Author Topic: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit  (Read 10176 times)

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Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2012, 17:23:53 pm »
October 1st 1942
15.39 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3.L. Fronts S/1 and S/3.M. standing by and ready to operate.

October 2nd 1942
15.57 Operations cancelled on all Fronts.

October 3rd 1942
FLIGHT LIEUTENANT R.G.E.MAYO, M.C., asumed command of the Squadron vice SQUADRON LEADER M.F. DARKE, on leave.
16.27 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3.L. Fronts S/1 and S/3.M. standing by and ready to operate.
20.20 Signalled to HEADQUARTERS, BALLOON COMMAND that weather conditions unsuitable on Front S/3.M.
22.47 Signalled to HEADQUARTERS, BALLOON COMMAND that weather conditions now suitable on Front S/3.M

October 4th 1942
16.01 Operations cancelled on Front S/3.M. Fronts S/1, S/2 and S/3.L. standing by and ready to operate.

October 5th 1942
No cancellation of operations. All Fronts standing by and ready to operate.
19.15 Front S/2 signalled that weather conditions were unsuitable for a release.
23.25 Front S/3.L. signalled that weather conditions were unsuitable for a release.
23.35 Front S/3.M. signalled that weather conditions were unsuitable for a release.
FLIGHT LIEUTENANT G.B.THOMAS, Equipment Officer, HEADQUARTERS BALLOON COMMAND and SQUADRON LEADER T.C.BOYES, Equipment Officer, HEADQUARTERS, NO. 30 GROUP, visited the Squadron and inspected Station Headquarters and A. B. and D. Flights.

October 6th 1942
15.06 Operations cancelled on all Fronts.

October 7th 1942
15.18 Operations cancelled on Front S/3. Fronts S/1 and S/2 standing by and ready to operate.

October 8th 1942
14.00 WING COMMANDER BARNES, O.B.E., HEADQUARTERS, No. 30 GROUP visited the Squadron and inspected "C" and "E" Flights.
15.18 Operations cancelled on Front S/3. Fronts S/1 and S/2 standing by and ready to operate.

October 9th 1942
15.36 Operations cancelled on Front S/3. Fronts S/1 and S/2 standing by and ready to operate.

October 10th 1942
15.26 Operations cancelled on Front S/3. Fronts S/1 and S/2 standing by and ready to operate.

October 11th 1942
15.27 Operations cancelled on Front S/3. Fronts S/1 and S/2 standing by and ready to operate.

October 12th 1942
No cancellation of operations. All Fronts standing by and ready to operate.

October 13th 1942
SQUADRON LEADER M.F.DARKE attended conference at No. 1 BALLOON CENTRE, KIDBROOKE.
SQUADRON LEADER W.R.KELLS, Armament Officer, HEADQUARTERS, No. 30 GROUP, and FLIGHT LIEUTENANT C.TULLEY visited the Squadron.
15.36 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3, Front S/1 and standing by and ready to operate.

October 14th 1942
15.38 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3.L. Fronts S/1 and S/3.M. standing by and ready to operate.
00.30 Front S/1 signalled that conditions unsuitable for a release.

October 15th 1942
15.45 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3. Front S/1 standing by and ready to operate.

October 16th 1942
15.53 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3. Front S/1 standing by and ready to operate.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2012, 11:39:52 am »
October 17th 1942
15.27 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3. Front S/1 standing by and ready to operate.

October 18th 1942
15.49 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3. Front S/1 standing by and ready to operate.

October 19th 1942
16.28 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3. Front S/1 standing by and ready to operate.

October 20th 1942
No cancellation of operations. All Fronts standing by and ready to operate.
22.53 Front S/2 signalled that weather conditions unsuitable for a release.
23.00 Front S/3.L. signalled that weather conditions unsuitable for a release.
23.55 Front S/1 signalled that weather conditions unsuitable for a release.

October 21st 1942
15.41 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/3.L. and S/2. Fronts S/1 and S/3.M. standing by and ready to operate.

October 22nd 1942
16.36 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3. Front S/1 standing by and ready to operate.

