Raid H44 Bomb

No. 109 Fountain Road and the National Theatre Beverley Road

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Air raid, serial number H44 commenced at 2100 on the 18th March 1941 and finished at 0425 on the 19th March 1941, by an estimate of 200 aircraft type unknown. The height of the aircraft was from 2,000 feet to 17,400 feet with an average height of 9/14000 feet, they attacked individually with no formation. The attacked commenced from inland West to South then from the sea approaching from the direction of Spurn Point.

249 high explosive and 4 Parachute mines were dropped during the raid 7 of which were UXB or long delay bombs there was also an unknown number of Flares and Incendiary Bombs. Searchlights were exposed during the attack, the Balloon barrage was up at heights 4,000 to 6500 Feet, and Anti-Aircraft batteries in the Humber Garrison area fired 2606 shells.  

Bomb No. 109 fell at 22.10 on the 18/19th March 1941 at the rear of No. 144 -148 Beverley roads and at the rear of No. 16 -18 Fountain Road, 250’ East of Beverley Road and 100 foot South of Fountain Road. The Bomb fell mainly on open ground and outhouses, and a crater was formed in the clay soil 60 foot diameter by 12 foot deep, demolishing adjoining property. The house property destroyed was fairly old dwelling houses built previous to 1880 and comprised two rooms first floor and two rooms and scullery ground floor, and those not demolished had the internal walls badly cracked diagonally. 

 

Pieces subsequently found proved the bomb to be (a Herman) 1,000kgm (2,250lbs)

 

 

Five houses and shops had been completely demolished, in addition to some workshops at the rear of the shops.

 

The following persons were reported missing:-

 

No 12 Fountain Road – Mrs Parker and child.

 

No 16 Fountain Road – Mr and Mrs Fowler.

 

No 20 Fountain Road – Mr and Mrs Kendal six children and possibly Mrs Woodhall and baby.

 

No 22 Fountain Road – Mr and Mrs Griffin.

 

A total of 14 people and with doubts of 2 more.

 

Three rescue parties came from Fenchurch Street Depot to operate at the incident, Foreman Thornhill and his party worked on No. 16, Foreman Davison at No 20 and Foreman Mchugh at No 22.

 

Two additional rescue parties had been requested and at 2359 Foreman Clarke and Forman Irwin’s parties arrived.

 

At 0030 Foreman Thornhill located by sound people alive under the debris at No 16 and ascertained that four people instead of two were in the house at the time of collapse. The two extra people under the debris proved to be Mrs Parker and child from No 12. After good work a tunnel was driven through the debris, Mrs Parker and child were released unhurt at 0145 hours and Mr and Mrs Fowler also unhurt was released at 0210 hours.

Further information became available regarding missing people it being ascertained that Mrs Woodhall and baby had been accounted for and that Mr Kendall was at work, so the number trapped at No 22 was now known to be 7.

Nos. 20 and 22 were just a huge pile of debris in which no pockets could be located and the position resolved itself into an attempt to clear the area by dumping the debris into the crater.

At approximately 0640 hours the three remaining rescue parties were relieved by Mutual Assistance Parties from Beverley, Bridlington and Hornsea.

Military assistance came during the morning and proved of great value, a number of the soldiers being given the task of clearing the carriageway.

During the morning 2 Bodies were recovered from No. 20 and 7 from No. 22, the last body recovered at approximately 1245 hours. Two soldiers gave grand assistance in the recovery of the bodies at No. 22 they are Cpl J Smith and Pte O Tucker of the 6th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment.

Persons rescued 4.

Bodies recovered 9.

4 Communal shelters are situated 100 feet to the south of the crater in the garden.

Shelter Nos. 1 and 2 being of type B of brick and concrete construction.

Shelter No. 3 being of type A of mass concrete construction.

Shelter No. 4 being of type A of brick and concrete construction.

Shelters Nos. 3 and 4 were partly protected from blast effect by the East end of the National Theatre (No. 144 Beverley Road) and suffered very little damage, the roofs of both being lifted slightly over the North entrance.

Shelter No. 1 was also partly protected from blast by outbuildings. The 9 inch brick wall 2 foot east of the shelter collapsed and fell on the shelter. All vertical cracks in the wall terminated four or five courses from the 6 inch reinforced concrete roof and no new cracks appeared in the roof;  this no doubt being due to the opening of contraction cracks previously filled with bitumen. The 6 inch mass concrete floor was cracked longitudinally the crack attained a maximum width of 1/8 inch whilst the transverse crack was a large one 1/8 inch to ½ inch in width.

