Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Heinkel crash, Clacton-on-Sea, 30 April 1940

home front

  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 01 April 2009 - 09:31 PM

From The Times, Thursday, May 2, 1940:

Posted Image

ENEMY CRASH AT CLACTON

TWO DEAD AND 156 INJURED

HAVOC OF HEINKEL MINE-LAYER
CLACTON, MAY 1

A man and his wife and four member of the crew of a Heinkel bomber were killed when the machine, seriously damaged by gunfire and in flames, crashed at Clacton-on-Sea late last night. Tonight it was announced that the number of persons injured was 156, of whom 34 are serious cases.
Some of those now lying in hospital have lost their homes. At least 50 houses are so badly damaged that they will have to be demolished, and were, indeed, being pulled down this afternoon. In many more over a wide area all the windows were broken, doors were blown out and ceilings fell, and some windows two miles from the scene of the crash were broken.
For several hours to-day an area of a square mile was evacuated and roped off.

ALERT A.R.P.
There are two aspects of this disaster which give comfort. First it was the accurate fire of our gunners which brought to grief this carrier of “murder” mines, for the Heinkel was a layer of the mines which wreck and destroy ships without warning. The second consolation is that the local A.R.P. services were found ready and competent for the work so suddenly thrown upon them. The explosion was caused by mines which the bomber was carrying.

It was half an hour before midnight when people became aware of the crippled bomber flying low, its engines misfiring. Some say that it dropped Verey lights as if looking for a landing place. Mrs. E.F. Thomas, of Victoria Road, said:-

“The bomber flashed past flaming, narrowly missing our house. It hit a chimney-stack three doors away, and one wing dropped into the garden there. It then hit a tree and a corner of the house across the road, sped along the road, and then crashed into two houses, which were demolished. By now I was out in the road. Suddenly there was a terrific explosion. A man shouted, ‘Stay where you are,’ and I realized I was lying on the roadway and must have been knocked down by the force of the explosion.”

BURIED UNDER DEBRIS
The husband and wife who were killed, Mr. and Mrs. W. Gill, lived in one of the houses which were demolished. Apparently Mr. Gill ran into his garden and was killed instantly. His body, buried beneath debris, was found at noon. Mrs. Gill was buried beneath the ruins of her home and was found at 6 o’clock this morning. With them lived their son, who is in hospital seriously injured. All that remained of their house was a mound of bricks.
Twenty yards from their house was a concrete covered air-raid shelter where, if warned of the coming disaster, they would have been safe. In the house next door, which also was demolished, were a maid and three children whose mother is in Scotland. Two of the children are in hospital, one with an injured back and the other with a broken arm. For some time the maid was unaccounted for and is now stated to be in hospital seriously injured.

The soot where the bomber fell was the centre of a desolate scene - demolished houses, scores more with every window shattered, doors blown out and roofs caving in, the charred remains of the big bomber, here and there pieces of clothing lodged in the branches of trees; and scattered about dolls, handbags, tooth-brushes, and a hundred and one of the things common to every home.

The falling bomber narrowly missed St. Michael’s Orthopaedic Hospital and a nursing home in which there are 14 patients. Many people were injured by broken glass, and others because, before the explosion, they had rushed out of their homes to see the burning aeroplane. As soon as possible soldiers, wardens, and police threw a cordon round the area and kept people back. For some hours there were distressing scenes as A.R.P. workers sought amid the debris and in damaged houses for the injured whose cries they could hear.

The work of rescue went on all night, and at the start the scene was lighted by the burning aeroplane, which blazed fiercely. People who have lost their homes are staying for the present with friends.
It is stated that no air-raid warning was sounded.

BACK OF HOUSE GONE
Our Clacton Correspondent, in describing the disaster (which was reported in the later editions of The Times yesterday), states:-

I, in common with other people, heard an aeroplane overhead and soon afterwards saw a reflection of whhat had happened, but had only got to my front gate when the explosion occurred. I rushed back to find that the back of my house had been blown out.

