of the bombs fell outside the depot, but pieces of shrapnel from one bomb pierced the side of a tank holding about 2,500 tons of petrol, which caught fire. The flames licked the outside of the tank, bringing the temperature of the petrol inside to a dangerous degree, and burning petrol began to flow to a number of adjacent tanks.

Water was sprayed on the adjoining tanks to cool them until the arrival of sufficient stocks of foam arrived to quell the fire. Before this was accomplished, quantities of petrol had been drawn off, they saved more than 2,000 tons of petrol in the affected tank, apart from the vast quantities in peril in adjacent holders.

Five George Medals were awarded for bravery during this incident. They went to George Archibald Howe, manager of Shell Mex and BP Ltd for gallantry and leadership in fighting fire at the oil depot - George Samuel Sewell, engineer of Shell-Mex and BP Ltd for working continuously on a tank roof while gas inside was burning - William Sigsworth, manager, Anglo-American Oil Co Ltd for displaying courage and resource during the oil depot fire at Hull. He assisted Mr Howe - Jack Owen, fireman of Kingston upon Hull Fire Brigade for volunteering to operate a hose on top of an almost red-hot tank - Clifford Turner, leading fireman of Kingston upon Hull AFS for displaying outstanding courage in extinguishing fire. These men were among the first to be awarded the George Medal in October 1940.

A Heinkel He 111 crashed into the sea off Hull at 17.00, following the bombing of the oil tanks there. It was shot down by aircraft of No 616 Squadron. The crew took to their dinghy and were rescued by the destroyer 'HMS Black Swan' and landed at Harwich.

This is a summary of the German account of the above planes destruction that was given by Oberleutnant zur See Friedrich Koch who was the senior in rank but not pilot of the aircraft ... After a delay of two hours due to a fault found during the pre-take-off check, the Heinkel 111 set off for a high-level attack on the chemical works at Middlesbrough, with the secondary target, the oil tanks at Hull. On arrival at the Yorkshire coast, there was not enough cloud cover for an attack on Middlesbrough so Hull became the target. Unaware that we were using radar directed fighter control, and getting occasional glimpses of British fighters, the enemy aircraft dithered between the two target areas until the pilot's oxygen was down to 20 minutes in his emergency supply, which he was having to use because of a fault in the main oxygen system.

Time was running out, so the oil tanks at Hull were selected as the target, AA gunfire was being troublesome and during the final run-in, a shell fragment entered the cockpit and damaged the instrument panel. After releasing the load of 50kg bombs, which straddled the oil-tanks, the Heinkel headed for home. As soon as they were out of the AA fire zone the Spitfires pounced, first the instrument panel was shot to pieces, then one engine put out of action, next the landing gear became unlatched and fell down, the flaps came off, after the second engine was put out of action and the starboard ailerons shot away, all that was left for the pilot to do was to use his skill to make the best possible crash-landing.

The crash when it came, was made worse by the lowered landing-gear - the aircraft toppled over and started to sink rapidly - the rubber dinghy was eventually freed and inflated, the crew scrambled in. Lt zur See Koch, suffering from a knock on the head, the pilot was unhurt, the wireless operator had been shot through the eye, head, arm and chest and the mechanic had bullet wounds in his buttocks and leg. A Sunderland flying-boat spotted the flares and called up 'HMS Black Swan' after ditching their pistols and co-ordinating their stories ready for the interrogations to come, the Germans were rescued. They were taken aboard at 18.00 (German Summer Time) - 17.00 (British Summer Time), the injured got medical attention, the uninjured were separated and interrogated, then all were given a meal. During the night, Lt zur See Koch lay on a stretcher in a gangway guarded by a sailor with a fixed bayonet. About 10.00 the next day the German airmen were transferred to another vessel that put them ashore at Harwich about noon.

A Heinkel He 59 landed on the sea eight miles east of Sunderland after being badly damaged by Spitfires. The crew of four (one of whom was injured) were picked up in their dinghy by a cruiser's sea boat. The aircraft was beached and examined for armament. This was possibly the first British violation of a white painted, Red Cross marked aircraft which was on a genuine search and rescue mission. The aircraft's markings were clearly visible and seen by the RAF pilots concerned, who also commented on the fact that no return fire or armament were discernible. After this attack, the Germans camouflaged and re-armed the He 59s again, by the end of 1940, forty of their air/sea rescue planes had been lost, twenty-five of them shot down by the RAF.

