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This chapter was intended to summarize all attacks on the North-East, which I am arbitrarily defining as Northumberland, Durham and Middlesborough, but space will not permit this. I have included all of the World War 1 raids but only those World War II raids where there was loss of life, or where places within about 10 miles of Rowlands Gill were involved -this includes all of the present Gateshead MBC area, Newcastle and chunks of Northumberland and Durham. Where either criterion is met, all known incidents throughout the North-East are included. There will be omissions; the information available from the various local authority areas differs in both scope and quality, indeed for some areas, including the old Gateshead Borough, very little has apparently survived. (For a more comprehensive treatment of WW2 air raids on the region see North-East Diary 1939-1945 by Roy Ripley and Brian Pears.)
Following the World War II convention, raids occurring between 6.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. are shown under double date headings, eg 3/4 May 1941, even if the entire raid took place before or after midnight; while those occurring between 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. are given a single date. To save space, I have used numerals rather more freely than would normally be the case, and the following abbreviations are used extensively:-
|OIB||Oil Incendiary Bomb(s)|
|UXPM||Unexploded Parachute Mne(s)|
16 Dec 1914 Wed. 8.00-8.50 a.m. The German cruisers Seydlitz*, Moltke* and Blucher* emerged from the morning mist and shelled Hartlepool. There was tremendous damage with 600 houses affected along with several churches, schools, hospitals and workhouses; the gasworks was also destroyed and 3 ships in the dockyard damaged. Casualties were estimated to be 230 dead and 500 injured, including many children on their way to school. A lady whom many of us will remember with affection, Miss Agnes May Staddon (1898-1988), former headmistress of Highfield Infants School, witnessed the attack while on her way to school. The ships fled when one was hit by the shore battery manned by the 18th DLI who themselves suffered 9 dead and 12 wounded. The cruiser HMS Patrol*, based at Hartlepool, put to sea but was holed and just managed to reach safety in the Tees. 4 of the crew died and 7 were injured. That night 3 trawlers sank with heavy loss of life after striking mines laid by the attacking cruisers. This was the first fight with a foreign enemy on English soil since 1690 when the French landed at Sussex and the first in Great Britain since 1797 when 1000 French landed at Fishguard in Pembrokeshire. The casualty figures were the highest of any raid on the North-East in both World Wars. *(Blucher was sunk in 1915 and Seydlitz and Moltke in 1918. HMS Patrol, launched in 1904, remained in service until 1919).
14/15 Apr 1915 Wed/Thu. 7.30-9.00 p.m. The Zeppelin L9, on her first mission, made landfall just north of Blyth, and at Cambois she was attacked with rifle fire from the 1st Battalion Northern Cyclists. She dropped bombs at West Sleekburn and then followed a winding course to the south passing over Choppington, Bedlington, Cramlington, Seaton Burn and Forest Hall; 14 bombs were dropped en route, all falling on fields. She then headed for Wallsend harmlessly dropping 9 bombs on the way. 6 IB were dropped at Wallsend, one hitting a cottage and slightly injuring a woman and a girl. 2 more bombs were dropped before L9 turned east and crossed the coast at Marsden. (L9 caught fire in its shed at Fuhlsuttel, Germany 19 Sep 1916).
15/16 Jun 1915 Tue/Wed. 11.25-11.52 p.m. The Zeppelin L10 crossed the coast north of Blyth and headed directly for Wallsend where bombs were dropped on the Marine Engineering Works causing severe damage. 7 HE and 5 IB then fell on Palmer's Works at Jarrow where 17 men died and 72 were injured. North of the river again, bombs fell at Willington where they damaged Cookson's Antimony Works and Pochin's Chemical Works and several houses; a policeman died at Willington Quay. The L10 then headed for the sea dropping bombs on Harton Colliery and South Shields on the way. (L10 was destroyed by lightning at Cuxhaven, Germany 3 Sep 1915).
1/2 Apr 1916 Sat/Sun. The L11 crossed the coast at Seaham at 11.00 p.m. and dropped bombs on Eppleton Colliery, Hetton Downs, Philadelphia and Sunderland. The 21 bombs at Sunderland caused severe damage to shops and houses and killed 22 people, seriously injured 25 and slightly injured 100. L11 then headed south just off the coast and dropped further bombs on Port Clarence, on Middlesborough, where 2 men were injured, and on Brotton before heading out to sea at 12.30 a.m.
2/3 Apr 1916 Sun/Mon. At 11.00 p.m. the L16 crossed the coast just north of Cresswell, headed south-west and dropped 23 bombs in the Ponteland/Stamfordham areas, a further 11 bombs were dropped at Cramlington to the east and, finally, at 12.15 a.m., 7 were dropped at Broomhill as the L16 headed out to sea near Coquet Island. None of the bombs caused any damage or casualties.
5/6 Apr 1916 Wed/Thu. The L16 crossed the coast near Blackhall Rocks at 11.30 p.m., headed west and dropped 23 bombs at Evenwood and Randolf Colliery (between Bishop Auckland and Staindrop). 15 miners' cottages were demolished and 70 damaged and a man and a child were injured. Then she headed east and dropped 27 bombs on collieries immediately south-east of Bishop Auckland where more houses were damaged, a child killed, and a woman and 2 children injured. L16 headed out to sea just south of Seaham at 1.15 a.m. (L16 was wrecked on landing at Nordholz, Germany 19 Oct 1917).
2/3 May 1916 Tue/Wed. The L11 crossed the coast at 10.20 p.m. just north of Holy Island, flew south along the coast before flying out to sea again at Amble at 11.15 p.m. Only two bombs were dropped; the remainder were taken back to base. The commander, Korvettenkapitan Victor Schutze, said he could not find targets because he was blinded by snow!
8/9 Aug 1916 Tue/Wed. The L14 crossed the coast at Tweedmouth at 12.25 a.m., made a wide sweep as far west as Kelso and then headed out to sea at Alnmouth at 2.00 a.m. The bombs fell on open country; only 8 craters found. At 12.55 a.m. the L30 made landfall at Hartlepool, dropped bombs around Seaton Carew and flew back out to sea. The L13 crossed the coast at 1.30 a.m., dropped bombs around Wingate and Thornley, and flew out to sea at 2.05 a.m. near Hawthorn. At 1.45 a.m. the L31 crossed the coast south of Whitburn, flew in a loop over South Shields, North Shields and Jarrow before heading back out to sea near Marsden at 2.00 a.m. Finally the L11 appeared briefly over Tynemouth and Whitley Bay. The only effects of these raids were 5 people injured at Whitley Bay and a house and office wrecked.
