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Map showing area covered.

North-East Diary

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


2nd August 1941 to
24th/25th August 1941

Saturday, 2nd August 1941  D700

'SS Trident' (4,317t) just ending a voyage from Montreal to the UK was sunk by German aircraft in the River Tyne.

129 (Mysore) Squadron took over 'readiness' for the afternoon, for the first time, at Leconfield airfield, near Beverley, and at just 16.00 two Spitfire pilots of that squadron took off on a scramble. One hour later they had found and shot down a Junkers Ju 88 off Flamborough Head.

Day 700. All times DST. Blackout ends: 05.15, begins: 23.08

Sunday, 3rd/Monday, 4th August 1941  N701

There were a few minor incidents on the North and North-East Coasts, but only at Spittal near Berwick was any damage done. Four houses and a shop were destroyed and one hundred houses and a church damaged.

00.28.. Northumberland.. Two HEs Main Street, Spittal [NU005519]. Six dead (two men, three women and one boy). Two bodies thrown over 100 yards. Three seriously injured (one man, two women) (two severe shock and one compound fracture of the leg) to Berwick Infirmary. Eight others (four men, three women and one boy) attended Spittal First Aid Post. 9 and 9A Main Street demolished, three others to be demolished, twelve dwelling houses temporarily uninhabitable, one hundred dwelling houses damaged. Three Public Houses damaged (Red Lion severely damaged). Severe damage to Allan's Garage. Windows and doors of St Paul's Presbyterian Church blown in. Doors blown off mills of Johnson and Darling, East Street, Spittal. Roofs of J.J. Cunningham, East Street damaged by blast. The siren had not sounded, which was causing concern among a number of people. Report of UXB in Gibsons Row - large evacuation - report later discredited.

23.55.. Co Durham.. Five HEs were dropped in fields at High Stotfield Farm, Elwick causing no casualties or damage. One, which was 25' from the Sunderland - Stockton road failed to explode.

Night 701. All times DST. Blackout begins: 23.06, ends: 05.19

Tuesday, 5th/Wednesday, 6th August 1941  N703

Night 703. All times DST. Blackout begins: 23.02, ends: 05.22
Public Alert: 22.53, All-Clear: 23.38

Wednesday, 6th August 1941  D704

Six cargo ships, each of them carrying coal from the Tyne to London, and an escorting trawler in a south-bound convoy ran aground on the Haisborough Sands, off Cromer, the naval trawler 'Agate' and 'SS Betty Hindley', sailing from the Tyne to London were lost.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Hull.

Day 704. All times DST. Blackout ends: 05.22, begins: 23.00

Wednesday, 6th/Thursday, 7th August 1941  N704

Yorkshire.. Slight damage was reported.

Night 704. All times DST. Blackout begins: 23.00, ends: 05.24

Thursday, 7th August 1941  D705

Twice during the week casualties have been caused by members of the public trespassing on minefields. In the first instance three people were killed in Northumberland on Thursday, and there were two fatal casualties at Torquay on Saturday.

09.21.. Northumberland.. Bullets on Blyth, sample included in file. Not known if British or enemy. RAF say it might be from one of their planes.

Day 705. All times DST. Blackout ends: 05.24, begins: 22.58

Thursday, 7th/Friday, 8th August 1941  N705

23.33.. Northumberland.. Five HEs North side of Ryal [NZ010747]. (Moatlaw Farm, Ryal Village), Four in grass fields, one in wheat field. No damage or casualties.

23.35.. Northumberland.. One HE reported at Pegswood - no confirmation.

03.40.. Northumberland.. Two HEs Askew Crescent, Tweedmouth. (Junction Billendean Road/North Road). A fourteen year old girl, killed (head injuries), two slightly injured (one man, one woman). All persons accounted for.

04.15.. Northumberland.. Tweedmouth.. One house destroyed, one badly damaged, thirty damaged. Gas, water, electricity supplies damaged. Billendean Road blocked. Two Naval Patrol boats in Tweedmouth Dock opened fire with machine-guns at an enemy plane, which then attempted to bomb the boats.

Night 705. All times DST. Blackout begins: 22.58, ends: 05.26

Friday, 8th August 1941  D706

During the morning two Spitfire pilots operating from Leconfield airfield, near Beverley, were sent up to investigate an enemy aircraft reported off Flamborough Head. After fifteen minutes they spotted a Messerschmitt Me 110 with two extra fuel tanks under its wings, which after a while, was shot down into the sea about 70 miles E of Flamborough Head.