A Heinkel He 115 crashed into the sea, 30 miles off Whitby, due to engine failure, during a minelaying sortie at 02.15. The crew of three were rescued from a rubber dinghy after 28 hours at sea and landed at Grimsby. The aircraft was lost.

Night 302. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.18, ends: 04.01

Monday, 1st July 1940  D303

Naval deployment today was as follows:-

Scapa Flow - 2 Battlecruisers, 2 Battleships, 3 Cruisers, 9 Destroyers Rosyth - 2 Cruisers Liverpool - 1 Battleship Iceland - 1 Aircraft Carrier, 7 Destroyers, (on escort duties) Tyne - 1 Cruiser, 12 Destroyers Humber - 3 Cruisers, 7 Destroyers Harwich - 9 Destroyers Sheerness - 1 Cruiser, 3 Destroyers Dover - 5 Destroyers Portsmouth - 5 Destroyers Western Approaches - 1 Battleship, 3 Cruisers, 23 Destroyers (on escort duties). Also about 1100 lightly armed trawlers and small craft which would give warning of approaching enemy but contribute little, their normal task being the escort of coastal traffic.

Most battleships and aircraft carriers were held at a distance ready to intervene only if major German units appeared.

'SS Beignon' (5,218t) cargo ship, from Freemantle to the Tyne with a cargo of wheat was sunk by U 30 in the South Western Approaches.

The milk price maximum was raised to 4d (1½p) per pint.

Day 303. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.01, begins: 22.18

Tuesday, 2nd July 1940  D304

Newcastle and Jarrow were attacked during the late afternoon. The damage was considerable. A single German Dornier bomber passed over Blaydon, shot down a balloon and dropped bombs on Newcastle and Jarrow.

17.30.. Newcastle.. HEs on The Close and Forth Street. A single HE on Spillers Ltd warehouse where a man, called John Kelly, who was locking up the gates of Spiller's was killed, five suffered minor injuries. The second fell on the engineering works of Hawthorn Leslie and Co Ltd, Forth Street. A third fell into the Tyne between the King Edward Bridge and the High Level Bridge and the last one fell into the Tyne on the seaward side of the Tyne Bridge. These were the first bombs to fall in Newcastle. There was no panic but sightseers were a considerable nuisance.

18.11.. Co Durham.. Jarrow.. Fourteen dead and 120 injured.. Three HEs dropped in streets. Four houses and six flats demolished, and six houses and thirty flats damaged. School partly collapsed. Three domestic shelters and five others damaged. Four or five streets were affected but most casualties occurred in Princess Street, a search of the debris for trapped victims went on throughout the night, firemen, ARP workers and others working in relays.

It was announced that the August Bank Holiday is to be cancelled.

Day 304. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.02, begins: 22.18
Public Alert: 17.41, All-Clear: 18.05

Wednesday, 3rd July 1940  D305

Enemy aircraft on sorties of armed weather reconnaissance over the east coast.

Day 305. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.03, begins: 22.17
Public Alert: 13.58, All-Clear: 14.36

Thursday, 4th July 1940  D306

The self-propelled bucket dredger 'Coquetmouth' (447t) struck a magnetic mine and sank ½ mile off Amble Harbour entrance at 55°20'25"N - 01°33'54"W, with the loss of 3 lives. She used to keep Amble Harbour dredged, moving 900 tons of sand each day. She now lies upside down in 12-15 metres of water. She was built in 1926.

Scarborough.. A mine exploded while being burnt out by naval authorities on the shore, killing one and injuring thirteen.

'SS Elmcrest' (5,032t) steamer, Hull to Wabana, Canada, was torpedoed by an E Boat and sank with the loss of sixteen of her crew.

Day 306. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.03, begins: 22.16

Friday, 5th July 1940  D307

Day 307. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.04, begins: 22.16
Public Alert: 17.34, All-Clear: 17.51

Friday, 5th/Saturday, 6th July 1940  N307

Light spasmodic bombing in the Humber area at approximately 18.00. No major damage caused as there was only two or three bombs dropped in any one area.

04.06.. Parachutists reported as seen between Pegswood Drift and Longhirst School [NZ2288], LDV searching. It was a drifting barrage balloon.