27/28 Nov 1916 Mon/Tue. The L35, a "Super-Zeppelin" on her maiden flight, crossed the coast at 11.30 p.m. just south of Seaham, but turned and headed back out to sea. Also at 11.30 p.m. the L34, under Kapitanleutnant Max Dietrich. crossed the coast at Blackhall Rocks and flew over Castle Eden where she was caught in the beam of the Hutton Henry Searchlight. She dropped 13 HE near the searchlight without doing any damage. She was then spotted by 2nd Lieutenant L.V.Pyott flying a Bristol FE2c of 36 Squadron out of Seaton Carew. The L34 headed back out to sea over West Hartlepool where 16 bombs were dropped damaging 40 houses, killing 4 people and injuring 34. 2nd Lieutenant Pyott followed the airship for some 5 miles firing at every opportunity, and after firing 71 rounds he noticed a bright patch on the airship which rapidly spread engulfing the whole machine in flames. Pyott dived rapidly to avoid the flames but suffered burns to his face. The flaming wreckage could be seen for miles -it was even seen by a pilot flying over Melton Mowbray. The L34 fell into the sea off West Hartlepool at 11.50 p.m.
13/14 Mar 1918 Wed/Thu. At 9.20 p.m. the L42 came over West Hartlepool and dropped 21 bombs, damaging shops and houses and killing 8 people and injuring 39. She headed out to sea and was spotted by 2nd Lieutenant E.C. Morris flying a Bristol FE2d of 36 Squadron. The Zeppelin was at 20,000 feet, well above the Bristol's ceiling, but Morris followed it for 42 miles out to sea in the hope that it would lose height. He finally lost it in the mist. Earlier in the day a Bristol Fe2b of 36 Squadron took off from Hylton on an air-raid patrol and ran into trouble. The pilot, Sergeant Arthur John Joyce, attempted a forced landing, but he was killed when the plane side-slipped into the ground at Pontop Pike and burnt out. A memorial to the pilot was erected on the roadside at Annfield Plain.
5/6 Jun 1940 Wed/Thu. Just after midnight, when returning from a bombing run to Ghent (Belgium), a Beaufort of 22 Squadron, Coastal Command, struck a barrage- balloon cable and crashed at Ashington killing 2 of the crew and 3 civilians at 77, Fifth Row. Bombs dropped on Thornaby Aerodrome at 12.15 a.m. killed an airman and injured 3 others. 2 Hudson Bombers and 2 fuel bowsers were destroyed and the runway damaged.
19/20 Jun 1940 Wed/Thu. 11.14 p.m.-3.41 a.m. HE bombs on the main streets of West Hartlepool caused extensive damage and left 3 dead and 7 injured. One of those killed was John Punton, 54 years, the first full-time Air Raid Warden in the country to be killed on duty. The Stockton, Billingham, Haverton Hill and Norton areas were attacked with HE and IB causing major damage; ICI Billingham was hit, fires started and 2 soldiers killed. A farm at Elwick was demolished.
2 Jul 1940 Tue. At 5.30 p.m. a Dornier bomber passed over Blaydon, shot down a barrage balloon and dropped HE bombs on The Close and Forth Street, Newcastle. Spillers warehouse was demolished and 1 person killed. At 6.11 p.m. 3 HE fell on Jarrow killing 14 and injuring 120; major damage to homes, a school and several air-raid shelters.
6/7 Jul 1940 Sat/Sun. 12.55-2.20 a.m. 5 HE bombs fell on Shotton Colliery, killing 3 people and injuring 10; 3 houses were demolished. Mainsforth Colliery at Ferryhill Station was hit by HE, and trucks, an engine house and a cabin were damaged. There was also an HE bomb in a field at Chilton, but there was no damage or casualties.
12/13 Jul 1940 Fri/Sat. 12.38-1.38 a.m. A large number of IB fell at Bridge Hill near Consett; a cow was killed and a house was slightly damaged by fire. IB also fell at West Hartlepool and Graythorp, but there was no material damage.
28/29 Jul 1940 Sun/Mon. 12.00-12.26 a.m. Attack on Newcastle. 8 HE just west of the General Hospital; 1 woman killed. 4 HE at West Jesmond near the Great North Road; 1 woman killed. 7 HE near Heaton Secondary School; 1 woman killed in caretaker's house. Also HE at Downham and at Crookham (NE of Wooler); 7 cattle killed.
3 Aug 1940 Sat. Fairey Battle Mark 3 L5110 of 253 Squadron en route from Northolt to Turnhouse suffered an engine fire and then engine failure as they flew over Tanfield at about 7.00 p.m. The aircraft crashed just to the north-west of Causey. The crew, Sergeant J.L.Anderson and L.A.C. Ricks, baled out and landed on Gibside Estate; both were injured and were taken to Rowlands Gill.
9 Aug 1940 Fri. 11.40 a.m. A Heinkel 111 on an armed reconnaissance sortie to Montrose was disabled by Spitfires of 79 Squadron. Before ditching in the sea off Whitburn, it dumped HE on Sunderland leaving 4 dead and 78 injured. Damage to Laing's Shipyard, a railway bridge and houses. Enemy crew picked up unhurt by Royal Navy.
9/10 Aug 1940 Fri/Sat. Bombs fell at midnight near a Searchlight Battery at Whittleburn Farm, Springwell (2 UXB) and in a field near Wardley Colliery. (2 HE and 1 UXB). No damage or casualties.
11/12 Aug 1940 Sun/Mon. 11.45 p.m.-1.30 a.m. IB fell on Heaton between Tosson Terrace and the Coast Road causing only light damage. HE at Framwellgate Moor and near Westerhope, Ponteland, Tynemouth, Belsay, Felton, Stannington, Bedlington, Morpeth and Boulmer. Little damage and no casualties apart from 7 lambs killed near Felton.
12/13 Aug 1940 Mon/Tue. A large number of IB were dropped at East Herrington causing damage to roofs and crops. There were also 21 HE in fields at Middle Herrington and 16 HE in fields at Seaton near Seaham; none caused serious damage. One man died in hospital after being hit by an IB.
15 Aug 1940 Thu. Noon. A force of 122 bombers and escorting fighters flying from Norway and Denmark attempted a mass daylight raid on the North-East but were decimated by the RAF and lost 28 aircraft while the RAF lost none. HE were dropped at Dawdon (11 dead), Easington Colliery (9 dead), Sunderland (4 dead), Hawthorn (2 dead), Thornley, Cassop, Woodside, Etherley (1 dead each), Cockfield and Cleadon.
24/25 Aug 1940 Sat/Sun. 12.33-4.30 a.m. 5 HE at Hebburn caused 2 deaths and there was 1 death at South Shields. 1 HE exploded near a jetty at Walker and a suspected UXB nearby resulted in the evacuation of residents. HE also fell near RAF Acklington and at Seaton Sluice, Billingham, Middlesborough and West Hartlepool Steelworks.
25/26 Aug 1940 Sun/Mon. HE and IB around the Victoria Bridge between Stockton and Thornaby killed a man who was on the bridge at the time. Shrapnel damage to the bridge can still be seen.