October 23rd 1942
15.03 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3. Front S/1 standing by and ready to operate.

October 24th 1942
AIR COMMODORE W.C.C.GELL, M.C., D.S.O., T.D., D.L., Air Officer Commanding No. 30 GROUP, accompanied by GROUP CAPTAIN K.F.ANGUS, O.B.E., M.C., T.D., Officer Commanding No. 1 BALLOON CENTRE, KIDBROOKE, and F/O. P. Checkemian, Signals Officer, HEADQUARTERS 30 GROUP visited the Squadron and inspected Squadron Headquarters and all Flight Headquarters and Fronts.
16.02 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3.
16.33 Operations cancelled on Front S/1.

October 25th 1942
No cancellation of operations. All Fronts standing by and ready to operate.

October 26th 1942
No cancellation of operations. All Fronts standing by and ready to operate.
18.03 Front S/3.L. signalled that weather conditions unsuitable for a release.
18.09 Front S/2 signalled that weather conditions unsuitable for a release.
18.14 Front S/3.M. signalled that weather conditions unsuitable for a release.
23.20 Front S/3.M. signalled that weather conditions now suitable for a release.
23.30 Front S/3.L. signalled that weather conditions now suitable for a release.
23.34 Front S/2 signalled that weather conditions now suitable for a release.

October 27th 1942
15.30 Operations cancelled on Fronts S/2 and S/3. Front S/1 standing by and ready to operate.

October 28th 1942
15.40 Operations cancelled on all Fronts.

October 29th 1942
11.36 Operations cancelled on all Fronts.

October 30th 1942
10.10 Operations cancelled on all Fronts.

October 31st 1942
16.20 Operations cancelled on all Fronts.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2012, 08:27:24 am »
MEDICAL

Herne Bay Oct.1 to Oct.13 1942
No details to report relevant to A.P. 1269 para. 340, clause 13 and K.R. & A.C.I. para.2349 sections 3(f) and 3(g).

October 14th 1942
SQUADRON LEADER R. SMITH, A.A.F., Station Medical Officer, No. 1 BALLOON CENTRE, KIDBROOKE, visited this Squadron with particular attention to MINSTER and LEYSDOWN areas.

Oct.15 to Oct.31 1942
No details to report relevant to A.P. 1269 para. 340, clause 13 and K.R. & A.C.I. para.2349 sections 3(f) and 3(g).
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2012, 08:37:05 am »
And that's the end of the War Diary. What happened after this date I don't know.. but, from what I've transcribed in this topic, it seems that the whole concept of a free barrage was either deeply flawed or just ineffective. One operational release on the 18th March which caused problems in the Whitstable area. One operational release on the night of 31st March - a premature explosion injuring three airmen, two more being killed trying to defuse live Petard mines the following morning, and then there were the deaths of an ARP warden and a young boy to be taken into account as well.

There is no record in the War Diary of any German aircraft being brought down.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline Monkton Malc

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2012, 20:37:28 pm »
Are there any photos of how these mines were attached to the balloons John? I just can't visualize how they worked (or rather didn't).

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2012, 20:48:12 pm »
I don't have any pictures myself, or any understanding of the system I'm afraid.. although this link is an interesting read.. http://www.bbrclub.org/free_balloon_operations_in_world.htm
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2017, 08:07:44 am »
Operating instructions..
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2020, 12:50:38 pm »
Petard Operational Area, showing launch sites, target area etc. This plan appears in the book "Balloon Bombs And The Sheppey Incident" by the late Alan Musselwhite, and is itself extracted from the file AIR 13/38 at the National Archives.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2023, 16:21:49 pm »
Referring back to Reply #14, which detailed the unfortunate incident where the free barrage came down in Sheppey instead of being blown out over the Estuary and into the North Sea, here's a newspaper report on the inquests. As usual, I will add the graves of the local casualties in their own topics.



