Brighton air raid, 15th July 1940

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by CL1, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron;wap2
    Brighton air raid, 15th July 1940

    A report on an air raid on Brighton on the 15th July 1940, written by the A.R.P. Controller (J.G. Drew).



    At 8 minutes past 6 o'clock this morning nine high explosive bombs (probably 50-lbs) and one at least fitted with a whistling device, were dropped in Bristol Gardens, Princes Terrace, Bennett Road, Rugby Place, Whitehawk Road and Henley Road. The preliminary "yellow" warning had been received at 6 minutes to six o'clock. No "red" warning was received or public warning given. Six houses are completely or nearly demolished; about thirty more sufficiently damaged to be at least temporarily uninhabitable and about 100 suffered slight damage (down to and including broken windows).

    The Borough Engineer's "First Aid" scheme is already working. The Public Assistance Officer has sent Relieving Officers to the district and shelter will be provided for those in need of it who have not succeeded in making temporary arrangements with their neighbours or friends.

    Three holes were made by bomb splinters in a cast-iron distribution pillar at the junction of Princes Terrace and Bristol Gardens. A short-circuit caused on two cables in the pillar and the service cable to a street lamp damage. Nobody is cut off from supply and all necessary repairs have been carried out temporarily. Damage was caused to a 6" gas main in Whitehawk Road and damage to an extent not none to a 4" gas main in Bennett Road. The only house deprived of gas is that opposite the damage. Gangs are at work repairing these mains and should be finished by this evening. A water main was damaged in Bennett Road but reports as to the extent of the damage have yet to be received.

    A very considerable amount of glass was thrown into the roadway, particularly in Whitehawk Road; and although this did not actually incapacitate any of the Civil Defence vehicles, it gives some idea of what conditions might be like in event of damage in one of the main shopping thoroughfares and adds point to the necessity for some steps being taken, particularly in the case of large plate glass shop fronts. The results do not give much encouragement for the use of paper strips.

    The work of the Services seems to be reasonably satisfactory, although full reports are not completely available.

    On the Operations side, the Committee may be interested to know that the fall of the bombs was reported by Nos. 1 and 2 Observation Posts at 8 and 9 minutes past six with the result that a Mobile F.A.Post and an Augmented Ambulance were despatched from Control at 11 minutes past and arrived on the scene at 15 minutes past. The ambulance was usefully employed but the casualties were not sufficiently numerous to bring the Mobile Post into operation.

    During the next quarter of an hour some further reports came in but they did not appear to me to represent the total of casualties and damage that could be expected from the fall of a number of bombs in this quarter and accordingly a total of five ambulances, two F.A.Parties, one Rescue Party and two Sitting Case Cars were sent to the scene. In the event this was far more than was necessary.

    This air raid caused the deaths of two people and serious injuries to five others. The two who died were 61 year-old Ettie Hargreaves of 13 Princes Terrace, and an unidentified (on the day) adult male. The injured were William South of 54 Wiston Road, Francis Haynes of 35 Wiston Road, Francis Sawyer of 11 Manor Road, George Wood of 9 Maresfield Road and Frank Davis of 40 Bennett Road. All of the injured were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital apart from 54 year-old Frank Davis who was treated at the Sussex Eye Hospital

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