Day 706. All times DST. Blackout ends: 05.26, begins: 22.56

Friday, 8th/Saturday, 9th August 1941   N706

23.40.. Northumberland.. Eight HEs between Cat Inn and Cheswick House, east of Great North Road [NU028471] and [NU028466]. Bombs fell in grass and hay fields. No damage or casualties.

Night 706. All times DST. Blackout begins: 22.56, ends: 05.28

Saturday, 9th August 1941  D707

'SS Cordene' (2,345t) cargo ship, Rochester to Blyth, was sunk by German aircraft off Cromer.

Day 707. All times DST. Blackout ends: 05.28, begins: 22.54

Saturday, 9th/Sunday, 10th August 1941  N707

A Messerschmitt Bf 110 was brought down sixty-five miles off Flamborough Head after its reconnaissance flight over Hull.

Night 707. Blackout begins: 22.54 DST, ends: 05.00 BST

Sunday, 10th August 1941  D708

A Spitfire pilot flying from Leconfield airfield, near Beverley, broke away from the formation he was flying in and dived into the ground near Driffield. The cause of the accident is not known.

Day 708. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.00, begins: 21.22

Monday, 11th August 1941  D709

'SS Sir Russell' (1,548t) cargo ship, Sunderland to Southampton, was sunk by an E Boat near Dungeness.

Day 709. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.02, begins: 21.20

Wednesday, 13th August 1941  D711

Three places on the north-east coast were attacked; the railway south of Alnmouth station. Property and public utilities suffered at Sunderland when four people were killed and some injured and damage to plant at Horden Colliery caused delay in production, and here one person was killed.

11.37.. Northumberland.. Two HEs on the railway line S of Alnmouth railway station [NU236105], dropped from an enemy plane flying at about 100'. Slight damage to railway line. UXB reported on east side of main LNER track. Proved to be the tail fins, from one of the HEs, buried in the ground.

11.50.. Sunderland.. Three HEs on Mayswood Road, Fulwell. Four people were killed and two seriously, three slightly, injured. Two houses demolished, and five to be demolished, eight seriously damaged and 130 slightly damaged.

11.25.. Co Durham.. Two dead, twenty-eight injured when two HEs fell in Horden Colliery Yard, damaging offices, lamp cabins and colliery buildings. The plane machine gunned streets in Horden causing slight damage to property.

Peter Grundy comments: "My mother Mary Grundy was working in M. Whitfield Ltd chemists at the time of the raid, and the shockwave from the blasts knocked all of the showcards out of the window, without breaking the glass.  At around the same time, her sister Jane Johnson was sitting in her chair at 22 Acacia Avenue, Horden. She had just got up to check the progress of a meal she was preparing in the kitchen when she heard a loud crash. When she returned to the front room, one of the bullets from the German machine gun had penetrated the chair she had been sitting in."

Day 711. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.06, begins: 21.15
Public Alert: 11.54, All-Clear: 12.47
Industrial Alarm: 11.54, Release: 12.12

Thursday, 14th/Friday, 15th August 1941  N712

23.05.. Northumberland.. Four HEs ¼ mile south of Ellingham Village, Chathill [NU174254]. (Early reports gave [NU176254] and [NU171254]). One in barley field, one in oat field, two at roadsides. Two roads blocked, telephone wires and overhead electricity cables down.

00.05.. Northumberland.. Thirty-six IBs in fields east of Ovington [NZ069640]. Twenty-two of them in a container and not ignited.

02.45.. Northumberland.. Thirty-two IBs at Acklington Aerodrome [NZ0869]. No damage or casualties.

Gateshead.. A few houses were wrecked and utilities affected at Gateshead, where four people were killed. Three children and an elderly lady died when HE struck houses on Howard Street off Sunderland Road, Gateshead.

02.00.. Co Durham.. Two injured when a small number of IBs were dropped at Coldwell Park Estate, Felling, causing slight damage to thirteen houses. Fires caused were quickly put out.

Co Durham.. About 150 small Anti Personnel Bombs were dropped in Close House District in Bishop Auckland, four of which failed to explode. Slight damage to roofs of dwelling house and two outhouses and an electric conductor was broken but was soon repaired.