Night 307. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.16, ends: 04.05
Public Alert: 00.19, All-Clear: 04.10

Saturday, 6th July 1940  D308

Day 308. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.05, begins: 22.15
Public Alert: 14.18, All-Clear: 14.35

Saturday, 6th/Sunday, 7th July 1940  N308

Night bombing raids began at Leighton Gap in Yorkshire at 22.24 on the 6th, and ended at Whitley Bay and Monkseaton at 03.00. Total casualties for the whole of this area were three killed and ten injured, there were 12 HEs and some IBs fell.

03.00.. Northumberland.. Whitley Bay and Monkseaton raided.

00.55-02.20.. Co Durham.. Shotton Colliery, Easington. Five HEs dropped. Three dead and ten injured. Three houses were demolished. The fatal casualties all occurred in Queen Street.

Co Durham.. Chilton.. One bomb in field - no damage or casualties.

Co Durham.. Three HEs in field near Mainsforth Colliery. Ten LNER trucks damaged. Cabin front and engine house damaged.

Night 308. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.15, ends: 04.07
Public Alert: 01.00, All-Clear: 02.15

Sunday, 7th/Monday, 8th July 1940  N309

Night 309. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.14, ends: 04.08
Public Alert: 00.01, All-Clear: 01.05

Monday, 8th July 1940  D310

A Junkers Ju 88A shot down in flames during a sortie to Sunderland, crashed at Hornsea in Yorkshire at 11.42. Three of the crew were captured and one was killed.

Green section of B flight of 249 Squadron operating from Church Fenton in Yorkshire shot down a Junkers Ju 88 at 11.30. 15 miles N of Flamborough Head. They had only been operational for 24 hours at that airfield.

Tea, margarine and cooking fats rationing begins, the allowance is 2oz. per week for each item.

Day 310. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.08, begins: 22.13

Monday, 8th/Tuesday, 9th July 1940  N310

23.15.. Co Durham.. Port Clarence. 4 HEs dropped on waste land at Saltholme Farm, Port Clarence. House windows broken, and telephone lines to nearby gun position damaged. Four sheep killed and five injured.

Night 310. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.13, ends: 04.09

Wednesday, 10th July 1940  D312

'SS Waterloo' (1,905t) steamer, London to the Tyne was sunk by enemy aircraft near Smith's Knoll Buoy.

The period between 10th July to 31st October 1940 is recognised as The Battle of Britain and as such, the details of the aircraft losses on both sides can be entered in great depth because of the publication of the 'After the Battle's' definitive work on the conflict 'The Battle of Britain - Then and Now'.

The Pro-German British Union (formerly British Union of Fascists) outlawed. Sir Oswald Mosley and his wife Diana, formerly Mitford, have already been detained.

Day 312. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.10, begins: 22.11

Thursday, 11th July 1940  D313

Yorkshire.. Five people were killed in an incident centred around Hilderthorpe Road, Bridlington.

Day 313. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.11, begins: 22.11

Friday, 12th/Saturday, 13th July 1940  N314

Coastal shipping continued to provide worthwhile targets for the Luftwaffe. Minelaying was often the cause of a number of air raid warnings inland.

00.38-01.38.. Co Durham.. West Hartlepool District.. Large number of IBs dropped on railway lines leading to Seaton Snooks, others on west side of Brenda Road, West Hartlepool. No damage. IBs also fell near Graythorp Village.

Co Durham.. Shotley Bridge district.. Many IBs dropped in region of Bridgehill near Consett. A cow was killed, a house was slightly damaged by fire.

Night 314. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.10, ends: 04.14
Public Alert: 00.40, All-Clear: 01.39

Sunday, 14th July 1940  D316

'SS Island Queen' (779t) cargo ship, Blyth to Cowes with coal was sunk by German aircraft off Dover.

Day 316. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.15, begins: 22.08

Monday, 15th July 1940  D317

A Hurricane from 249 Squadron based at Church Fenton crashed on landing at Acklington airfield in Northumberland. Sgt H.J. Davidson the pilot was unhurt, the aircraft, damaged but repairable.

'SS Heworth' (2,855t) steamer, London to Sunderland was sunk by German aircraft near Aldeburgh Lightvessel.

The Home Office bans fireworks, kite and balloon flying.

Day 317. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.16, begins: 22.07

Wednesday, 17th July 1940  D319

'SS Fellside' (3,509t) steamer, Tees to Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada was sunk by U 43, W of Ireland. Twelve of her crew were lost.

