Raid H21 Bomb No. 4 De La Pole Avenue, Hull.

Air Raid serial number H21 commenced at 1930 Sunday 23 February 1941 and finished at 2238 on the 23 February 1941, by between 20 and 30 Heinkel 111 bombers. The height of the aircraft was varying from 8,000 to 19,000 feet and they appeared to be ‘flying on the beam’ medium to high generally, from the west with some aircraft returning again from the east.

Flying on the beam was a system used by the Germans for night bombing using radio waves to guide the aircraft to the target. The system used on this occasion was called Knickebein using two 31.5 Mhz radio beams, the beams being generated in Germany, when the beams crossed the aircraft commenced bombing. Winston Churchill had been given ultra-intelligence (ENIGMA based) and ordered that it be counteracted, several difficulties were overcome. The countermeasures very simply meant that another signal was sent down the beam seemingly bending the beam away from the target, this was achieved on two or three occasions when Hull was attacked. Another way was to send aircraft up to detect the beams and plot the target giving prior warning to them and having our attack aircraft ready.

Two High Explosive and two Parachute Mines landed but it was reported that a very large number of bombs fell in the Humber, no definite confirmation on the numbers. Flares were dropped by the leading aircraft. Searchlights were exposed during the attack; the balloon barrage was up, on land at 6,500 feet, on water at 3,500 feet and mobile units at 2,000 feet. The anti-aircraft batteries interfered with the raiders, there was almost no cloud and visibility was about 11/2 miles.

Bomb number 4 was a 250kg (550 Pounds) High Explosive which fell at 2012 on Sunday 23 February 1941 at the rear of 222 De-La-Pole Avenue between the Terraces Cleveland Avenue and Eva’s Avenue. A crater was formed 15 foot in diameter and 4 foot deep in concrete paving on clay. 



The housing was early century and of two story brick built with tiled roofs. The houses from Number 220 to 230 De-La-Pole Avenue inclusive and Numbers 1,6,7,8,9,10 Cleveland Avenue De-La- Pole Avenue and Numbers 1, 2 and 3 Eva’s Avenue were completely demolished. About 50 houses in De-La-Pole Avenue and in Astley Street and Brougham Street, Albert Avenue, were badly damaged and untenable. Windows in about 200 houses in De-La-Pole Avenue and Albert Avenue were shattered.




One very difficult rescue which was effected was when a woman - Mrs Florence Walker Crawford aged 54 and Eileen Crawford aged 17 years of 6 Cleveland Avenue De-La-Pole Avenue – could be heard shouting and apparently injured. This was the last house on the right at the end of the Avenue the debris was piled high against the parting wall.




The foreman of the Rescue party, Charles James Kent, 36 years old, residing at No1 Bristol Road, Wold Road, Hull, at once squeezed his way between the debris and found an upper floor had fallen, in such a position that a small triangular area had been formed, having crawled into this area and having to break pieces away passing them out, he succeeded in getting down to the woman and was able to give her a stimulant. She was trapped and he was handed a saw in order to get some of the debris away but being in such a cramped position, 

this was a most difficult task. He received all the assistance that could be given and eventually Mrs Florence Crawford was rescued but subsequently died, Eileen Crawford was removed injured to Hull Royal Infirmary. The position was the more dangerous owing to a tottering gable end, which could not be attended to at the time due to the piles of debris. Foreman Kemp showing utter disregard for his own safety and risking serious injury to himself, climbing under the wreckage to effect the rescue of Mrs Crawford and Eileen Crawford his prompt action deserving of very high praise and recognition. Enemy aircraft was flying over the City most of the time and bombs were dropped in the North Hull District.




Mr Charles James Kent was awarded the George Medal on the 26th April 1941 for this work. This is the first award of the George Medal to be given to a member of the rescue and demolition parties in Hull. He was invested with the award by the King at Buckingham Palace in July 1941



Police Constable 343 arrived at the scene very shortly after the explosion and noticed that the bomb had exploded on Cleveland Avenue and Eva’s Avenue, he heard cries of help and so walked over the debris and found at the rear of a shelter which was standing a man named Gale partly covered with debris so freed him and then heard the faint cries of a woman some yards north of him, but she was not visible so removed a quantity of debris and saw the right elbow of Gale’s wife, so continued his effort and later with the assistance of Sergeant Porter, completely freeing the woman.