26/27 Aug 1940 Mon/Tue. 10.14 p.m.-3.45 a.m. 3 died in an attack on West Hartlepool. 3 HE and 80 IB fell in the Byermoor/Marley Hill areas damaging houses and farm buildings. A Searchlight Battery at Ebchester was attacked by HE and machine-guns -no damage or injury. HE also fell in fields at Denton Square and Westerhope. Other attacks on Ashington, Cambois, Morpeth, Seaton Delaval, Earsdon, Dissington, Middlesborough, Station Town, Sadberge, Seaham, Port Clarence and Easington Lane. A year later a girl drowned in one of the craters at Port Clarence.
29/30 Aug 1940 Thu/Fri. 10.10 p.m.-4.45 a.m. 9 died in another heavy attack on West Hartlepool and a direct hit on their house killed 2 brothers at Monkseaton. An AA shell exploded on a gun site on Fellside Road, Whickham. Other HE fell near Seahouses, Stannington, Morpeth, Tritlington, Longhorsley and Boldon Colliery.
1/2 Sep 1940 Sun/Mon. 10.25 p.m.-2.20 a.m. 7 HE and 1 OIB fell on Beamish; no serious damage. HE also fell around Morpeth, Tritlington, Cramlington, Stannington, Bebside, Killingworth, Dudley, Longhorsley and south of Rothbury.
3/4 Sep 1940 Tue/Wed. 11.45 p.m.-1.30 a.m. HE killed 1 woman at Jenifer Grove, High Heaton and caused major damage in Cleveland Gardens. HE also dropped at Bishopton, Castle Eden, Haverton Hill, Cornhill-on-Tweed and near a Searchlight Battery at Widdrington.
5/6 Sep 1940 Thu/Fri. A Heinkel 111 was hit by AA fire at 11.18 p.m. and crashed onto an air-raid shelter in Suffolk Street, Sunderland, killing a woman and the 4 crew. An AA shell damaged 14 Shop at Vickers Armstrongs, Scotswood. HE fell north and west of Morpeth and near Hamsterley Forest, while IB fell at Spennymoor and Cockfield.
16/17 Sep 1940 Mon/Tue. 10.08-11.55 p.m. Newcastle bombed; HE fell near Heaton Secondary School and on Jesmond Park West and IB at Adderstone Crescent and Jesmond Dene Road. HE also fell on a decoy site at Boulmer and IB at Hebburn Golf Links.
2/3 Oct 1940 Wed/Thu. 11.15 p.m.-12.20 a.m. 4 HE and an OIB fell near Medomsley; one was on the railway embankment between Shotley Bridge and Blackhill stations. An elderly lady died of shock and there was slight damage to property. RAF Usworth was attacked and a Searchlight Battery at Whitburn was machine-gunned.
7/8 Oct 1940 Mon/Tue. 7.00-11.00 p.m. 2 HE fell harmlessly in fields at Washington. HE in the High Farm and Rosehill areas of Wallsend caused severe damage and there were also HE and IB near Sedgefield Railway Station.
13/14 Oct 1940 Sun/Mon. The Marsh Road Communal Air-Raid Shelter was among the buildings hit during an attack on Middlesborough in which 21 died.
28/29 Oct 1940 Mon/Tue. 8.00-9.00 p.m. HE fell near Fines Road, Medomsley and at Cleadon. 12.04-12.40 a.m. HE fell south-west of Whittonstall, HE and IB at Wallsend caused major damage, HE on Blackhill Cemetery, HE and IB on Heaton injuring a man and a girl, IB at Stella Hall and HE on Bewes Hills, HE and IB near Newburn Glassworks and HE at Howden Bank. 3.30 a.m. Attacks with IB on Usworth and Woolsington Aerodromes.
20 Nov 1940 Wed. A Norwegian seaman, Thorlief Olsen, was killed on board the S.S. Ravenger in the Tees.
6/7 Jan 1941 Mon/Tue. 6.05 p.m HE fell in the Tyne near Walker Naval Yard causing very minor damage at Heworth.
16 Jan 1941 Thu. At 7.53 a.m. 5 HE fell in fields at Crookhall Farm near Consett causing neither damage nor casualties.
27 Jan 1941 Mon. Another attack on Walker Naval Yard at 8.55 a.m. resulted in damage to a workshop and a jetty; the bombs narrowly missed an almost complete aircraft carrier*. 31 men were injured, one of whom died in the RVI next day. Just before the bombing an AA Post near Pelaw Staithes was machine-gunned. *(This was HMS Victorious which survived the war).
15/16 Feb 1941 Sat/Sun. 12.35 a.m. A Heinkel 111 struck a barrage balloon cable at South Shields and crashed at Bents Park killing 4 of the crew; the pilot baled out but was electrocuted on trolley-bus wires. The wreckage caught fire and 20 minutes later a mine on board exploded killing 4 men and causing damage as far away as Tynemouth. HE and PM caused damage at Sunderland, Hawthorn, Seaham, Chester-le- Street, Blyth, Bedlington, Ashington, Seaton Delaval, Newbiggin, Cresswell, Lynemouth, where a woman died, and South Shields, where 2 women and a man died.
16/17 Feb 1941 Sun/Mon. At 6.45 p.m. HE fell at Seaham Harbour killing 2 men and 2 women and demolishing a railway bridge and 4 houses.
3/4 Mar 1941 Mon/Tue. 7.45-11.10 p.m. HE at Hebburn killed a woman and caused widespread damage. At 8.35 p.m. a plane circled Hexham, flew north, and dropped flares, 6 HE and 1000 IB near Barrasford. Other attacks with HE and IB at Chester-le-Street, Hawthorn, Marsden, Long Newton, Bradbury, Easington Colliery, Berwick, Stannington and around Morpeth, Ashington, Blyth and Bedlington.
6/7 Mar 1941 Thu/Fri. 8.30-8.45 p.m. A PM fell in a plantation at Fatfield near Birtley without exploding. Two others came down near the LNER line north of Stobswood, one exploded but caused negligible damage.
13/14 Mar 1941 Thu/Fri. 12.45 a.m. IB dropped at Lamesley and Darlington causing no damage. At 3.30 a.m. HE fell near Ashington badly damaging farm buildings. Earlier at 10.25 p.m. a Junkers 88 was shot down in a sheet of flames off Amble; only one body was found.
14/15 Mar 1941 Fri/Sat. 4 died in an attack on Sunderland and a single HE fell at New Hartley near Seaton Delaval..
31 Mar/1 Apr 1941 Mon/Tue. At 8.20 p.m. about 50 flares were dropped between Burnhope and Lanchester causing a small fire in a wood. At 10.12 p.m. HE fell near Felton.
7/8 Apr 1941 Mon/Tue. 1.58 a.m. Newcastle: HE at the junction of Wellington and Stanhope Streets and on Leazes Park and Castle Leazes did little damage. 11.00 p.m.- 4.30 a.m. A UXB at Mickley and HE, IB and PM across Northumberland from Ford to Wallsend and at Whitburn, Graythorp, Dalton Piercy and Cleadon where 1 man and 2 women died.