Night 712. All times BST. Blackout begins: 21.13, ends: 05.09
Public Alert: 00.09, All-Clear: 00.55
Industrial Alarm: 23.56, Release: 00.20
Public Alert: 01.57, All-Clear: 02.34
Industrial Alarm: 01.55, Release: 02.06

Friday, 15th/Saturday, 16th August 1941  N713

21.30.. Co Durham.. Five HEs from a single aircraft on Norton. A direct hit on 160 Norton Avenue killed all seven occupants, a forty-five year old widow, five children (all boys , their ages ranged from fourteen down to six), and a seventy-three year old woman. At 116 Norton Avenue, a sixty-four year old widow was killed. Some bodies were never recovered. A second HE fell not far away and three others in fields in a line WNW towards the AA site off Junction Road and Durham Road, known as "Kiora" which was equipped with 4.7" guns.

Each bomb landed about 300 yards apart over the sites of the present day Rochester, Radcliffe and Redditch Avenues and Riveaulx Close. Nos 152-164 Norton Avenue, 23, 24 and 25 Darlington Back Lane and four houses in Ancaster/Alveston Roads had to be demolished. Two bungalows near Fussick Bridge were severely damaged and one had to be demolished. Blast caused damage over a large area smashing several panes of greenhouses glass in Fewster's Redpath Lane Nurseries.

Night 713. All times BST. Blackout begins: 21.10, ends: 05.11
Public Alert: 21.35, All-Clear: 21.54

Saturday, 16th/Sunday, 17th August 1941  N714

01.30.. Co Durham.. Approximately sixty Anti personnel bombs were dropped between Washington Lane crossing and West Moor Farm, North Hylton. Slight damage to surface of the Washington to Southwick road and damage to LNER line. Several panes of glass broken in railway cabin and house at the crossing.

Night 714. All times BST. Blackout begins: 21.08, ends: 05.13
Public Alert: 01.17, All-Clear: 02.03
Industrial Alarm: 01.26, Release: 01.52

Sunday, 17th August 1941  D715

Only one enemy aircraft flew over this country on Sunday. The main Edinburgh - Newcastle line was closed at Innerwick near Dunbar owing to a UXB. on the line, but traffic was resumed some seven hours later. The aircraft dropped no more bombs, but it opened fire on some men working on the line, one of whom was killed and others injured.

Day 715. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.13, begins: 21.06

Sunday, 17th/Monday, 18th August 1941  N715

23.35.. Northumberland.. Ten HEs in fields on Hope House Farm, Amble, either side of Broomhill to Amble railway [NU262028].

Co Durham.. Bombs reported at Norton on Tees.

02.05.. Hull.. Was the centre of night operations by the Luftwaffe. Raided by about twenty-seven enemy aircraft which concentrated mainly on eastern Hull, the central district also suffered. Twenty HEs were dropped including two 1000kg. Three shelters were damaged, residential and industrial property also damaged. Twenty people were killed and fifteen seriously injured.

Night 715. All times BST. Blackout begins: 21.06, ends: 05.15
Public Alert (Hull Warning Dist): 02.10, All Clear: 03.50

Monday, 18th August 1941  D716

The National Fire Service created. Consisting of 118,000 full time and 180,000 part time members plus 60,000 women. 1450 previous commands now formed into 37 fire forces and 200 divisions.

Day 716. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.15, begins: 21.04

Monday, 18th/Tuesday, 19th August 1941  N716

Raiding was not of a serious nature, but there was some concentration on the Tyneside and Teesside areas. Shops, houses and an ambulance depot were wrecked at West Hartlepool and twenty-three people were killed, six houses were demolished, service pipes and cables superficially affected. At Middlesbrough, the slag disposal plant of a steel-works were damaged. The offices, buildings and coke ovens of the works were slightly damaged by blast.

02.00.. Northumberland.. Several IBs Coneygarth Moor Farm, Ashington [NZ255875]. One hay pike destroyed.

02.03.. Northumberland.. Eight HEs and some IBs fell in fields E and W of Ellington Road, Ashington, at path entrance to Longhirst Fields, NW of Abyssinia Cottage, seven at [NZ260884], one at [NZ263884]. A forty-six year old man suffered a lacerated left thigh and shock, detained in Ashington Hospital. May be a new type of bomb - HE craters 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8, had burnt out IBs on sides. Mr Armstrong, Deputy Technical Officer of Region confirms that they were HEs with 1kg IBs attached to tail fins.

02.03.. Northumberland.. IBs in a field at Sparrow House, Ashington [NZ258871], N and S of aircraft beacon. One hay pike destroyed.

02.03.. Northumberland.. Single IB on 58 Fifth Row, Ashington, [NZ263879]. Roof damaged.