A fire broke out on the De-La-Pole Avenue frontage and saw Police Constable 241 Johnson, who I assisted with a stirrup pump; the Gloucester Street AFS arrived and took over the incident.

First Aiders arrived in an Ambulance at 2035 who dealt with Mr and Mrs Gale; this was followed by a rescue vehicle and party who proceeded directly to the incident. Mr Halstead, First Aid Leader arrived in another Ambulance from the Boulevard, Doctor Miller also arrived. Shortly afterwards at 2055 the Scalby Grove and Ainthorpe Grove rescue parties arrived.

At about 2100 Doctor Miller left and if he was required to ring control, Mr A Milner (British Gas Coy.) arrived and Scalby Grove Rescue returned to their Depot. 2200 Dr Miller returned to the incident. The incident was under control the AFS and Rescue parties No’s 1 and 2 Boulevard returned to their depot.

Mr Irwin and the AFS attended to many small fires and also extinguished fires left in fire grates.

At 2240 Dr Miller informed me that he believed a boy about 9 years of age was under the debris north of where the fire had been, at 10.45 I informed Mr Holmes, Rescue leader, who combed the place and returned stating “There is a boy lives at No 226 De-La-Pole Avenue”

The Boy Dennis Hampson was recovered and taken to Hospital. The Air Raid Wardens with Mr Thrussell in charge commenced to make a census of persons and fixed up a temporary office at No 225 De-La-Pole Avenue.

During this incident all persons rendered homeless were sent to and received by Londsdale Street Church Hall and Walton Street Hall Reception Centres.



                                                                   Ida Bridger                                aged 25 year            209 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                   Patricia Bridger                       aged 1 year                209 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                   Edith Anderson                       aged 31 Years            2 Cleveland Avenue

                                                                   Florence Walker Crawford    aged 54 years            6 Cleveland Avenue

                                                                   Joseph W Havercroft                                                  207 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                   Albert E Richardson                                                    1 Eva’s Avenue

                                                                   Minnie Richardson                                                      1 Eva’s Avenue

                                                                   Ernest Albert Mills                  aged 75 years            230 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                   Sarah Eliza Proby                    aged 73 years            228 De-La-Pole Avenue



Admitted to Anlaby Road Hospital.


                                                                  Frederick  Adamson         aged 61             5 Eva’s Avenue De-La-Pole Avenu

                                                                  John David Atkinson      aged 36              80 Perth Street

                                                                  Beatrice Bird                     aged 31               224 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Edgar W  Clubley             aged 36                49 Faversham Avenue De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Madge  Clubley                 aged 34                 3 Cleveland Terrace De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Lily  Cooper                       aged 74                19 Astley Street

                                                                  Eileen Crawford               aged 17                  6 Cleveland Avenue De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Charles  Donkin               aged 58                 223 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Valerie Dugdale               aged 3                    224 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Marie  Dugdale                aged 7                    224 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Nellie  Dugdale                aged 31                   224 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Charles Herbert Deyes  aged 25                   3 Cleveland Avenue De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Doreen Deyes                  aged 24                   3 Cleveland Avenue De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  David Charles Deyes      aged 1                      3 Cleveland Avenue De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  George Edward Fox        aged 29                   249 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  James Thomas Gale       aged 42                   1 Cleveland Avenue De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Mrs Louie Gale                aged 40                   1 Cleveland Avenue De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  John Gavin Green           aged 34                   226 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Mrs Kate Kilkenny          aged 46                   38 Beeford Grove.

                                                                  Norman Kirk                    aged 15                    2 Eva’s Terrace De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Mrs Emily Kilburn          aged 58                   7 Cleveland Terrace De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                  Edna Rumble                    aged 17                    20 Longden Street

                                                                  Herbert Rowson              aged 46                   232 De-La Pole Avenue

                                                                 John William Todd          aged 80                  8 Eva’s Terrace De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                 Dennis Hampson              aged 12                   226 De-La-Pole Avenue

                                                                 Joan  Anderton                  aged 3                     2 Cleveland Avenue, De-La-Pole Avenue



Schematic drawing of the De-La-Pole Avenue Bomb