A.R.P. WITHOUT A HITCH
The Ministry of Home Security last night issued the following statement:-
Reports from Clacton show that the police and fire brigade were on the spot at once. The first first-aid party arrived within five minutes, and the first rescue party within 10 minutes. The A.R.P. services are organized in first- and second -line parties. The first-line parties are those actually standing by: the second-line parties, consisting of volunteers on call, are collected by telephone and special messenger. The system worked without a hitch, and further rescue parties and parties of stretcher bearers were dispatched within 10 to 20 minutes. The first-aid parties were quickly supplemented by mobile first-aid units, consisting of doctors and nurses, who, with full surgical equipment, are carried in specially fitted lorries.

victoria road, clacton - Google Maps

CWGC :: Casualty Details
CWGC :: Casualty Details

Edited by dbf, 29 April 2011 - 10:55 PM.
Pathe link

  • 2

#2 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:16 PM

FIRST DAMAGE IN ENGLAND

Eight months after the outbreak of war England suffered its first civilian casualties on Tuesday night, when a German bomber, which had been in apparent distress for some time, crashed into a garden at Clacton in Essex, and blew up. All its occupants were killed. Many houses - among them that of our Correspondent who tells the story - were wrecked and serious damage was caused over a radius of three-quarters of a mile; but, although some 160 people suffered greater or less injury, the number of English deaths so far reported is fortunately no more than two.

It is not possible to say with certainty exactly what happened, the explosion having taken place in the dark, and the enemy machine having been blown to pieces. It seems to have been one of several that had been sighted off the south-east coast, and had been engaged by the anti-aircraft defences of the Thames estuary. An engine was clearly disabled, whether by artillery fire or accident, and the crew must have made an attempt, which failed, to make a landing. They evidently carried a heavy cargo of high explosive, which from the nature of the explosion seems (although in one account incendiary bombs are mentioned) to have been disposed in on or two large parcels rather than in any smaller missiles. No attempt was made by the machine or her consorts to bomb either shipping or objectives on land. The natural inference therefore is that the squadron was engaged in laying magnetic mines; and it is strengthened by the identification of the raider as a Heinkel 111, which is a type which has been used by the enemy for this purpose. There has lately been a lull in mine laying off our coasts; but nobody supposed that the Germans would permanently desist from the use of this weapon, gross outrage though it is against the laws of civilized warfare.

There is nothing, then, in this incident to suggest the adoption of any new tactics by the enemy. Having occurred so near home, however, it may cause more general public attention to be given to the Nazi use of air arm, which is enterprising and versatile. At present a comparison of strength is more favourable to the Germans in the air than on either sea or land, and they are ingenious in devising ways to exploit their opportunities. Obvious instances are the use of air transport for troops in Norway, and even the dropping of soldiers under parachutes at critical points. Our home defence services have to be on their guard against all conceivable devices of this kind. The people of Clacton have undergone an unpleasant experience and a serious test. They are, however, the experience and the test against which the whole civil population was called upon to make firm its resolution last September, and will maintain it whatever may befall; and the ordeal is of course not to be compared with what the towns of Poland and Norway have suffered, and what the enemy, who is certainly not restrained by any scruple of conscience, may at any moment attempt to inflict upon us.

The civilian defence services of Clacton responded excellently to the sudden call made upon them, in collaboration with the military and Air Force contingents who took control of the scene of the wreck. There was no panic or confusion; police, firefighters, ambulances, and first-aid squads were promptly at their posts, and carried out their duties efficiently. That the A.R.P. system works so well in practice should be an encouragement to the thousands of volunteers throughout the country who are giving their time to it; that it has actually been called upon will remind them all that their long immunity is no reason for the least relaxation of vigilance.
  • 0

#3 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:37 AM

COUNTING COSTS AT CLACTON

LOANS FOR REPAIRS

TRIBUTES TO A.R.P.
CLACTON, MAY 2

Men of the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps and civil defence workers have to-day been clearing up the damage caused by the Heinkel bomber which crashed in a residential area here on Tuesday night, causing two deaths and injuries to 156 persons. Twenty-three of the casualties are still in hospital. R.A.F. sentries to-day stood guard over the charred remains of the bomber, and Air Ministry experts directed salvage of parts of the bomber which might yield useful information.

The disaster affords no comprehensive lesson on the correct behaviour to adopt in such circumstances, except that householders should not run towards an aeroplane which has crashed: explosions are always possible. For the rest, some who left their homes escaped being injured by falling glass or ceiling; some who remained in bed, though covered with plaster from ceilings, escaped injury; some had just run out when a whole wall of their house was torn away. An underground concrete covered shelter within 20 yards of the crash stood up to the explosion.

RECORD OF CLAIMS
It is too early to give a figure of the amount of damage to property, but within a few hours of the crash the assessment of damage had been started. Compensation for damage to property arising from enemy action is not payable until after the end of the war, when it will be possible to assess the total extent of the damage done. All damage should be reported as soon as possible, however, and for this purpose arrangements have been made for the receipt of claims and recording of damage by the valuation office of the Inland Revenue. Forms of claims are obtainable from local authorities or at the offices of the local District Valuer, Inland Revenue, and completed claims should be delivered to the local Districk Valuer within 30 days after the damage has occurred.

Meanwhile, loans to cover the cost of repairs to property may be obtained from the Ministry of Health, and no demand for repayment or interest will be made during the war. Provision has been made for compensation for death or injury to civil defence workers and civilians.

SIR JOHN ANDERSON’S STATEMENT
Sir John Anderson, Minister of Home Security, has issued the following statement:-

The crash of the enemy bomber at Clacton, causing the loss of two English lives, injury to 156 people, and great damage to property, is a clear demonstration that any locality may have brought home to it at any moment the value of a well-manned and efficient civil defence service.

The prompt and excellent work of the Clacton A.R.P. services, the great majority of whom are part-time unpaid volunteers, will have caused many people to reflect what would be the plight after such an event, still more after an actual air raid, of a locality which had not provided itself with a proper civil defence organization.

I earnestly hope that the lesson of this event will be taken to heart everywhere, and that it will inspire large numbers to respond to the appeal which I made a few days ago for 250,000 more men and women to offer themselves as part-time volunteers in the civil defence forces.
  • 0

#4 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:06 PM

Letters to the Editor

THE CLACTON EXPLOSION

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir, - I am interested in your article to-day entitled “First Damage in England.” I should like to pay tribute to the injured and the first-aid Red Cross workers. I was the guest of the matron of the Middlesex branch hospital at Clacton, and as soon as the explosion occurred, being a free lance, went to the nearest first-aid post. I was impressed by the courage, selflessness, and fortitude of the injured. Without exception, everyone capable of speech said; “Don‘t trouble about me; others are much worse.”

The behaviour of the workers was magnificent. This was their baptism of blood; they were prepared and now for the first time (please God it may be the last) they were bathing and binding bleeding wounds, comforting the afflicted, and dispensing tea to the shivering. (The tea was a really welcome touch.) Any fears born in anticipation vanished and calm efficiency reigned, demonstrating clearly that the confidence we have in the organized services of our country is well merited. I speak not as a novice but as an old campaigner, having suffered bombardment in Serbia and watched my hospital burn in the fire of Salonika.

Yours faithfully,
Evelyn C. Pearce, Senior Nursing, the Middlesex Hospital.

====

LESSONS OF CLACTON

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir, - The injuries and loss of life caused by the crash of the Heinkel bomber at Clacton are no doubt only a foretaste of what were must expect when the war develops. One cannot help feeling, however, that this incident should cause the authorities, who have to decide whether or not an air-raid warning should be sounded, to reconsider their present policy of giving no warning when only aerial combat, as opposed to a bombing raid, is anticipated. Your report from Clacton in to-day’s issue of The Times contains the words I have italicized an argument which seems irrefutable in favour of abandoning this policy. Referring to the death of two of the civilian victims, it says:-

“Twenty yards from their house was a concrete air-raid shelter where, if warned of the coming disaster, they would have been safe.”

It is surely worth putting the civilian population to the inconvenience of a number of apparently fruitless air-raid warnings if by so doing they eventually receive the benefit of protection when, as at Clacton, destruction is abroad.

Another aspect of the matter is that more frequent air-raid warnings (where I live in the country there has not been even a confidential warning this year) will not only reduce the likelihood of panic when the time comes for a real air raid but also will bring home to a wider number of people that ever inhabitant of this country is at war - and in peril.

Yours faithfully,
Frank Whitworth, Temple, May 2.

Edited by dbf, 02 April 2009 - 12:17 PM.