9/10 Apr 1941 Wed/Thu. 11.20 p.m.-4.26 a.m. Major attack on Tyneside and Sunderland in which 116 planes dropped 152 tons of HE and 50280 IB; the Tyne HAA guns fired 3133 rounds. 30 died at Tynemouth, 25 at South Shields, 25 at Jarrow, 3 at Chirton, 3 at Wallsend and 2 at Sunderland. Extensive damage in many areas especially at Sunderland, where Binns was gutted, and at South Shields, where a train was wrecked. Troops, Police from County Durham and Fire and Rescue units from Sunderland were sent to assist at South Shields. In Newcastle many IB fell on Vickers Armstrongs at Scotswood with little effect but nearby St Michael's Church and Maple Terrace Boys' Club were gutted and Bell Terrace School was badly damaged. Some of the IB fell south of Scotswood Bridge towards Axwell Park. A canteen at the Neptune Shipyard was damaged by fire, and there were also fires in the Petrol Depot, Tube Works and Mercantile Dry Dock at Jarrow. At Tynemouth the Preston Institute and First-Aid and Wardens' Posts were damaged, and ARP premises were also affected at Wallsend. More IB fell at Castleside, South Moor, Felling and Gateshead.
14/15 Apr 1941 Mon/Tue. At 9.25 p.m. IB fell on Vickers Armstrongs Elswick Works and nearby streets. Several factory shops were affected and numerous fires started. All fires were out by 11.00 p.m. and production was not seriously affected. The nearby railway line was out of use for a time. IB also fell at South Shields causing minor fires.
15/16 Apr 1941 Tue/Wed. 12.18-3.45 a.m. 38 tons of HE, 29 PM and 4200 IB dropped. 18 died at Sunderland where the Winter Gardens in Mowbray Park and the Victoria Hall were destroyed, 10 died in the Ocean View area of Whitley Bay and 3 at Tynemouth where a Wardens' Post was demolished by a PM. Other areas affected were Sadberge, Stockton, ICI Billingham, Middlesborough, Easington, Seaburn and Blyth. PM affected houses and industrial premises at Thornaby -a woman at Crosthwaites Union Foundry died of shock and 4 people were injured.
25/26 Apr 1941 Fri/Sat. 10.30 p.m. Newcastle's worst tragedy of the war; 47 deaths, most (35) at Guildford Place which suffered a direct hit by a PM with horrific results - even 4 days later, 14 of the 33 bodies found could not be identified. Also HE and IB in the Heaton, Jesmond and Quayside areas; some damage and casualties. Altogether 80 tons of HE, 64 PM and 9840 IB were dropped between 9.55 and 11.10 p.m., and 62 parachute flares lit up the targets. The Tyne HAA gun fired 809 rounds and 130 RAF fighters were airborn. There were also 17 deaths and damage to houses at Wallsend; 7 deaths at South Shields, where 3 medium fires were started; 4 at Seghill; 2 at Blyth, where houses, a signal box, lines and rolling stock were destroyed; 2 at Shiremoor and 1 at Bebside. There was damage at Tynemouth, Cullercoats, Jarrow, Hebburn, Burdon, Cleadon, Usworth, Pelaw and Gateshead. The German radio bragged of a "heavy attack on Sunderland" but not one bomb fell there.
26/27 Apr 1941 Sat/Sun. 11.55 p.m.-12.35 a.m. A strange night; no sirens but HE fell in a field near Chopwell and at Barlow where a barn roof, house windows and overhead wires were damaged and a road blocked. Also IB fell at Newbottle, Ramshaw, Etherley Dene, Coundon Gate, Allendale, Slaley and Hedley-on-the-Hill.
3/4 May 1941 Sat/Sun. 11.20 p.m.-2.00 a.m. Tyneside's worst incident of the war occurred when 3 HE fell on Tynemouth; one scored a direct hit on Wilkinson's Lemonade Factory where 190 people were sheltering in the basement. 105 people died. In Sunderland, Redby School was destroyed, fires were started and 18 died, some in shelters, while at West Hartlepool there was a lot of damage, the railway was blocked and 2 night watchmen died when the Greyhound Stadium was hit. A firewatcher died when HE hit Sowerby's Ellison Glassworks at Teams in Gateshead and HE fell on Saltwell Park. Newcastle had HE on the Quayside beside the High Level Bridge damaging old and derelict property, and HE and IB on and around the Town Moor. Some of the IB fell on houses at Gosforth and 2 were badly damaged. HE fell in Walbottle Dene at Throckley damaging houses; near the Tees Bridge Roundabout; near Catcleugh Reservoir and south of Morpeth. IB fell at Lambton Park, Castletown, Ryhope and Lynemouth.
4/5 May 1941 Sun/Mon. HE were dropped at 1.00 a.m. west of Edmundbyers setting fire to the fell, and there were also HE between Cornsay and Esh Winning and north of Stamfordham. Between 12.20 a.m. and 2.45 a.m. Middlesborough and Hartlepool were attacked.
5/6 May 1941 Mon/Tue. Midnight-3.00 a.m. 6 died in Tynemouth and 3 at Cullercoats. In Newcastle there were 4 deaths when 12 HE fell in the Heaton/Byker/Battlefield areas demolishing the Apollo Cinema and 15 houses and damaging the East End Police Station. IB also fell in the Sandyford area. 1 HE fell near Rydal Mount at the top of Shibdon Dene, Blaydon damaging 564 houses and injuring 42 people, and HE also fell on open ground near Annfield Plain and at Cleadon. A Heinkel 111, damaged by a fighter over Greenock, crashed near North Walbottle killing one of the crew.
6/7 May 1941 Tue/Wed. 10.42 p.m.-2.35 a.m. 2 died when HE hit a factory at Haverton Hill and there were heavy attacks at Middlesborough and West Hartlepool. HE and IB dropped around Fell Farm near Crawcrook, and HE at Delves Lane, Consett and at Leam Lane. HE in Newcastle demolished 8 houses at Walker and Wilkin's Chocolate Factory at Cremona Park [Present site of Minories and Buist's garages]. Other HE affected Seaton Carew, Redmarshall, Coundon, Brandon, Boldon, Whitley Bay, Seaton Sluice, Blyth, Bedlington, Ashington, Morpeth, Longhorsley, Seahouses, Belford and an area NW of Yetlington. At 12.15 a.m. a German plane dropped 12 HE on RAF Ouston as fighters were landing, it then circled and machine-gunned the airfield; 16 men suffered slight injuries. A major fire broke out in a hanger and 3 planes were destroyed; fire units from Newburn and Gosforth attended. 2 enemy planes crashed; a Junkers 88 on Holy Island and a Heinkel 111 at St George's Hospital, Morpeth; both crews were detained.
11/12 May 1941 Sun/Mon. 12.30-2.30 a.m. 12 died at West Hartlepool, 8 at Stockton and 1 in Middlesborough and there were HE and IB at Billingham and Darlington and near RAF Eshott and RAF Acklington. A man died at Fernville Avenue when 3 HE fell on Sunniside and there were also HE at Tanfield Village and at Ireshopeburn in Weardale. In Newcastle HE and IB caused damage and injuries in the Jesmond area, a man and a woman died in hospital.