Sheerness Times Guardian - Friday 10 April 1942

Two Airmen and Two Civilians Killed

A.R.P. WARDEN SUCCUMBS TO INJURIES

FOUR INQUESTS AND TWO ADJOURNED

ACCIDENTAL DEATH VERDICTS


At a country hospital in the Thames Estuary area, Mr. T. B. Bishop, Deputy Coroner, conducted inquiries relative to the deaths of two airmen and a lad fourteen years of age, on one afternoon, and, two days later, the fourth inquest was held on a well-known farmer and a member of the Wardens’ Service, all of whom had succumbed to injuries received in the district. In two cases the Deputy Coroner returned verdicts of "Accidental Death," and in the remaining two cases the proceedings were adjourned sine die, as additional evidence was not available at the time of the opening of the inquests.

The news of the calamity, with its attendant loss of life, was recelved with widespread regret and the A.R.P. Services have lost a valued and loyal colleague in Mr. Walter Mount, who was fatally injured whilst on duty as a Warden.

The circumstances, we understand, in the lad’s family are also particularly distressing, as they went through the London "Blitz" at Brixton during the "Battle of Britain," and had only been residing in the district a few weeks.

SAW A MAN STAGGER.

In the first case, Flying Officer Arthur Reginald Stanistreet Stockdale, R.A.F., identified the body as that of A.C.1 Alfred Spence, R.A.F., whose home address was at Harrogate. He was 29 years of age and a married man.

Sergt. Sidney Charles Barley, R.A.F., whose home was at Southport, stated he was engaged on salvage operations, and A.C. Spence was one of the party. Witness heard an explosion and looked in the direction of the sound. He saw a man stagger and fall to the ground.

"I rushed over to him," continued witness, "and at once despatched two men to seek first aid. In the meantime I rendered what first aid I could to Spence by temporary bandaging. Within a few minutes A.R.P. Services were on the scene and Mr. Batzer and Mr. Williamson took charge of the operations."

After giving other particulars, witness, in reply to Inspector J. H. Young, said he was about 150 yards away when he heard the explosion. A.C. Spence was injured in the chest, right leg and hands.

L.A.C. James William Farrington, R.A.F., whose home was at Leigh, Lancashire, said he was one of a salvage party under Sergt. Barley, Witness was with A.C. Spence and L.A.C. Andrews. They were crossing a field, and the next thing he heard was an explosion. On turning round he saw Spence lying on the ground. He immediately ran over to him and then went for first aid as quick as possible. Witness was about fifty feet away from Spence.

After witness had replied to questions put by Inspector Young, medical evidence was given by Dr. Alfred Sydney Wallis, who stated that A.C. Spence was dead on arrival at hospital. He had multiple injuries to the chest, right thigh and hands, and to the right side of the face. In his opinion death was due to shock from multiple injuries.

This concluded the evidence in this case, and the Deputy Coroner, without making any comments, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."

PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED.

The Deputy Coroner then opened inquest proceedings respecting the death of A.C.1 William Howard, whose home address was at Oxford.

Flying Officer Stockdale gave evidence of identification, and stated that Howard was 33 years of age and a married man.

Dr. Alfred Sydney Wallis stated that when Howard was admitted to hospital he was suffering from injuries to the right side of the forehead, a fractured skull, and multiple injuries to the chest. He died whilst receiving atténtion. Death was due to shock from multiple injuries.

At this stage the Deputy Coroner said the inquiry in this case wounld be adjourned sine die.

The third inquest related to the death of Paul McDowell, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. G. McDowell, 5, Shoebury Terrace, Chequers, both of whom were present. The father of the lad, Frederick George McDowell, gave evidence of identification. The lad was 14 years of age last December and was working as a butcher's assistant. Witness knew nothing about the incident.

Dr. Alfred Sydney Wallis stated that Paul McDowell was admitted to hospital suffering from a badly-lacerated right leg. They decided amputation was essential. He stood the operation comparatively well. He suddenly collapsed and died about 9.50 p.m. Death was due to shock from multiple injuries.

As no further evidence was available that day, the Deputy Coroner said the proceedings would be adjourned sine die.

A.R.P. WARDEN AND FARMER.