Day 319. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.19, begins: 22.04

Thursday, 18th/Friday, 19th July 1940  N320

A Spitfire from 616 Squadron based at Leconfield airfield near Beverley, Yorkshire, collided with an obstruction on the base during night flying practice at 05.00. Sq Ldr M. Robinson was unhurt and the aircraft was repairable.

Night 320. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.03, ends: 04.22

Friday, 19th/Saturday, 20th July 1940  N321

1/KG40 Focke-Wulf FW200C. Brought down by AA fire during a minelaying sortie and crashed into the North Sea between Hartlepool and Sunderland 23.55. Fw H. Kulken and Fw K. Nicolai both captured unhurt. Fw W. Meyer killed. Hptmn R. Stesszyn (Staffelkapitän), Gefr S. Zaunig and Gefr J. Perl all missing believed killed. Aircraft F8+EH lost. The body of Willy Meyer was later washed ashore on the Yorkshire coast and originally buried at Driffield. Undercarriage leg trawled ashore and now in the North-East Aircraft Museum.

Newcastle.. Flare container came through roof of 1356 Walker Road. (Flare dropped from aeroplane in conjunction with the smoke screen test).

02.15.. Four HEs in field east of town wall Berwick upon Tweed [NT9854]. One hit and demolished an empty army air-raid shelter (KOYLI). No casualties.

Sunderland.. First enemy bomb on Sunderland, in a field at Witherwack Farm, Southwick. No damage or casualties.

Night 321. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.01, ends: 04.24

Saturday, 20th July 1940  D322

'SS Pulborough' (960t) steamer, Tyne to Shoreham with a cargo of coal was attacked by Stuka dive-bombers off Dover and was sunk.

Day 322. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.24, begins: 22.00

Saturday, 20th/Sunday, 21st July 1940  N322

Co Durham.. Jarrow District and Hylton Red House.. Two HEs reported falling in boggy ground at Monkton Coke Works but no trace found. Two HEs reported Hylton Red House Farm. No material damage reported.

00.30.. Co Durham.. West Hartlepool.. Five HEs dropped - Tin Box Factory, Temperance Hotel and part of Builder's Office demolished. Buildings in a Sawmill Yard shattered. Considerable damage to windows of shops and houses in vicinity. Thirteen persons received minor injuries, three detained in hospital. Fire at Tin Box Factory but quickly extinguished.

Co Durham.. Easington Colliery.. Two IBs, one on the beach and one on seabanks. Injury to two soldiers but not serious. No damage.

Co Durham.. Houghton Cut District.. Four HEs in cornfield at Greenshields. No injuries.

Co Durham.. Bishop Auckland.. Auckland Park.. Two canisters containing crude oil found, all shattered.

Night 322. All times BST. Blackout begins: 22.00, ends: 04.25

Monday, 22nd/Tuesday, 23rd July 1940  N324

Night.. Minelaying on whole length of eastern seaboard.

Night 324. All times BST. Blackout begins: 21.57, ends: 04.29

Tuesday, 23rd July 1940  D325

A Gladiator from 247 Squadron based at Roborough near Barnstable was damaged at Usworth airfield, Durham while on a transit flight back to base. FO T.W. Gillen was unhurt, the aircraft was repairable.

The 3rd War Budget today raised Income Tax to 8s 6d (42½p) in the £1 from January and put 1d on the price of a pint of beer. Purchase Tax to be introduced (see 21st October 1940). Purchase tax to be tough on luxuries - 24% on furs, silk stockings and cosmetics.

Secretary of War announces Local Defence Volunteers are to be renamed the Home Guard.

Day.. East coast shipping attacked.

Day 325. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.29, begins: 21.55

Tuesday, 23rd/Wednesday, 24th July 1940  N325

Minelaying - Tyne& Forth Estuary.

Night 325. All times BST. Blackout begins: 21.55, ends: 04.30

Thursday, 25th July 1940  D327

The following three ships were sunk by German Stuka dive-bombers off Dover:- 'SS Corhaven' (991t) Tyne to Portsmouth with a cargo of coal. 'SS Polgrange' (804t) Blyth to Cowes with a cargo of coal. 'SS Leo' (1,140t) Seaham to Portsmouth with a cargo of coal. and off Sandgate 'SS Portslade' (1,091t) Sunderland to Shoreham with coal was also sunk by German Stuka dive-bombers.

Day 327. All times BST. Blackout ends: 04.32, begins: 21.52

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