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Map showing area covered.

North-East Diary

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


10th/11th April 1941 to
19th April 1941

Thursday, 10th/Friday, 11th April 1941  N586

Incidents were reported at Hull and the Humber AA guns were in action.

Yorkshire.. An air attack on Bridlington where eighteen HEs caused extensive damage and killed two people, a forty-seven year old man at Lloyd Hospital and a two year old boy at New Burlington Road.

3(F)/122 Junkers Ju 88A-5 (0529). Shot down by Sergeant Casey and Sergeant Prytherch in Spitfires of No 72 Squadron during a reconnaissance of Newcastle. Crashed at Alnmouth, Northumberland at 19.40. Of the enemy aircraft's crew, Lt R. Brose, Uffz E. Helmert and Fw K. Dux were listed as missing. The body of Fw O. Grobke was found at Amble. Aircraft F6+NL lost.

Night 586. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.29, ends: 05.44

Friday, 11th April 1941  D587

The Contraband Control Vessel 'Othello' was sunk by a mine in the Humber.

Day 587. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.44, begins: 20.31

Sunday, 13th April 1941  D589

The use of Smoke Generators ended in Newcastle, today.

Northumberland.. A bomb crater 14' diameter, 4' deep was discovered by a shepherd at Newton Tors, Yeavering near Kirknewton, Northumberland.

Hull.. Raid caused 67 fires.

Day 589. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.39, begins: 20.35

Monday, 14th April 1941  D590

A Halifax bomber operating from Linton on Ouse airfield near York, crashed into a tree in a forced landing at Tollerton, near the base, after the port inner engine failed. According to the book 'Action Stations 4', the flight engineer cut all engines, by mistake, when instructed to turn on all cocks. Two of the crew were injured.

The Forces programme started broadcasting locally from Stagshaw - It will play dance music on Sundays, the BBC has banned this since starting in 1922.

Day 590. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.37, begins: 20.37

Monday, 14th/Tuesday, 15th April 1941  N590

A few IBs on the west end of Newcastle. In one of the above raids, two long range bombers attacked South Shields and a foundry at Elswick. There were short delays on the railway system in this area.

21.25.. Newcastle.. Benwell.. IBs, some explosive type, dropped on area Maria Street on the east, Edgeware Road on the west, Beaumont Street on the north and the river on the south -including part of Vickers Armstrongs Elswick Works; shops 306,307 (Smelting Shops), 314 and 15 (Moulding Shops), 38 (Pattern Shop), 308 (Rolling Mills), 20 Shop (Joiners' Shop) and a checkers' cabin near the riverside. Numerous fires, the principal ones were in factory shops and at 882, 884, 886 and 888 Scotswood Road, 23 and 38 Greenhow Terrace and 74 Maria Street, others were of minor nature and extinguished immediately. All fires out by 23.00. Production at Vickers Armstrongs not seriously affected.

At South Shields, A shower of incendiary bombs, estimated to number 600, was dropped over an area from the Town Hall to Morpeth Avenue. All fires started by these bombs were dealt with at once by the Fire Service and the Civilian Street Firefighting Parties then in operation. Within a very few minutes after the fall of the bombs, all had been dealt with effectively, thus preventing any illumination to guide any following aircraft. No HE attack was carried out, probably as a result of this prompt action. One point of interest was that a new type of incendiary bomb container was jettisoned by a plane which appeared to be in difficulties, being hotly engaged by our fighters. This container, which had four bulkheads each capable of holding 80 incendiary bombs, fell in the back yard of a house in Hepscott Terrace. Two other containers, both badly damaged, were found in different parts of the town. No casualties.

Night 590. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.37, ends: 05.35
Public Alert: 18.24, All-Clear: 18.46
Public Alert: 21.37, All-Clear: 21.51
Industrial Alarm: 20.52, Release: 21.39
Public Alert: 22.38, All-Clear: 22.49

Tuesday, 15th April 1941  D591

The tug 'Aquila' (59t) was sunk at Hull by German aircraft.

Day 591. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.35, begins: 20.39

Tuesday, 15th/Wednesday, 16th April 1941  N591

Newcastle, Tynemouth, Whitley Bay, Monkseaton, North Shields and Cowpen in Northumberland, Hebburn, South Shields, Sunderland, Sadberge, Billingham and Easington in Co Durham and Middlesbrough, Hull, Loftus, Thornaby, Driffield and Masham in Yorkshire were raided. Minelaying was suspected over the NE coast. The Home Security Appreciation for this 24 hour period states 'Some 100 enemy aircraft were in operation over the NE coastal areas'.