Two days later the Deputy Coroner (Mr. T. B. Bishop) held a further inquest relative to the death of Mr. Walter Mount, of South Lees Farm, and a member of the Wardens' Service. There were also present: Mr. H. T. Copland (representing the family), Councillor A. J. Robinson (Sub-Controller), Mr. E. F. Brading (Surveyor and A.R.P. Officer), Councillor A. Johnson, J.P., C.C., Inspector J. H. Young and P.C. Preteous.

The first witness was Charles John Mount, of South Lees Farm, who gave evidence of identification, saying his brother was 53 years of age and a farmer. As far as witness knew, he had never had a day's illness in his life. He knew nothing about the incident.

Clifford Richdale, of 79, Chequers Road, Head Warden, stated there had been a Wardens' meeting and Mr. Mount and witness were called to Scoccle's Road. They were delayed by two incidents. Witness gave further particulars, saying as he turned from the cottages towards the field an explosion took place and Mr. Mount was injured. Witness went over to him and laid him on his side, leaving a soldier with him whilst he went for assistance immediately. Replying to Inspector Young, witness said Mr. Mount was on duty as an Air Raid Warden.

Police Constable Preteous stated he was on duty outside a Wardens' Post when the last witness ran up and reported that Mr. Mount was seriously injured and an ambulance was required. A Warden (Mr. Carey) got out his car, and witness sent a messenger for the ambulance and then went with Mr. Carey to the incident. He saw Mr. Mount lying in a field badly injured. Witness applied first aid field dressing. The ambulance arrive shortly afterwards and Mr. Mount was removed to hospital.

Dr. Wilfred Edward Carleton Wynn said Mr. Mount was admitted to hospital suffering from severe injuries to his face, also injuries to the legs and hands, He was conscious when admitted to hospital. Death was due to the injuries received.

This concluded the evidence, and the Deputy Coroner said it was a similar case as those on which an inquiry was held previously. It was a very unfortunate incident and the verdict would be one of "Accidental Death." He would like to express his sympathy with Mr. Mount and the relatives.

Councillor Robinson associated himself with the Deputy Coroner's remarks, on behalf of the Civil Defence Services, saying Mr. Mount was on duty as a Warden at the time and they all felt it very much indeed.

Inspector Young said he would like, on behalf of the Regular and Special Constabulary, to express sympathy with Mrs. Mount. At one time Mr. Mount was a Special Constable and had worked well with the police, and he was sure they all wished to extend their deepest sympathy.

Mr. Richdale afterwards paid a fine tribute to the splendid spirit in which Mr. Mount always carried out his duties as a Warden, saying that B Group would miss him very much indeed, and that they deeply sympathised with Mrs. Mount and the relatives.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline alkhamhills

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2023, 17:45:14 pm »
Alfred Spence
Born 23.4.1913
 Died 1.4.1942

Military Base Kidbrooke London
Service No 1077610 No 2 Mobile Balloon Unit

Resided Harrogate Yorkshire

Married Daisy Needhan Oct 1937 Knaersborough Yorks
In 1913 Alfred & Daisy(15.4.1916) & 1 closed entry
At 60 Chatsworth Place, 
Alfred was a Lorry Driver.


Offline alkhamhills

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2023, 18:49:13 pm »
William Howard
Born 1908
Died 1.4.1942

Military Base Kidbrooke London
Service No 1191636 No 2 Mobile Balloon Unit

Resided Great Yarmouth
In 1911 at 62 Palgrove Rd, Great Yarmouth With parents William & Catherine. Father a Manager of Provision Shop

Probate. Of 41 Palgrave Rd, Great Yarmouth. Died 1.4.1942 on War Service. Admin to Elizabeth Howard, widow. Effects £123.14.07


Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2023, 05:55:17 am »
Sheerness Times Guardian - Friday 17 September 1954

Worst Sheppey disaster of war

Two young boys are playing with a small canister. Their curious fingers feel, shake, try to prize open. Then they notice the treacherous little wire. A finger brushes past. An explosion charges the air. One boy escapes with life-long injuries. The other, a fourteen-year-old, is killed.