15/16 May 1941 Fri. 2.46 a.m. An enemy plane dropped 2 HE on Walker Naval Yard, one damaged a workshop and the other fell between two ships on the stocks buckling plates and damaging railway track on a jetty - no serious injuries. A cannon shell hit a gasometer at St Anthony's and set it on fire. Middlesborough also attacked.
2/3 Jun 1941 Mon/Tue. 2.30 a.m. 11 died at Tweedmouth when 4 HE demolished 5 houses in Sunnyside Crescent, Spittal. Reports that 7 children were trapped brought assistance from troops of the King's Own Scottish Borderers. HE also fell at Howick.
12 Jun 1941 Thu. An Arab seaman was killed by enemy action at Billingham Reach. He was buried at South Shields.
3/4 Aug 1941 Mon. At 12.28 a.m. 2 HE on Main Street, Spittal, killed 6 people. A shop and 5 houses were demolished and there was damage to 100 houses, a church, a garage, 3 pubs and 2 chemical works. Also HE at Elwick to the west of Hartlepool.
7/8 Aug 1941 Thu/Fri. At 3.40 a.m. two naval patrol boats in Tweedmouth Dock opened fire on an enemy plane which then attempted to bomb the boats; 2 HE struck Askew Crescent, Spittal killing a 14 year-old girl. Earlier, HE fell near Kirkheaton.
13 Aug 1941 Wed. 11.25-11.37 a.m. 4 died at Fulwell in Sunderland and 2 at Horden Colliery where 2 HE fell in the colliery yard and the village was machine-gunned. HE also fell on the railway line south of Alnmouth station.
14/15 Aug 1941 Thu/Fri. 11.05 p.m.-2.45 a.m. 3 children and an elderly lady died when HE struck houses on Howard Street off Sunderland Road, Gateshead. IB were dropped at RAF Acklington, at Ovington and at Felling where they caused damage to 13 houses. HE also fell at Ellingham. 150 small APB fell at Bishop Auckland.
15/16 Aug 1941 Fri/Sat. 9.30 p.m. 8 died when HE fell on Norton causing considerable damage to residential property. Seven of the dead were in 1 house: some bodies never recovered.
18/19 Aug 1941 Mon/Tue. 1.15-2.10 a.m. A PM at West Hartlepool killed 22 people and injured 45. Further PM and HE fell causing major damage. A single HE (some reports say a PM) at Norton killed 8 people, injured 17 ,demolished 14 houses and damaged 145. HE also fell at Greatham, Cowpen Bewley, Billingham and East Boldon. IB fell in the Ashington area together with modified HE bombs -they each had an IB attached to a tail fin.
1/2 Sep 1941 Mon/Tue. 10.11-11.00 p.m. Numerous HE fell on Newcastle causing the most damage and highest death toll of the war -57 killed. HE was scattered from Northumberland Road in the west to the Wallsend boundary in the east and as far north as Jesmond Dene Road. 100 houses were demolished and about 1000 made homeless. The railway system was disrupted with blockages at Manors Railway Station, Jesmond Station and near the Wallsend boundary on the Riverside Branch. Several fires started, the worst being at the LNER Goods Station on New Bridge Street; 300 tons of food were destroyed and it took two days to put the fire out. 8 died and 70 were injured at Blaydon when HE fell on Tyne Street and Delacour Road damaging a factory, 60 shops and 300 houses, and the railway was blocked here too. At Wallsend 3 died when an HE destroyed an Anderson shelter behind Bede Crescent; other HE caused damage in the Borough and the HE just over the Newcastle boundary damaged 60 houses. 8 HE on Dudley killed 2 in Ethel Street, there were 2 deaths and property damage at Tynemouth and one died at Newton Bewley on the Billingham By-Pass. HE fell near the river in Gateshead causing serious damage to a British Ropes factory. HE fell on RAF aerodromes at Ouston and Brunton, and missed attacks on RAF stations resulted in HE at North Hylton, Milfield, Ovington, Stamfordham and at the Nafferton Road Ends on the Newcastle to Hexham Road. Other HE fell at Wolviston, Staindrop and Twizell Colliery, Grange Villa. A goods train was machine-gunned near Belford Station. At 10.07 p.m. a Junkers 88 was shot down by a Beaufighter of 406 Squadron. After dumping its 4 HE on Bedlington Station, the plane broke up and crashed on Bedlington Brickworks killing all 4 of the crew. Gear from the plane found over a wide area.
7/8 Sep 1941 Sun/Mon. 10.45-11.00 p.m. HE fell at Kibblesworth, Castletown (near RAF Usworth) and at Springwell where 4 horses were killed and an electric cable damaged. APB fell at Norham (near RAF Winfield) and the village was machine-gunned. An APB killed a Bomb Disposal Corporal next day, and one was found by children on April 2nd 1942. The nose-cap of an AA shell damaged houses at Sycamore Road, Blaydon.
8/9 Sep 1941 Mon/Tue. 3.05 a.m An HE fell on the pit-head baths at Ryhope Colliery killing 2 men and injuring 21.
12/13 Sep 1941 Fri/Sat. 2.00 a.m. 7 HE fell between Blackhill and Knitsley; most fell harmlessly on fields but one breached the Lanchester Valley railway line and derailed an engine and 10 wagons. Goods traffic on the line was disrupted.
30 Sep/1 Oct 1941 Tue/Wed. A major attack on North Shields, in which 50 HE were dropped, killed 62 people. In Coach Lane the Wesleyan Hall was destroyed by an OIB and the Queen Victoria School was severely damaged. 82 houses were demolished and 609 badly damaged; 5 Rest centres were opened for the homeless. 2 trawlers were sunk in the docks and the railway was blocked at the station -trains were forced to terminate outside the town. The gasworks was hit and put out of action temporarily and a public shelter at Preston Colliery was hit and 2 killed. Across the river in South Shields some 28 HE killed 20 people and caused severe damage. The Power Station was hit causing all electricity supplies to fail and a ferry boat was sunk at the Whitehill Point Landing killing 4. In Sunderland 14 houses were demolished and 5 people killed in the Southwick area.
2/3 Oct 1941 Thu/Fri. Another raid on North and South Shields, this time, however, South Shields was the main target with 66 deaths from the 44 heavy HE which hit the town. The bombing was from low-flying aircraft which shot down barrage balloons and machine-gunned a train. In the Market Place, there were direct hits on the Town Hall, Crofton's Department Store and a public shelter, and a church, a school and a cinema were damaged. Many fires were started including a 20-pump fire in King Street. About 250 buildings were destroyed and many more damaged making about 600 homeless; 5 Rest Centres were opened. The shipyards were also hit and the LNER railway line was blocked in 2 places. Civil Defence and NFS were fully stretched and reinforcements from outside the Borough were provided including 22 Rescue Parties; and 300 soldiers provided additional help. In North Shields 3 were killed and there was damage to houses. The gasworks were hit again and supplies affected. In West Hartlepool 2 HE demolished 5 houses and 6 people were killed, 3 of them children. There was severe damage to houses, shops, a garage and several cars at Seaton Carew where 6 HE fell and another 5 HE between Graythorp and Seaton Snooks damaged a dock and 500 yards of the railway to the dock. 4 HE fell harmlessly near a farm north of Port Clarence but over the river at South Bank there were 3 deaths and at Middlesborough the LNER line was blocked by debris. HE also fell in fields at Seaton Sluice, and the 2 UXB which fell in a corn field at Kibblesworth severed 2 overhead electricity cables which fell across the Pontop to Jarrow railway.