Newcastle, Sunderland, Hebburn and South Shields were attacked by a total of thirty-eight enemy aircraft they dropped a total of thirty-eight tons of HE (sixty-four bombs), twenty-nine PMs and 4,200 IBs. Incidents were reported in eastern Newcastle and at dock installations at Hebburn and South Shields.

Northumberland.. Tynemouth and its environs was attacked three times in the early morning. A school and a nearby Warden's post were demolished by a mine, further mines were dropped in the town and a good deal of damage was done. An air raid warden and a firewatcher were killed at their post in Billy Mill Lane and a woman died in Balkwell Avenue.

Northumberland.. Whitley Bay.. Ocean View badly hit, fourteen of the fifteen people killed died at Ocean View, the fifteenth died in Mason Avenue.

02.55.. Northumberland.. Tynemouth Borough.. Six HEs fell in fields in the Preston district. No damage or casualties were caused.

At approximately 03.55.. A PM dropped within 100 yards of a reservoir at the junction of Moor House Road and Rake Lane, causing damage to houses in Rake Lane, Moor House Road and Brookland Terrace, New York. Two people were slightly injured.

At approximately 03.55 a PM was dropped in a field near White House Farm, Preston, North Shields. No damage was reported.

At 04.00 a PM fell in the roadway of Billy Mill Lane. Two persons were killed and a number injured. Chirton council school was wrecked, a wardens post at the Rex Cinema, Billy Mill Avenue was demolished and much damage was done to the cinema. A number of houses were damaged beyond repair, others rendered unfit to live in. Lesser damage was done to other shops and houses near by.

At 04.00 a PM fell at the junction of Oswin Terrace and Balkwell Avenue, damaging beyond repair a number of houses, making others unfit to live in and doing much damage to others. Collingwood School, in Oswin Terrace, which was also a wardens post and an AFS Station, was damaged. One person was killed and another injured. Five persons in an Anderson shelter, and two in a second, were rescued uninjured, although the shelters were covered in debris and had buried the inmates.

A PM fell in the moat of Tynemouth Castle hitting a store, a second PM fell in King Edward Bay at Tynemouth. Much damage was done to houses and shops in Front Street, Percy Gardens and near by districts. The Catholic Church at Tynemouth was also damaged by blast. A further PM, which did not explode, fell outside the Borough boundary near the Hartley Main railway which compelled the diversion of traffic on the Coast Road from Willington Square to Billy Mill cross roads. Railway traffic was also stopped, for a while, on this line.

These casualties were reported during the raid:-

 KilledSeriously injuredSlightly injured
Children (under 16 years)--7

An Air Raid Warden was killed and two Civil Defence workers were slightly injured.

Damage caused to buildings:-

Totally destroyedNone
So badly damaged that demolition is necessary48
Seriously damaged but capable of repair117
Slightly damaged, exclusive of glass320

Hundreds of shops and houses in Tynemouth and Balkwell areas had windows broken.

Overhead telephone wires were damaged at Billy Mill Avenue and the junction of Balkwell Avenue and Oswin Terrace. The Rescue and Demolition Service was called out to four incidents, seven squads were despatched from several stations, including two which were sent to Whitley Bay at the request of the Controller there. At the Rex Cinema incident, the squad removed one person from the debris but he died before reaching hospital. At the Oswin Terrace incident one person, dead, was taken from the debris.

Figures of damage referred to above does not include premises some distance away. Furniture was recovered from the houses badly damaged, and stored, emergency first aid repairs were put in hand, as were repairs to the sewer at Balkwell Avenue. The Rescue Parties despatched to Whitley Bay assisted parties from other areas in recovering bodies from the incident at Ocean View, Whitley Bay. There was little chance of finding anyone alive as the two PMs fell close together and had completely wrecked the surrounding houses.

The Medical Officer in charge of the Smith's Institute, Hawkey's Lane First Aid Post, reported that the post personnel worked in an exemplary and efficient manner under difficult circumstances.

The number of calls made on First Aid Parties and Ambulances were:-

Car& Ambulance Journeys49

The number of casualties which passed through First Aid Posts were:-

Smith's Institute26

EMERGENCY HOSPITALS. The number of casualties admitted to hospital were:-

Preston Hospital11 (one of which was from Whitley Bay)
Tynemouth Jubilee Infirmary17 (16 of which were from Whitley Bay)

A fire was caused by damage to a lamp standard, the escaping gas catching fire, It was dealt with by the Fire Service, and subsequently by the Gas Co's workmen. An Air Raid Warden was killed on duty in the wardens post at the Rex cinema when it was demolished, two other wardens were injured. The Military assisted in directing traffic, in the clearing of debris and the guarding of damaged premises to prevent looting.