An A.R.P. Warden on duty crosses the Minster fields. He has just left a friend. Suddenly the friend hears a dull explosion. He finds Mr. Walter Mount injured: "I turned him on his side... I left a soldier with him and went for help." The injuries were fatal.

Two R.AF. men are scouring the fields - for canisters, But a foot finds what the eye fails to see. The fatal wire is touched... another and yet another explosion rent the air.

In those distant days of 1942 an inquest closed the matter. But to-day we know an experiment was on, a terrible, unsuccessful experiment that resulted in more deaths on this Island than any single enemy action. To disable enemy fighters clearing barrage balloons to make safe way for bomber raids, canisters of high explosive were attached to balloons and sent directly upwards. At Sheppey the experiment was tried at Lower Road. But a treacherous wind sent the balloons over a square mile of high ground at Minster. The death traps curled round chimney pots, blew holes in roofs, tempted children.

Mr. E. F. Brading, R.D.C. Surveyor, told me: "That was a twenty-four hour chapter in Sheppey war history. Whenever he heard anything that sounded like an explosion the ambulance driver would start up his engine awaiting a call."

The tragedy ended with a familiar warning: "Leave strange objects lying around the Minster area strictly alone. Do not touch them on any account but at once inform the police."

But they were not German booby-traps. They were our own. Did you ever see a high explosive canister? Did you ever touch one - and live to tell the tale?
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2023, 06:01:49 am »
Sheerness Times Guardian - Friday 01 October 1954

Sir, -

Well do I remember the balloons with high explosive canisters. We were living at Oak Lane, Minster, then. We heard the heavy firing and no planes, saw the objects floating. My father, having served in two wars, guessed they were our own experiments, but later the lady living next door called out, "The Jerrys are here, oh my God they have got us." My father told her everything was alright. Then one landed in her gardens. My father and I put it in our garden until morning. My married brother, who was living in Harps-avenue, came up to see if we were alright. He entangled his foot in the wires and sprained his ankle, but managed to reach us. When we told him we had one of the balloons in our garden he rushed out and put it in the water butt, telling us that they were loaded with high explosives, but evidently ours had been shot at by one of the guns and exploded in mid-air. The balloon or parachute had floated down so we lived to tell the story. During the same morning I travelled to Sheerness with the mother of the boy who had been badly injured, not knowing then what she would have to bear. But she bore it very bravely and today that son and his family are a credit to her.

Miss M. Eyles,
212, Queenborough-road,
Halfway,
Sheerness
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2023, 13:56:08 pm »
Sheerness Times Guardian - Friday 15 October 1954

Sir, -

I was a theatre nurse at the time at the County Hospital, Minster-on-Sea. Reading about booby trap stories made me remember April, 1942. We had a busy day in the theatre, operating from 9.30 a.m., and of course there were emergencies. I did not leave the hospital till nearly 9 p.m. I had put on my tin helmet as odd explosions had been going on for some time. No one had paid undue attention, except to register that they were a little different from usual. The wind was blowing quite strongly on shore and the moon was shining intermittently - because clouds were scudding across it and making visibility changeable.

In the light of that moon parachutes could be seen in the sky, quite a number of them. "Hello," I thought, "this is it - invasion." It looked exactly like we had so often imagined. But, no. After a few minutes I began to realise they were fairly static but terribly frightening. My first thought was possible casualties for the hospital. I wanted to find out more of what was happening. I was at the corner of Queens-road, near the hospital, where once I had seen millions of glow worms light the bushes. What a different sight, and in its way almost as thrilling.

I was making my way to Wardens’ Post 8B.4 near the British Queen. It must have been more luck than judgment that I reached there safely because there were small cannisters of explosives on the parachutes I had seen and some of them had been blown about by the wind so that they had broken their moorings and were causing a lot of danger and damage. Some were in roof tops, others in trees, in bushes and on the roadside. Telephone wires had been torn down. No one seemed to know anything about it. At the Wardens’ Post I learned that Walter Mount was severely wounded. I knew there would be more casualties. I managed to get a lift back to the hospital in a car. The news had not yet reached there officially, but it did a few minutes later, and then the operating table was in use nearly all night. This continued for a few days with not a lot of time for sleep. One poor man... I, as "dirty theatre nurse," had to clean up his face. There was very little face there. He could not have an anaesthetic because his nose had been blown away. He was kept under with morphia. His eyes were totally blind. He died two days later.