02.03.. Northumberland.. Single IB Ashington Colliery, [NZ258879]. Through roof of granary house.

01.50.. Co Durham.. West Hartlepool.. Twenty-three dead, forty-five injured. (includes a Special Constable who was not on duty). At approximately 01.50 a "G" type mine fell at the back of Houghton Street and Elwick Road, causing widespread damage to dwelling houses, shops and other premises over an area of ¼ mile radius. Damage was caused to gas and electric mains but repairs were soon under way. Approximately one hundred persons rendered homeless. Three HEs fell in fields near to Brenda Road, causing no damage and no injuries. One HE fell in a crop field 50 yards west of Haswell Avenue, damaging four houses. Three HEs fell on north side of Brierton Lane completely demolishing a wooden built house and damaging the roofs, ceilings and outbuildings of Blue House Farm, Moor House Farm and Houghton [Owton] Grange Farm. A "G" type mine fell about 100 yards from the hind's house at Brierton Farm causing damage to windows and tiles of the house. There were no casualties.

01.50.. Co Durham.. Six HEs fell in fields in the Greatham district causing damage to "Owton Fens" [Owton Fence Farm] and to shop windows in Greatham Village. There were no casualties. One HE fell at Low Claxton Farm, Greatham setting fire to a hay stack.

02.00.. Co Durham.. A heavy calibre HE fell about 200 yards south of Cowpen Bewley Village, causing damage to twenty houses. There were no casualties.

Co Durham.. An heavy calibre HE dropped a mile E, of Billingham railway station near to the main Stockton - West Hartlepool line destroying part of the permanent way, demolishing a signal post, cutting railway telephone lines and damaging a railway house. Line repaired and traffic operating at caution. No damaged to any industrial plant. Fire was reported at the coal oil plant, ICI, but this was not due to enemy action.

02.10.. Co Durham.. Single HE fell in a field W of Boldon railway station causing slight damage to windows. There were no casualties.

Co Durham.. Two HE at Cowpen Bewley. One on land next to the cottage at 16 The Green, making it uninhabitable, and the second behind farm buildings opposite causing the barn and other outbuildings to collapse.

Co Durham.. Norton.. During the early hours, a bomb, believed to be a PM, fell between Benson Street and Pine Street causing considerable damage. Nos 25-41 and 32-36 Benson Street and 32 and 34 Pine Street were demolished and Norton Board School was damaged. Twenty-one were seriously injured and a fifty-three year old woman, her eighty-three year old mother and her twenty-one year old son were killed at 33 Benson St. At No 31 a forty-nine year old man, his forty-five year old wife and an air raid warden, aged thirty-seven, of 35 Benson Street were killed or are missing. A woman from Junction Rd was injured on duty at 27 Benson Street and died in hospital a few days later. Approximately twenty people made homeless.

Co Durham.. One HE fell in a field behind Billingham North School shattering windows. Rest of stick of four at about 300 yard intervals in fields behind Malvern Rd, two off Grampian Road and one near present day Kenilworth Road.

Night 716. All times BST. Blackout begins: 21.04, ends: 05.17
Public Alert: 01.21, All-Clear: 03.35
Industrial Alarm: 01.35, Release: 02.40

Friday, 22nd August 1941  D720

Day 720. All times BST. Blackout ends: 05.22, begins: 20.55
Public Alert: 06.57, All-Clear: 07.11

Friday, 22nd/Saturday, 23rd August 1941  N720

Night 720. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.55, ends: 05.24
Public Alert: 00.41, All-Clear: 00.57

Saturday, 23rd/Sunday, 24th August 1941  N721

The aircraft below was one of six engaged on a search for a convoy believed to have been off the Northumberland coast.

Stab/KG26 Heinkel He 111H-5 (3691). Hit by fire from a destroyer and crashed into the sea, N of Holy Island at 21.30. Hptmn G. Wilhelm, Dep Staffelkapitän, Uffz H. Hilpert, Uffz O. Seidel and Obergefr F. Schmidt picked up in a dinghy after twenty minutes and taken prisoner. Aircraft 1H+EA sank in sea.

Night 721. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.52, ends: 05.26

Sunday, 24th/Monday, 25th August 1941  N722

Taking advantage of low cloud, six enemy aircraft briefly attacked targets from Blyth to Teesside.

Northumberland.. There was an air raid on Plessey Ward today.

Night 722. All times BST. Blackout begins: 20.49, ends: 05.28
Public Alert: 22.39, All-Clear: 00.19

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