Hundreds of people were made homeless, three emergency Rest and Feeding Centres were opened and a total of 218 persons passed through. Many of the homeless made their own arrangements for billeting. The Information Bureau in the Tasker Hall, Howard Street was opened and representatives from the Billeting Officer, Food Office, Citizens' Advice Bureau and Assistance Board were available as well as the Town Clerk's staff. Additional assistance was given by the Librarian and a member of his staff. Information was supplied relating to missing relatives, repairs to property, removal and salvage of furniture, funeral arrangements and other, general advice. The Centre remained open each day from 09.15 to 18.00 on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday following the raid, and was closed at 18.00 on the 21st.

The approximate number of enquiries dealt with, amounted to 1,500. Lists were prepared of persons requiring repairs to their property - these were forwarded to the Borough Surveyor for his attention, similar lists in respect of furniture which required salving or removal were forwarded to the Salvage and Removal Officer. The total number of cases where property was removed from damaged buildings was 120. Of this number, forty-three were placed in storage by the Corporation at Collingwood School which was taken over for this purpose.

The Casualty Information Bureau obtained particulars relating to injured and dead from hospitals and mortuaries, and lists were published outside the Town Clerk's Office, the Tasker Hall and the Police Station. Relatives of dead persons were traced and notified by post or messenger. The Church Way Mortuary was opened, only one body was received, it was identified later the same day.

Northumberland.. In an air raid on Cowpen, damage was reported at the Port Sanitary Hospital, Cowpen Cemetery Church, Cowpen Road and John Street.

01.50-04.40.. Sunderland.. Eighteen people were killed, thirty-six seriously injured and seventy-nine slightly injured at about 03.00 when four PMs, HEs and a number of IBs fell at Sunderland. Three hundred people were rendered homeless. The premises of Sunderland Forge& Engineering Co (where five of the fatalities occurred) and T.W. Greenwell& Co, South Dock were damaged and production slightly affected. An explosion in St Lukes Road demolished several houses and seriously damaged others. A bomb on the LNER line at Pallion damaged a 30 cwt crane, an electric pump and a shelter at R.W. Collin& Co's foundry.

Mines and bombs in the area of Laura Street, Toward Road. Tavistock Place, Murton Street, Hedworth Street, South Durham Street and Hudson Road caused serious damage to dwelling houses, shops and other premises. The famous, or infamous, Victoria Hall was completely demolished. The Palatine Hotel at the corner of Borough Road and Toward Road was damaged and many houses and shops in the vicinity were either demolished or seriously damaged. The Winter Gardens (and its parrots) in Mowbray Park was hit, the Museum and Art Gallery were seriously damaged. Other explosions at South Durham Street and Hedworth Street completely demolished many houses and a small cinema called "The Victory". The IBs did little damage and an IB Container at the Military Camp, Grindon and another at LNER, Burdon House failed to open, no damage.

03.00 app.. Sunderland.. Victoria Hall, scene of 1883 disaster, was demolished when the northern end of the building was hit by a PM.

00.18.. Co Durham.. Two HE were dropped near Hill House Farm, Sadberge, windows of the farmhouse were damaged.

02.20.. Co Durham.. Two HEs were dropped on the south side of the river Tees and caused extensive damage to house and shop windows at Stockton. The police court windows were also damaged.

02.30.. Co Durham.. An AA shell struck the Salvation Army Hall at Sacriston, penetrated the roof and exploded when it came in contact with a wall inside the building. The floor was badly damaged and four ground floor and six skylight windows were broken. There were no casualties.

02.58.. Co Durham.. Two PMs fell on the ICI Factory at Billingham, one near to the phosphate plant and one in the petrol compound. Fires were started but soon put out. A works gas main was damaged but no casualties are reported.

03.10.. Co Durham.. Three PMs were dropped about 100 yards N of Warren House, Easington. Two exploded on the beach and one fell in the sea without exploding. No casualties - a number of windows were broken in army huts and a private house, about twenty yards of fencing damaged.

03.45.. Co Durham.. Two PMs exploded in a field W of the Bents Cottages at Seaburn. No casualties and only damage to windows is reported.

03.00.. Yorkshire.. A PM was dropped at Middlesbrough, industrial damage was done and a fifty-two year old man was killed at Dorman's Britannia Steel Works. It also caused extensive damage to windows at Haverton Hill.

Yorkshire.. A PM damaged houses and industrial premises at Thornaby, a woman at Crosthwaites Union Foundry died of shock and four people were injured.

03.30.. Hull.. Eleven enemy aircraft raided Hull. Six PMs and three IB clusters were dropped in the Holderness Road, Hedon Road, Alexandra Dock and Jennings Street areas. A PM was dropped on Ellis Terrace, Holderness Road, a thickly populated area, where a public shelter received a direct hit, all the occupants were killed (twenty-six of the fatalities occurred in Ellis Terrace and/or its public shelter) and a fire was started in Jennings Street. There was industrial, residential and railway damage. In this raid, the casualties were fifty-five killed and twenty seriously injured. Five hundred people in the vicinity were rendered homeless.