Shelter No. 2 was subject to ground shock wave and also exposed to blast effect. The top of the shelter was lifted at the North end the crack disappeared 10 foot along the wall. The strong ground shock wave cracked the 6 inch concrete floor longitudinally and two transverse cracks opened to a width of ¼ inch. Vertical cracks in the side walls extended from the base to four courses from the roof. A diagonal crack appeared in the inside North blast wall. The roof of the shelter was not cracked.

 

The National Theatre Picture Palace (No 144 Beverley Road) was partly demolished for 60 foot from the east end, being subject to a strong ground blast.

The walls were 221/2 inch thick from ground level to 8 foot 6 inches (34 courses) and above this reduced on the outside to 131/2 inches for a further 14 foot 3 inches for 57 courses, with piers at 30 foot centres.

The piers project 41/2 inch on the inside and are 2 foot 6 inches wide by 27 inches thick at the base.

The steel roof trusses are supported on the piers with another truss at the midpoint between piers.

The trusses are of Warren Girder construction 40 foot span, and 8 foot depth at 15 foot centres, supporting 6 in No. 10 inches x 4 inch Timber purlins and a slated roof, while a lathe and plaster ceiling is suspended from the arched main tie.

Also carried in the centre frames is the air duct system for the Theatre. The end of the trusses have ¼ inch Gusset Plates and are built into the walls for 12 inch and each end is held down with 4 No. eye bolts 12 inch long x ½ inch diameter.

4 in No. trusses were blown down by the bomb, all tension members being buckled and the walls were still standing at trusses No. 3 and 4. One of the main sources of weakness was the positioning of the truss at the midpoint between piers. Directly below this point was a small circular window 2 foot in diameter and cracks were formed when the truss was pulled out down to the window and from thence diagonally to the corner of the panel formed by the piers. The holdings down bolts were very inadequate being easily torn out of the walls.

A horizontal crack the whole length of the Theatre, was formed 2 courses above the reduction in thickness to 131/2 inches and diagonal cracks to panel corners were formed on both North and South side walls. The cross walls forming the screen at the East end of the Theatre was completely demolished as were the lavatories which were situated outside the Theatre at the East end. The floor of the Theatre was of wood and about 3 foot below ground level at the Orchestra Stalls to about 2 foot above the ground level at the West Entrance.

The balcony front and the balcony itself acted as a tie between the North and South walls and no cracks appeared West of this. 150 people were sheltering in the vestibule of the theatre and no one was injured.

 

The small electrical substation (No. 28 Fountain Road) 70 feet from the crater shifted bodily 1 inch towards the crater on its bitumen damp course and the west wall cracked. The wall was built as a series of 9 inch panels with 131/2 inch brick piers, the panels were badly cracked diagonally

 

Damage to No. 148-150 Beverley Road was slight and Beverley Road Hospital 160 feet North of the Crater was only superficially damaged, the 9 inch boundary wall being blown down. There was no damage to the sewer in Fountain Road but the pavement and carriageway were blocked with debris.

Killed.

David William Kendall           22 Fountain Road       Schoolboy                   aged 14 years

Florence Mary Kendall           22 Fountain Road                                           aged 15 years

Florence Kendall                     22 Fountain Road       Wife                            aged 38 years

Terrence Brian Kendall           22 Fountain Road       Schoolboy                   aged 12 years

Irene Isabel Kendall                22 Fountain Road       Schoolgirl                    aged 9 years

Kathleen Dawn Kendall         22 Fountain Road       Schoolgirl                    aged 7 years

Iris Kendall                             22 Fountain Road       Schoolgirl                    aged 5 years

Thomas Griffin                       20 Fountain Road       Rtd. Warehouseman   aged 70 years

Mary Hannah Griffin              20 Fountain Road       Wife                            aged 68 years

                    Houses totally destroyed                 

Fountain Road Nos.16, 18, 20, 22

Houses so wrecked that they must be demolished;

Fountain Road No. 14

Seriously damaged and to be evacuated;

Fountain Road No. 12

Optional Evacuation;

Fountain Road Nos. 31,33,35,37

Schematic plan of the area showing the crater and surrounding damage caused by the bomb

 

 

 

 

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