21/22 Oct 1941 Tue/Wed. 9.25 p.m. HE fell on Hebburn and demolished an ARP Rescue and Demolition Post in the council yard on Glen Street killing 12 of the squad and 3 others died in Charles Street. 20 houses were demolished and a First Aid Post in Newtown Schools was damaged. 8.30-10.17 p.m. 3 HE fell at Ryhope causing some fires and killing 4 men at the pit head, and 2 died at Seaham Colliery where several houses were damaged and the Seaton Colliery Inn set on fire. 3 died at South Hylton near Sunderland when 2 HE demolished 3 houses; 5 people were rescued unhurt from a surface shelter which was damaged. In Newcastle HE fell around Shields Road near the Wallsend boundary demolishing 2 houses and killing 2 men. Shields Road was blocked in 2 places and was flooded by a damaged main. Water supplies and telephones in Wallsend were badly affected. Other HE fell at Urpeth, Leam Lane, Great Usworth, Cleadon, Newton Bewley, Stockton, Seaton Snooks and near the Wynyard Estate. There was a tragedy at Redcar when 2 HE fell near the Municipal Buildings and destroyed the Zetland Club; casualty figures given as 10 dead, 13 seriously injured and 7 missing - including the Mayor, Alderman Harris.
7/8 Nov 1941 Fri/Sat. 6.35-11.00 p.m. Sunderland was badly affected with many houses damaged and 7 killed; 100 were made homeless and 2 Rest Centres opened. There was also damage to a quay and a railway in the dock area and to a power station. 6 died at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea when 2 HE caused major damage to houses; an Emergency Feeding and Rest Centre was opened. At Horden 5 died when HE demolished 2 houses. HE also fell at Cleadon, Seaton Carew, Hawthorn, Seaham, Port Clarence and Bedlington.
8/9 Nov 1941 Sat/Sun. 7.20 p.m. 2 HE fell on Alnmouth and demolished three houses in Argyle Street. The final death toll was 6 women and one man.
8/9 Dec 1941 Mon/Tue. 10.10-11.45 p.m. 22 people (including 12 servicemen) died when HE fell on houses at Monkseaton. At Newcastle HE fell in the Battlefield area killing 5 people, demolishing 15 houses and damaging 106; St Dominic's Rest Centre was opened. Stepney Bank Mortuary was put out of action. IB fell in Heaton slightly damaging the Meldon Social Club and a few houses. 2 fatalities also occurred at Boldon Colliery where 3 HE caused extensive damage to houses. At South Shields HE damaged the river jetty and offices in the dock area. There were also HE at Seaton Sluice, Lamesley, Windy Nook, Felling, Shotton Colliery, Hebburn, Fatfield, Blackhall Rocks, Easington Colliery and Haverton Hill; HE and IB fell at Norton and IB fell east of Beamish.
18 Dec 1941 Thu. A Hudson of 6 O.T.U. based at R.A.F. Thornaby crashed into the farmhouse at Quarry Farm, Ingleby Barwick, killing the farmer, his wife and 2 of their 4 children.
29/30 Dec 1941 Mon/Tue. Between 9.17 and 9.36 p.m. 9 HE fell in Newcastle; 4 in Keyes Gardens off Jesmond Dene Road, 3 around Dibley Street, Byker and 2 in Holderness Road, Heaton. 7 people died in the Matthew Bank/Keyes Gardens area and 3 at Byker, and some 43 houses were demolished; Rest Centres were opened at La Sagesse Convent and the Victoria Jubilee School. At Thorntree Avenue, Seaton Burn, HE demolished 3 houses; 3 children were buried - 2 boys aged 2 and 6 were later found dead but their 9 year-old sister survived. A powder store at Seaton Burn Colliery had its walls cracked and door blown in. An AA rocket exploded on the roadway at Station Approach, Benton, fatally injuring 2 men. The A69 West Road was blocked when 3 HE fell at West Denton seriously damaging 12 houses; telephones were cut off at Wylam and Heddon and electricity supplies to Prudhoe ICI, BBC Stagshaw and Barrasford Pumping Station failed. HE also fell at Kibblesworth, Streetgate (Sunniside), Greencroft (Annfield Plain), Jarrow, Whitburn Colliery, North Hylton (near RAF Usworth), Wackerfield and Marwood in County Durham, and at New Hartley, East Heddon, Broomhill, Low Gate (near Hexham), Slaggyford and between Horsley and the Military Road in Northumberland. At Hetton-le-Hole an AA shell exploded on the ground and at Highfield the nose cap of an AA shell penetrated the roof of a house. A UXB in Lemington Timber Ponds (Newburn Haugh) could not be recovered and was abandoned on 12/1/42. A Junkers 88 was shot down in pieces 1 mile east of Amble.
4 Jan 1942 Sun. 4 died at Station Cottages, Tweedmouth during a daylight attack with HE and machine-guns. Railway lines were damaged and water, gas and electricity supplies affected.
20 Jan 1942 Tue. HE at Spittal, Tweedmouth demolished 2 houses and killed 3 people. Johnstone and Darling's Chemical Works were badly damaged and gas, water and telephone services were affected.
10 Feb 1942 Tue. A Hawker Hurricane of 55 Operational Training Unit based at RAF Usworth flew into the ground at High Marley Hill. The pilot, Sergeant J.Graham of the Royal Canadian Air Force was killed..
15/16 Feb 1942 Sun/Mon. A single plane dropped HE at East Sleekburn and at Radcliffe, near Amble, where 4 people received fatal injuries. At 8.00 p.m. a house at West Boldon was damaged by an AA rocket.
26/27 Mar 1942 Thu/Fri. 8.48-10.33 p.m. 2 HE destroyed the Benzol and Creosote Plants and blew the roof off the Power House at Malton Colliery, Lanchester, and a UXB on Lobley Hill Road, Gateshead, opposite the junction with Victoria Road, necessitated traffic diversions. At 9.19 p.m. a Dornier 217 was shot down by AA fire over Tynemouth and crashed into the sea. Only one body was recovered.
15/16 Apr 1942 Wed/Thu. HE at Middlesborough killed 26 people and seriously injured 52; 1700 houses were damaged and 39 made uninhabitable. Other attacks affected West Hartlepool, where 1 woman died, High Hesledon, Greatham, Boldon Colliery and near RAF Usworth. An AA shell exploded in Simpson Terrace, Shieldfield, killing a woman who had left the Victoria Tunnel Shelter to collect her insurance policy.
30 Apr/1 May 1942 Thu/Fri. 2.45-3.52 a.m. 11 died at Wallsend when HE aimed at the shipyards hit houses. At Benton Park Road, Newcastle there were 6 deaths when HE damaged air-raid shelters, and another hit on a shelter in Fulwell, Sunderland killed 2, Fulwell Fire Station, a Working Men's Club, a Dairy Farm and several houses were also damaged. At North Walbottle 3 died when HE hit Coley Hill Terrace. At Barlow 1 man died near a public house which was demolished by HE; many HE, IB and flares also fell across Winlaton, Winlaton Mill, Lockhaugh, Blaydon, Stella, Axwell Park, Marley Hill and Whickham. HE at Beamish caused minor damage but an undetected UXB killed 8 when it went off 18 hours later, and another undetected UXB on the river bank at Scotswood fatally injured 1 man. HE also fell at Bolam, Carrville, Finchale Priory, High Knitsley (near Consett) and Blackwell (Darlington), and both HE and IB fell at Jarrow.
24 May 1942 Sun. 7.30 a.m. An enemy aircraft flew very low over Newcastle closely pursued by RAF fighters; the AA guns were also in action. No bombs were dropped.
4/5 Jun 1942 Thu/Fri. 1.40-2.50 a.m. Crops were damaged when 4 HE fell in fields at Whitemare Pool and a UXB was reported near Coxgreen Railway Station. HE also caused damage at Grays' Dry Dock, Graythorp, and IB fell at Seaton Carew and Tunstall damaging potatoes at the latter.
6/7 Jul 1942 Mon/Tue. 1.45-2.10 a.m. One death occurred when bombs fell on and around ICI Billingham and there was damage to the Marine Shop at Haverton Hill, but the main target was Middlesborough where 3 churches, a secondary school and several shops and houses were set on fire. Damage also occurred at Cowpen Bewley, Norton, West Hartlepool, Seaton Carew, Greatham, Elwick and Easington. At 1.49 a.m. about 200 IB fell in the Walkergate area of Newcastle causing fires in several houses, and at Walkergate Hospital two wards and the maids' dining room were damaged. As the IB were falling, an AA shell exploded on the roadway at Cornmoor Road, Whickham, but caused no casualties.
7/8 Jul 1942 Tue/Wed. 1.28-2.30 a.m. 8 deaths occurred at Haverton Hill, and at Middlesborough a warehouse near Dent's Wharf and a factory were damaged and several fires started. HE at West Hartlepool damaged a gasholder, a power house, a crane shed and a goods railway line. The Cerebos Salt Works at Greatham was damaged by HE. ICI Billingham and Port Clarence were also heavily bombed and there were HE on Wynyard Park.
25/26 Jul 1942 Sat/Sun. 12.49-1.50 a.m. A heavy attack on Middlesborough caused 16 deaths, 4 of them in the Leeds Hotel which had a direct hit. There were 25 fires, one of 40 pumps and another of 20; the Co-op Emporium, Eaton's store and the Victoria Hall were burnt out. 144 buildings were destroyed and 1221 damaged. There was extensive damage at Billingham and at Haverton Hill where a cinema and a public shelter were damaged. At West Hartlepool the Isolation Hospital and a First Aid Post were damaged.
3 Aug 1942 Mon. An attack on Midlesborough by a single Dornier 217 around noon resulted in 8 deaths and 58 injuries. Of the 4 HE dropped 2 demolished most of Middlesborough Railway Station and damaged the front portion of the Middlesborough to Newcastle Express. Machine gunning also reported.
8/9 Aug 1942 Sat/Sun. 8.00 p.m. Cullercoats was attacked by HE badly damaging a church on John Street and a hospital; 2 people died.
28/29 Aug 1942 Fri/Sat. 10.37 p.m.-12.14 a.m. At Blackhall Colliery 9 people were killed, 2 seriously injured and 4 houses were wrecked. HE demolished 5 houses at Ryhope killing 3 and badly injuring 4. There was also a fatality at Shotton Colliery. UXB disrupted rail traffic on the Murton Colliery line and at Leasingthorne. HE also reported at Hutton Henry, Bishop Middleham, Whitburn, Cold Hesledon, Hawthorn, Wingate and Fencehouses. At 11.04 p.m. a Junkers 88 was shot down and crashed into the sea off Sunderland; 2 of the crew baled out and were captured. The attacking Beaufighter of 406 Squadron was damaged and crashed killing the crew of 2.
6/7 Sep 1942 Sun/Mon. 11.12 p.m.-12.42 a.m. 6 died at Middlesborough and 1 at Haverton Hill during an attack which damaged houses and utilities. HE near Greatham caused damage and killed livestock. Anti-aircraft rockets caused damage to houses at East Boldon and Heworth and others fell at Jarrow and South Hylton.
19/20 Sep 1942 Sat/Sun. 9.49-11.34 p.m. HE killed a man at Dalton-le-Dale near Seaham and there was damage from 2 HE at Brockley Whins Station, Boldon Colliery. HE also fell near Hart and near Sheraton Village, and IB fell at Haverton Hill and West Hartlepool. No bombs fell in Newcastle but there was extensive damage from AA shells to houses in Beatrice Road, Hilden Gardens and Stanley Grove in Heaton and in Churchill Gardens, Jesmond; 2 people were injured. An AA shell which exploded at Jubilee Avenue, New Seaham, killed a man and a woman and others in Darlington injured three people. AA shells also caused damage at West Hartlepool and East Herrington. A Dornier 217 was shot down off Tynemouth at 10.04 p.m. by a Beaufighter of 219 Squadron; there were no survivors.
11/12 Oct 1942 Sun/Mon. 9.25-9.45 p.m. At Tynemouth and Whitley Bay 37 houses were destroyed and 10 people died. 7 were killed and 21 seriously injured at Sunderland where 20 houses were demolished and 130 seriously damaged; a school and gas mains were also involved. There were 6 fatalities at Hebburn and 2 at South Shields where houses were affected and 12" water mains were damaged. IBs, some explosive, fell at Whiteleas.
16/17 Oct 1942 Fri/Sat. An attack on Sunderland caused 14 deaths in Tatham Street as well as 4 serous injuries. Moore's Food Store, a tram, the Education Architect's Department and houses were damaged. 4 of the houses were demolished. At 9.28 p.m. HE fell on a "military installation" at Seal Sands.
11/12 Dec 1942 Fri/Sat. 5.10-5.30 a.m. HE at Princess Street, Murton Colliery killed 7 people and destroyed 6 houses, one person also died at Dawdon where IB were dropped. An undetected UXB at Union Road, Hartlepool detonated during the morning demolishing a workmen's club and killing 9 people. German radio reported that "waves of bombers" had caused "extensive fires and destruction" in Sunderland. In fact only 10 aircraft were involved, and although flares were dropped at Sunderland, it was not bombed at all. IB and/or HE, many of the latter of the delayed-action type, fell at Seaham, Horden, Easington, Hart, Elwick, Greatham and West Hartlepool.
14/15 Dec 1942 Mon/Tue. 8.05-9.10 p.m. At Whitley Bay 3 died, houses were damaged and electric power failed; an LNER branch line near West Monkseaton had to be closed. A 16 year-old NFS Dispatch Rider was killed in an incident on the Team Valley Trading Estate at Gateshead. At Seaham 2 gasholders were damaged by HE and other HE fell at Hart, West Hartlepool, Wingate, Blackhall Colliery, Horden Colliery, Blackhall Rocks and in the Tyne off Palmer's Shipyard, Jarrow.
11/12 Mar 1943 Thu/Fri. 10.00 p.m.-12.02 a.m. Incidents were reported in Sunderland where 4 died, and at Middlesborough where there was 1 death. PM killed four people and caused severe damage in Stockton and Thornaby, and PM were also reported at High Newham Grange and Wynyard Station. HE damaged 10 houses in Billingham and HE also fell at Hutton Henry, Sedgefield, Coxgreen, Kelloe, Wolviston and Witton Gilbert. IB were dropped around Tanfield, Middle Rainton, Silksworth, Pittington, South Hylton, Ryhope, Garmondsway, Low Conniscliffe, Trimdon, Simonside and between Houghton and Seaham. A Junkers 88 was shot down into the sea off Blyth with no survivors; and at 11.25 p.m. a Dornier 217 was shot down at High Grange Farm, Great Stainton, near Darlington, the crew all baled out and were taken prisoner.
12/13 Mar 1943 Fri/Sat. 9.06-10.30 p.m. HE on Boldon Colliery and West Boldon killed 6 people. At 9.55 p.m. HE fell at The Oval, Walker in Newcastle demolishing 8 houses and damaging 40; 1 person died and 7 were injured. The Angus Gear Works and Walker Bakery were also damaged. An incident at South Shields caused 1 death and there were IB at Bournmoor, the Murton/Primrose/Hedworth area, Butterwick, Fishburn, Trimdon Village, Warden Law Hill, Wynyard Park, Usworth Churchyard and Leam Lane.
14/15 Mar 1943 Sun/Mon. 11.25 p.m.-12.06 a.m. There was extensive damage in Sunderland when 4 PM and 30 "firepot bombs" hit the town centre. 17 were killed and 31 seriously injured. A PM in the New Market bodily shifted the Empress Hotel 6 inches along Union Street. 6 people were rescued from a buried indoor shelter. HE and IB fell at Hawthorn and IB at Seaton Carew, Cleadon, West Boldon, East Boldon, Blackhall, Hart and Murton. An AA shell or rocket partially demolished 3 Trojan Avenue in Walker and others damaged a truck in Washington "F" Pit Yard and injured Air-Raid Warden Richard Hepple at Towneley Cottages, Barmoor near Ryton.
22/23 Mar 1943 Mon/Tue. 10.55-11.30 p.m. There was 1 death when HE fell on Sunderland and HE also fell at R.A.F. Usworth, Whiteleas, Greatham Creek. PM were reported at South Hylton and Murton and there were UXB or UXPM at Elwick, Castletown and Sunderland. IB fell at Ushaw Moor, Brancepeth, Hylton Colliery, Whitburn, Seaton Carew, Burdon, New Seaham and East Herrington. At 11.25 p.m. an AA shell exploded in No 17 Shop at Vickers Armstrongs Elswick Works slightly injuring 1 man and damaging a supporting girder. Other AA shell incidents occurred at Eaglescliffe and West Hartlepool and at Newport AA Site two members of a Home Guard AA Unit were killed when a shell exploded early.
24/25 Mar 1943 Wed/Thu. 1.10 a.m. An AA shell exploded on the roadway at Broadway, Chester-le-Street.
29 Mar 1943 Mon. Three Canadian airman, the eldest only 21 years of age, were killed when their aircraft crashed at Bowesfield Farm, Stockton.
15/16 May 1943 Sat/Sun. 2.00-3.00 a.m. 10 PM and IB fell on Sunderland causing 75 deaths and injuring more than 190. The Dun Cow Street Fire Station and the adjacent premises of Henry Moat were badly damaged when a nearby PM exploded making a crater 99 feet in diameter and 40 feet deep. There were 39 fires, including 2 "15-pumpers"; the Kings Theatre, British Ropes and the Avenue Paint Works were wrecked. IB on oil storage tanks at T.W.Greenwell and Co, South Dock Works badly damaged the dock and put it out of use for several months. Propaganda leaflets dealing with Allied shipping losses were also dropped on the town. A PM at Seaham Harbour killed 34 and seriously injured 42; 12 houses were demolished and 10 seriously damaged. Other PM exploded at Offerton Village, Silksworth and North Hylton and there were UXPM at Offerton Village and Old Burdon. HE were dropped at Ryhope, Whitburn, New Seaham, Castletown, West Boldon and at Boldon Colliery where 1 man received fatal injuries.
23/24 May 1943 Sun/Mon. 3.00 a.m. The last major raid of the war in the North-East caused the highest death toll. 11 PM, 67 HE, 9 "firepot HE" and about 600 IB fell on Sunderland causing widespread damage. 84 people died and 221 were injured; among the dead were a group of joiners from Glasgow who were there to repair earlier bomb damage. Many casualties occurred when a PM landed on St George's Square. Three Public Shelters were hit; 3 died in the Bromarsh Shelter, North Bridge Street, 5 in Bonners Field Shelter, Monkwearmouth and 13 in Lodge Terrace Shelter at Hendon. The Isolation Hospital (now Havelock Hospital) was evacuated because of an UXPM. At South Shields 28 people were killed and 22 seriously injured; some 40 buildings were wrecked and another 50 seriously damaged. PM also fell at Dalton-le-Dale, New Seaham, Ryhope, Silksworth and East Boldon. HE were reported at Cold Hesledon, Ryhope Colliery and Whitburn, and IB at Murton Colliery, Ryhope and Tunstall Hope. There was 1 death at Dalton-le-Dale and 1 at Ryhope.
1 Dec 1943 Wed. A Stirling Bomber of 75 Squadron was diverted to Acklington but on the approach it crashed into the farmhouse of Cliff House Farm, Togston near Amble. 5 children from the Robson family - Sheila aged 19 months, William Matthew aged 3 years, Margery aged 5 years, Ethel aged 7 years and Sylvia aged 9 years - all died as did all but one of the crew.
30/31 Mar 1944 Thu/Fri. During a bombing run to Nuremberg a Halifax of 578 Squadron was badly damaged by fighters. 3 of the crew baled out, including the navigator and wireless operator, but the pilot carried on with only 3 engines and bombed the target. He then attempted the run home and was approaching landfall at Ryhope when his engines failed through lack of fuel. Narrowly avoiding houses, he made a forced landing near the colliery. The pilot died, as did one civilian on the gangway leading to Ryhope Colliery, but the 3 remaining crew members survived. Pilot Officer C.J. Barton was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
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