Harry Kennett, who now, I think, works at the hospital in the physiotherapy department, was then a boy of 13 years. He was another casualty. He lost a leg and his eyes were blinded. He was with a friend who was errand boy for Carey, the butcher, in Minster. He, too, lost a leg. When he came round from the anaesthetic he said that his mum had told him not to go out and not to touch anything. "I'll always do as my mum says in future." But he did not live to obey his mother any more.

The men operating these explosives were a specially picked crew of the Air Force. They had their casualties, also. I remember one - Corporal Ronald Lang - I was shaving his leg with a cut throat razor, when Dr. Wallace, the anaesthetist, said to me, "Well, nurse, I never saw such an awful shave in my life." I replied, "What are you grumbling about? I didn’t draw blood did I?" He said "No," but it was not my fault that I had not. Anyway the patient did not complain and he made a good recovery.

There was the child from Barton Hill who took quite a few weeks to heal... the Canadian soldier from Garrison Point with head injuries... another soldier - a handsome boy with fair hair and perfect features - had a lung pierced and was bleeding internally. He died on the operating table, drowned by his own blood. I remember quietly cursing the man who had invented this particularly nasty little explosion. Others were injured whom I cannot remember now.

Doris M. Richdale,
Bell Farm House,
Bell Farm Lane,
Minster-on-Sea.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online John

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Re: "Hoist with his own petard.." - No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2024, 05:06:58 am »
Sheerness Times Guardian - Friday 29 May 1942

MOTHER’S WARNING UNHEEDED

RESUMED INQUEST AND VERDICT


At the resumed inquast held on Paul McDowell, the fourteen-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. F. G. McDowell, of 5, Shoebury Terrace, which took place at the County Hospital, Minster, on Saturday last, a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned by the Deputy Coroner, Mr. T. B. Bishop. The previous inquiry was opened at the beginning of April, and after taking evidence of identification and medical evidence the proceeding were adjourned sine die. There were present on Saturday, Mrs. McDowell, mother of the boy, Inspector J. H. Young, Police Sergt. H. E. Stedman and Police Constable C. W. Hayden.

At the opening of the first inquiry, Dr. Alfred Sydney Wallis stated that the boy was admitted to hospital suffering from a badly lacerated leg. It was decided that amputation was necessary, and the boy stood the operation comparatively well. There was a sudden collapse and he died from shock as a result of his injuries.

Mrs. Harriett McDowell stated on the date in question at 2.30 a.m. an air-raid warden called at the house and warned them not to touch anything lying about. She awakened her husband and told him and her son. Later, she again told her son to be careful.

Frederick Arthur Lucas, of Brambledown, stated he was working in a field on the far side of Tadwell Farm, when he saw two boys in the field. He asked them what they wanted, and they made no reply. Witness told them to go away, and also pointed out that they were trespassing. He saw them disappear round the corner. Witness had been warned that objects lying about were highly dangerous.

P.C. Hayden stated that in the afternoon the deceased in company with another lad, Henry William Kennett, received serious injuries from an explosion which took place in a field at Tadwell Farm. Witness was called to the field, and on arrival saw the two boys lying about six feet from a small crater. Members of the S.J.A.B. arrived at the same time, and the two boys were conveyed to the County Hospital in the Ambulance.

Inspector J. H. Young said in consequence of information received he accompanied the last witness to Tadwell Farm where he found the deceased lying as described by the previous witness. The boy was conscious and able to give his name and that of his companion. "I asked him what had happened?" He replied, "It went off. It was my fault and I wish I had taken my mother’s warning." There were a number of these objects in and around the field.

This concluded the evidence, and the Deputy Coroner returned a verdict as stated.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell