Previous Page Front Page Diary Index Next Page

Map showing area covered.

North-East Diary

Roy Ripley &
Brian Pears
© Copyright Brian Pears 1994-2011


14th/15th March 1943 to
10th May 1943

Sunday, 14th/Monday, 15th March 1943  N1289

For about an hour before and an hour after midnight there was some activity over and off the North East coast. There was extensive damage in Sunderland when four PMs and thirty firepot bombs hit the town centre. Bombs were dropped in many coastal regions.

Newcastle.. Walker.. An AA shell or rocket exploded and partially demolished 3 Trojan Avenue.

23.25-23.55.. Sunderland.. St Thomas' Church - Centre of Town - Empress Hotel - Union Street - Colchester Terrace - Nora Street - Hylton Street - Stratford Avenue. Casualties:- Seventeen killed, thirty-one seriously injured, sixty-one slightly injured. Seventeen premises totally demolished, 115 to be demolished, 191 untenable, 4160 damaged. A PM in the New Market bodily shifted the Empress Hotel 6 inches along Union Street. Six people were rescued from a buried indoor shelter.

Firepot, PMs and IBs fell between 23.25 and 23.55, as follows:-

PMs fell at: (a) Corner of John Street and St Thomas Street, (b) Union Street, (c) Nora Street and Colchester Terrace, (d) Seaforth Road, Durham Road.

Firepot IBs fell at Diamond Hall Schools, John Candlish Road, Aiskell Street, Hylton Street, Chester Road Schools, Hutton Street, Vanity Fair Chocolate Factory, Otto Terrace, Broadmeadows, Thornholme Road, Thornhill Shelters, Holmlands Park North, Ashbrooke Cricket Ground, Glen Path, Hendon Hill, The Cedars, Cedars Park and Raglan Avenue, Ryhope Road.



1Diamond Hall School, Girls' Dept.FP(X)Crater
28-10, John Candlish Road.FP(X)Camouflet
340, Back Hylton Street (Backyard)FP(X)Camouflet
435, Lumley Street (Backyard)FP(X)Crater
534, Pensher Street (Kitchen)FP(X)Camouflet
6Chester Road School, Infants' Dept.FP(X)Crater
713, Hutton Street (Backyard)FP(X)Crater
8Mayfair Diaries, east side of yardFP(X)Crater
931, Otto Terrace, yard - offshotFP(X)Crater
1063, Otto Terrace, shaft in passageFP(UX) Cleared
1169, Otto Terrace, shaft in yardFP(UX) Cleared
1231, BroadmeadowsFP(UX) Cleared
13Outside 27, Broadmeadows, shaft 6 feetFP(UX)Cleared
1416, BroadmeadowsFP(X)Crater
1568, Otto Terrace, front bay-windowFP(X)Camouflet
16Back of 62, Otto TerraceFP(X)Crater
171, Broadmeadows, in roadwayFP(X)Camouflet
18Shallcross, near SheltersFP(X)Camouflet
19Thorneholme Road - Durham RoadFP(X)Crater
2015, Holmlands Park North, in kitchenFP(X)Crater
21Grounds of Ashbrooke HallFP(X)Camouflet
22Hendon Burn - 50 yds. north of Beech HolmeFP(X)Crater
23Ashbrooke Cricket Ground, SE cornerFP(X)Crater
247, The CedarsFP(X)Crater
259, The CedarsFP(X)Crater
26Beech Holme, The Cedars - shaft 14' x 1'FP(UX) Cleared
27Glen Side, Glen PathFP(X)Crater
28Belford Terrace, south endFP(X)Camouflet
29St Thomas StreetPM(X) 
30Union StreetPM(X) 
31Seaforth RoadPM(X) 
32Nora StreetPM(X) 
3315, Aiskell Street, out-house in yardFP(X)Camouflet
3438, Stratford AvenueFP(X) 

23.25.. Co Durham.. Fifteen firepot IBs exploded at the rear of Station Lane, Seaton Carew, causing slight damage to outhouses.

23.30.. Co Durham.. One ABB 500 container fell in a wheat field near Cleadon, it contained IBs of the ordinary 1kg type, no damage was caused. At the same time an HE exploded near Curleycrook, Cleadon, together with four firepot IBs without causing damage. A number of 1kg IBs of the ordinary type fell at Cleadon, amongst these was one with an explosive charge in the nose.

23.30.. Co Durham.. Three ABB 500 containers fell near Hylton Lane, West Boldon, doing no damage. At the same time nine HEs failed to explode when they fell in the same vicinity.

23.30.. Co Durham.. An ABB 500 container fell near Fieldhouse Farm, East Boldon, doing no damage. At the same time two HEs fell near Boldon Lane, East Boldon, but failed to explode. Ten firepot IBs all caused camouflets when they fell in a line from Boldon Lane to Whiteleas Isolation Hospital.

23.35.. Co Durham.. Sixteen firepot IBs fell between Hardwick Hall Farm and Weens Farm, Blackhall. Ten of these caused camouflets and six failed to explode. No damage was caused.

23.35.. Co Durham.. Seven HEs failed to explode when they dropped near the LNER line at Hawthorn Quarry, the result was that the Sunderland to Hartlepool coast line closed to traffic. No further damage was caused.

23.36.. Co Durham.. Sixteen Firepot IBs fell near the Hart to West Hartlepool road, ten of these exploded in fields doing no damage and the remaining six caused camouflets.

23.40.. Co Durham.. Three 500 ABB containers fell in a field at Hawthorn causing neither damage nor casualties.

23.40.. Co Durham.. Eighteen firepot IBs fell between Batterslaw and Pemberton Arms, Murton, eleven of these exploded, three failed to explode and four caused camouflets. All fell in fields causing no damage.

23.40.. Co Durham.. Twelve firepot IBs exploded near Hunter House Farm, Seaton Carew, the farm house was badly damaged.

23.55.. Co Durham.. Eight 500 ABB containers fell on Blue House Farm, and the Colliery Allotments at Blackhall, setting fire to a haystack.

00.06.. Co Durham.. An AA shell exploded near Townley Cottages, Barmoor near Ryton, doing superficial damage to property. An Air Raid Warden of Townley Cottages was injured by shrapnel and removed to Whickham Hospital.

Co Durham.. During the raid five AA shells fell in the Washington area, one of these exploded in "F" Pit Yard, Washington damaging a coal truck.

Night 1289. All times BST. Blackout begins: 19.36, ends: 06.54
Public Alert: 23.06, All-Clear: 00.14
Industrial Alarm: 23.15, Release: 00.15

Monday, 15th March 1943  D1290

'SS Eugena Chandris' (5,300t) collided with the 'Exmouth' off South Shields at 55°01'08"N - 01°23'43.5"W, when she finally sank it was onto the remains of the 'SS Oslofjord'. Her manifest included 4874 drums of Trichlorethylene, 573 cases of ordinance, aluminium ingots and copper. She lies in 30' of water and underwater swimmers often swim from the 'Chandris' to the 'Oslofjord' without knowing it.

Day 1290. All times BST. Blackout ends: 06.54, begins: 19.38

Wednesday, 17th March 1943  D1292

Newcastle.. UXUPA found at Brough Park, Grace Street in front of the 6d enclosure. (Landed evening of 11, 12 or 14th March).

'SS Zouave' (4,256t) cargo ship, Pepel to the Tees, was sunk by U 305 in Mid Atlantic.

Day 1292. All times BST. Blackout ends: 06.49, begins: 19.42

Friday, 19th March 1943  D1294

'SS Glendalough' (868t) cargo ship, Shoreham to the Tyne, was sunk by a mine off Cromer.

Day 1294. All times BST. Blackout ends: 06.44, begins: 19.46

Saturday, 20th March 1943  D1295

At 11.30 a Lancaster bomber, operating from Holme on Spalding Moor airfield, near Selby, crashed on the beach at Atwick, Hornsea, Yorkshire, during unauthorised low flying while gun testing. Eight of the nine crew were killed.

Day 1295. All times BST. Blackout ends: 06.41, begins: 19.48

Monday, 22nd/Tuesday, 23rd March 1943  N1297

Slight enemy air activity over Newcastle. Sunderland and Co Durham bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe's sorties. AA projectiles caused damage and casualties.

23.15.. Newcastle.. UXUPS in front of a house in Welbeck Road.

23.25.. Newcastle.. Exploded AA shell at 17 Shop, Elswick Works, one slight casualty and damage to a steel supporting girder. No work stoppage.

Northumberland.. Tynemouth Borough.. Seven HEs and five IBs fell on fields north of Rake House, Rake Lane, one HE fell on the beach at Cullercoats and a single HE fell on the rocks beside the South Pier, Cullercoats.

22.50.. Sunderland.. Prospect Row - South Docks Goods Yard - Southwick, Sunderland RDC area. Casualties:- One killed, four slightly injured. One building demolished, one to be demolished, one untenable, six seriously damaged and 200 slightly damaged.

22.50.. Sunderland.. 240 IBs on the Southwick area. One dwelling house was burnt out and two slightly damaged by fire.

23.12.. Sunderland.. Two HEs (probably 1000kg), one of which was UX, fell in the marshalling yard adjacent to the railway sheds NW of South Dock. Considerable damage was done to sidings and railway stock, chiefly wagons and vans. Rather superficial damage was also caused to over 200 dwellings, an ARP Store at Prospect House and a public house. The UXB was removed on 23/3/43.

22.55.. Co Durham.. An HE (UXB) fell on runway at the airfield at Usworth.

23.00.. Co Durham.. Twelve PhIBs fell and exploded at Ushaw Moor without causing damage or casualties. One HE (UXB) fell at the same time in a churchyard at Ushaw Moor.

23.00.. Co Durham.. Approximately 240 IBs fell in a wood near Brancepeth without causing any damage.

23.00.. Co Durham.. Two UX PMs fell at Elwick.

23.05.. Co Durham.. Two PMs exploded at South Hetton causing damage to a Colliery Railway Line, house property, telephone and electric cables.

23.05.. Co Durham.. A UX HE fell at the back of a house at Castletown, causing the evacuation of nearby houses and the closing of a road.

23.05.. Co Durham.. An ABB 500 container of IBs fell near Hylton Colliery without causing any damage.

23.07.. Co Durham.. Two HEs fell near the Isolation Hospital, Whiteleas, causing extensive damage to hospital buildings, damage to windows of houses in the village and electricity supply.

23.10.. Co Durham.. Two ABB 500 containers of IBs fell in fields near Whitburn, causing no damage.

23.10.. Co Durham.. A UX AA shell fell in the garden of a house at Eaglescliffe.

23.10.. Co Durham.. Two HEs exploded in open fields 600 yds SE of Greatham Creek, causing neither damage nor casualties.

23.10.. Co Durham.. An ABB 500 container of IBs fell near the Northern Smelting& Chemical Works, Seaton Carew, without causing any damage.

23.15.. Co Durham.. Five HEs (UXBs) and five UX PhIBs fell at Seaham causing slight damage to crops.

23.15.. Co Durham.. A UX AA shell fell in the garden of a dwelling house at West Hartlepool.

23.20.. Co Durham.. Four firepot IBs fell in a field near Burdon without causing any damage.

23.27.. Co Durham.. A UX AA shell fell on a house at Eaglescliffe.

23.30.. Co Durham.. Two PMs exploded in fields at Murton, causing damage to windows and doors of farm houses and electric cables.

23.30.. Co Durham.. An ABB 500 container of IBs fell in fields between Burdon and New Seaham.

23.30.. Co Durham.. Six (one UXB) firepot IBs fell at East Herrington causing no damage.

Co Durham.. Two members of the Home Guard were killed by the premature explosion of an AA shell at Newport AA Site.

German records examined after the war show that a Dornier Do 217 failed to return from a sortie to Hartlepool.

Night 1297. All times BST. Blackout begins: 19.51, ends: 06.34
Public Alert: 22.47, All-Clear: 23.47
Industrial Alarm: 22.58, Release: 23.30

Wednesday, 24th/Thursday, 25th March 1943  N1299

A force of raiders scattered over widely separated parts of Northern England. At North Shields considerable damage was done to property. The only casualty was one person seriously injured at High Heaton by AA fire.

00.50.. Newcastle.. AA shell exploded on north footpath of Stephenson Road, Heaton, damaging windows of seven shops and twelve houses.

01.00.. Newcastle.. UX AA shell fell in the front garden of a house in Sutherland Avenue, Fenham.

Northumberland.. Tynemouth Borough.. Two HEs fell on Alexandra Road just west of the junction with Hawkley's Lane.

01.10.. Co Durham.. An AA shell exploded on the roadway at Broadway, Chester le Street, causing slight damage to windows of houses.

A total of eight enemy aircraft, three Dornier Do 217E's and five Junkers Ju 88A's, including the following, crashed on this day, mostly by flying into high ground. A Dornier Do 217E struck a hill at Twice Brewed Inn at Haltwhistle at 00.20. The crew all perished. A Junkers Ju 88A flying low hit a hill at a shallow angle at Linhope Rigg near Powburn, Northumberland at 00.45. The crew all perished.

A Dornier Do 217E shot down by AA gunfire, crashed at Madam Law Farm, Kirknewton, Northumberland at 00.05. It would appear that the aircraft had come from a northerly direction, crashed into the side of Madam Law, near the top, ricocheted over the hill and came to rest in pieces on the southern side. Three of the four crewmen were thrown out of the plane and killed, the fourth was found dead inside the burnt wreckage.

A Spitfire fighter operating from Eshott airfield, crashed on Bellyside Hill, Dunsdale, Kirknewton. The Australian pilot was killed and the aircraft was completely destroyed.

Night 1299. All times BST. Blackout begins: 19.55, ends: 06.29
Public Alert: 23.39, All-Clear: 01.35
Industrial Alarm: 23.42, Release: 00.52
Industrial Alarm: 01.06, Release: 01.22

Friday, 26th March 1943  D1301

Newcastle.. The public is using shelters to a much greater degree, probably due to very heavy barrage now in operation in this area.

Day 1301. All times BST. Blackout ends: 06.26, begins: 19.59

Monday, 29th March 1943  D1304

Two Bothas collided in mid-air over Morpeth airfield, there were no survivors. ... This would have remained as the complete entry for the above item, but in the September 2nd 1992 edition of the Northumberland Herald& Post the following article appeared, it was entitled '50 years on ... an airman remembers' - A longed-for visit to the grave of a wartime friend was paid last week when ex air-gunner Saul Muller returned to Morpeth.

Saul, a British national who was born in Belgium, decided when he retired that he would visit the graves of his wartime comrades and try to trace any who may be still alive. In an emotional tribute Saul, now sixty-eight years old, laid flowers at St Mary's Church at the graves of friends and room-mates who died during a training flight over Morpeth on March 29th 1943.

Saul had escaped from Le Havre as the Germans occupied Europe when he was a teenager. In the spring of 1942 he heard from the Red Cross that his sister and mother had been arrested and taken to concentration camps. This led to him volunteering for the RAF and eventually he joined the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service.

He was given a train ticket to Morpeth where he would be trained by the RAF to become an air-gunner. One week before passing out, an Air Vice Marshal visited the Morpeth aerodrome. It was a cloudy morning and the trainees would not normally go up in such conditions, but because of the visit, they did.

On board each Botha aircraft was a pilot, an instructor and three trainee air-gunners. The plane which took off after Saul's crashed into another, which was coming in to land. Ten people died, five of them Dutch trainees and one English. Their average age was twenty. Two of the dead were Saul's room-mates.

" It was a moving experience for me to visit their graves " said Saul " the memories flooded back, when the funeral was held at St Mary's, the entire town seemed to be there. Everyone was moved by the circumstances of their death " ... The article then goes on to ask for news of a particular friend of Mr Mullers who used to live locally.

Three Canadian airmen (eldest 21 years) killed when their plane crashed at Bowesfield Farm, Stockton.

Day 1304. All times BST. Blackout ends: 06.18, begins: 20.05

Wednesday, 7th April 1943  D1313

King George and Queen Elizabeth visited Tyneside and went to Byker and Heaton.

Day 1313. All times DST. Blackout ends: 06.56, begins: 21.22

Wednesday, 14th/Thursday, 15th April 1943  N1320

A Lancaster, operating from Holme on Spalding Moor airfield, near Selby, was returning from ops, when at 22.20, just 2 miles S of the airfield it crashed out of control while on a three engine approach. All seven crew were killed.

Night 1320. All times DST. Blackout begins: 21.36, ends: 06.36

Saturday, 17th April 1943  D1323

'SS Dynamo' (809t) cargo ship, London to Hull, was sunk by a mine in the Thames Estuary.

Day 1323. All times DST. Blackout ends: 06.31, begins: 21.42

Tuesday, 20th April 1943  D1326

Limited recruitment of women for Home Guard announced.

Day 1326. All times DST. Blackout ends: 06.24, begins: 21.47

Thursday, 22nd April 1943  D1328

The trawler 'Herring' (600t) while on Admiralty service, sank after colliding with another vessel in deep water E of Druridge Bay. The wreck lies at 55°17'02"N - 01°19'10"W and is virtually intact.

Day 1328. All times DST. Blackout ends: 06.19, begins: 21.52

Tuesday, 4th/Wednesday, 5th May 1943  N1340

A Lancaster operating from Holme on Spalding Moor airfield, near Selby, was returning from ops, when due to bad weather it was diverted to Scorton airfield in Yorkshire. On the approach, it hit some trees and crashed. Five of the crew were killed.

Another Lancaster operating from the same airfield, and also returning from ops, but to its home base, Holme on Spalding Moor airfield, near Selby, struck the ground at 04.45 near Hotham, just E of the airfield. Three of the crew were killed and four injured.

Night 1340. All times DST. Blackout begins: 22.45, ends: 05.20

Wednesday, 5th May 1943  D1341

A Hurricane fighter operating from Milfield airfield, near Wooler, crashed into an oat field at the Observer Post, Chatton. The Sergeant pilot's aircraft ran out of fuel, he had slight facial injuries and the plane suffered minor damage to the propeller, engine and undercarriage.

A Hurricane fighter operating from Milfield airfield, near Wooler, and a Spitfire based at Morpeth airfield collided over the Horton and Doddington Moors at 15.03. There were a number of practice dog-fights in progress at the time these two collided, one appeared to lose part of its wing. Both planes crashed within a short distance of each other and both pilots were killed.

Day 1341. All times DST. Blackout ends: 05.20, begins: 22.47

Monday, 10th May 1943  D1346

The extent of Government powers over the people at this time can be judged by the following extract from a newspaper of the period: "An Ashington labourer was charged with having removed potato peelings and bread from a container from which they had been deposited as salvage, without the consent of the local authority. Supt Scott said the case was the first of its kind. The man who did not appear, was fined 10s (50p). The presiding magistrate issued a warning that future offenders would be more severely dealt with." (See also 20th May 1943).

Day 1346. All times DST. Blackout ends: 05.10, begins: 22.56

Previous Page Front Page Diary Index Next Page

Valid HTML 4.0! © Copyright Brian Pears 1994-2011