Yorkshire.. Driffield aerodrome was bombed, but there was no significant damage, and bombs were dropped at Masham (where four people were killed in Cross Hills). There were many reconnaissance flights over Yorkshire today.

Four aircraft of 3/KG53 took off from Vitry-en-Artois at 22.00 on April 15th to attack Belfast. The plane that is of interest and relevance here was carrying 1 x 1000kg HE and 16 BSK (each containing 36 IBs). Landfall was made near Flamborough Head, but as the plane, a Heinkel, approached Kirkby Stephen on its flight across England, the oil pressure on its starboard engine fell to zero - there had been no fighter attack or AA gunfire, so the prime suspect was mechanical failure. The decision was made to return to base but it proved impossible to maintain height on one engine. Just as the plane was nearing Ripon the troublesome engine burst into flames, whereupon the large HE bomb was jettisoned. The crew baled out, landed safely and were captured. The plane crashed at Bull Lane Bridge, Huby in Yorkshire at 02.00.

Night 591. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.39, ends: 05.32
Public Alert (Hull Warning Dist): 21.28, All Clear: 04.59
Public Alert (Newcastle Warning Dist): 22.45, All-Clear: 04.58
Industrial Alarm: 23.05, Release: 23.43
Industrial Alarm: 00.18, Release: 03.16
Industrial Alarm: 03.53, Release: 04.24

Wednesday, 16th/Thursday, 17th April 1941  N592

22.20.. Co Durham.. Three IBs were dropped in fields at the rear of Station Road, Deaf Hill and eleven near to the Catholic School, Trimdon Colliery. The bombs burned out without causing damage.

Night 592. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.41, ends: 05.30
Public Alert: 22.01, All-Clear: 23.03

Thursday, 17th April 1941  D593

The usual fighter sweeps, armed sea and weather reconnaissance flights occupied the Luftwaffe during the day. Only seven enemy aircraft penetrated inland.

Newcastle.. Ivan Alvar Karleson a Swedish seaman of Scandinavian Home, Westmorland Road was injured by falling shrapnel as he walked along Westmorland Road (near top of George Street) towards Seaman's Home. His right thumb was lacerated and he was detained in hospital.

'SS Effra' (1,446t) cargo ship, Tyne to London with a cargo of coal, sunk by an E Boat off East Anglia. Two of her crew were lost.

Day 593. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.30, begins: 20.43
Public Alert: 16.03, All-Clear: 16.15

Thursday, 17th/Friday, 18th April 1941  N593

22.05.. Northumberland.. IBs in Tommy's Field, Mount Hags Field, St George's Hospital Drive and Thorpe Avenue, Morpeth [NZ1887]. No damage.

22.08.. Northumberland.. IBs in fields at East Shield Hill Farm, 1½ miles N of Morpeth [NZ201881].

22.10.. Northumberland.. IBs in field ½ mile W of West Cramlington [NZ255759].

22.10.. Northumberland.. Twelve IBs Weetslade High Barnes Farm, Dudley [NZ253742]. No damage.

Night 593. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.43, ends: 05.27
Public Alert: 22.02, All-Clear: 23.42
Industrial Alarm: 22.03, Release: 22.39

Friday, 18th April 1941  D594

The drifter 'Young Ernie' (88t) was on Admiralty service when she was in collision, off Tynemouth, with the examination vessel 'Ben Idris'. The 'Young Ernie' sank at 55°01'18"N - 01°21'23"W.

Day 594. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.27, begins: 20.45

Friday, 18th/Saturday, 19th April 1941  N594

20.50.. Co Durham.. An enemy bomber attacked shipping off Seaham Docks. As a result of the attack a Norwegian seaman was wounded in the left arm. He was brought ashore at Seaham Harbour and conveyed to Sunderland Infirmary. He was from the 'SS Selvic' which had been lying off Seaham Harbour awaiting entry to the docks with other three ships. There was no damage to the ships.

Night 594. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.45, ends: 05.25
Industrial Alarm: 20.45, Release: 21.13

Saturday, 19th April 1941  D595

During the day, enemy aerial activity was confined to anti shipping patrols and reconnaissance flights, except for seven aircraft that came inland.

Yorkshire.. Bombs were reported to have been dropped at Whitby without result.

The auxiliary patrol vessel 'Kopanes' (351t) while on Admiralty service was attacked and sunk by enemy aircraft off the Tyne at 55°33'36"N - 01°27'18"W.

Women of 20 and 21 have to sign up for war work.

Day 595. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.25, begins: 20.47
Public Alert: 16.44, All-Clear: 17.24

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