  • 0

#5 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:16 PM

Letter to the Editor

LESSONS OF CLACTON

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir, - Doubtless our authorities have made mistakes but they have made no mistake in withholding an air-raid warning when only an aerial combat, as distinguished from a bombing raid is in progress. Does Mr. Frank Whitworth realize that ain air-raid warning stops munition factories, halts aeroplane works, suspends traffic, and brings much essential national work to a standstill? Mr. Whitworth’s suggestion would be hailed with delight by Hitler. All he would have to do would be to send on or two machines to fly over our coasts continually, and he would bring our war effort to a close.

Nor has your correspondent considered that the promiscuous giving of air-raid warnings would be a great assistance to the enemy’s “war of nerves” against our population, especially the womenfolk, not all of whom are in a condition to defy it. The unnecessary and injudicious “warnings” of last September did a lot of harm with no corresponding gain. If and when bombing raids come, we shall suffer the consequences with fortitude, but there is no gain, except to the enemy, in having the suffering without need.

I am, Sir, yours very faithfully,
H.W.R. Elsley.

Edited by dbf, 06 April 2009 - 11:24 AM.
typo

  • 0

#6 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:26 PM

NEED FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE

LESSONS OF CLACTON RAID
The recent experience of Clacton-on-Sea war referred to by Mr. T. Johnston, M.P., National Defence Commissioner for Scotland, when he spoke at the annual meeting of the Scottish Development Council in Glasgow yesterday. Mr. Johnston said that they had in Scotland a regional defence organization which he believed would work successfully should the challenge come. As a result of that organization they might say that any rate a great number of the apprehensions with which the people of this country were imbued at the outbreak of war no longer existed.

There had been, however, too much reliance placed in the task upon someone else to look after them in an air-raid. He believed that the time had come when there must be a great new appeal for voluntary service. The paid warden was no excuse for our avoidance of our manifest duties to equip ourselves and defend ourselves and our homes if events like those at Clacton-on-Sea should unfortunately happen. Not only should there be a great campaign for voluntary service, but there should be someone in every home trained in the use of the stirrup pump against fire.
  • 0

#7 Smudger Jnr

Smudger Jnr

    Our Man in Berlin

  • Registered Users
  • 9,389 posts
  • LocationBerlin, Germany.

Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:31 PM

Diane,
Great posts with lots of information.

It really re-enforces the lot of the civilian who is on the front line with bombing and crashing aircraft, which can cause more damage than bombs!

Regards
Tom
  • 0
Reconnaissance Corps - Only the enemy in front.

#8 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:54 PM

Thanks Tom,

I thought it all deserved an airing, esp. as it was the first incident of its kind. The description of the organizations involved etc and discusion surrounding warnings made for good background.

Of course, we all know worse was to come...
:poppy:
d
  • 0

#9 Gerard

Gerard

    Seelow/Prora

  • Registered Users
  • 4,790 posts

Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:15 PM

Well highlighted Diane. The posts state that the bomber narrowly missed an orthopaedic hospital, shudder to think the casualties that would have caused.
  • 0

"The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."
- General Heinz Guderian

 

"There's no "i" in team, but there's four in Platitude Quoting Idiot" 
 


#10 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:48 PM

THE CLACTON AFFAIR

In connection with the crashing of the German mine-laying ‘plane at Clacton it is pointed out that civilians and A.R.P. personnel who have been injured through enemy action will receive Government grants so long as they are unable to work. In cases of death or disablement, pensions are payable. State compensation for damage to property is not payable until after war. It will then be paid “on the highest scale compatible with the circumstances.” When an air raid occurs damage is assessed by the Valuation Officer of the Inland Revenue and is place on record. The provision for civilians applies where the civilian is normally substantially dependent on earnings. Examples of injury grants are man, wife, and two children, treated in hospital, 28s. 6d. a week; single man treated at home, 18s. a week. Pension rates depend on the degrees of disablement, the maximum being 32s. 6d. a week for a single man and 22s. 6d. for a single woman. Married men receive additional allowances for wife and children. The pension for the widow of a man killed is at the same rate as for the widow of a private solider. Pensions are payable also to dependent parents and other near relatives.

====

MINE-’PLANE BLOWS UP AFTER CRASH

SIX DEAD; 156 INJURED IN ENGLISH COAST TOWN
CLACTON-ON-SEA, Wednesday Night.

Two civilians - a man and his wife - and the crew of four Germans were killed and 156 persons injured - 34 of them seriously - when a Heinkel bomber, thought to be laden with mines, crashed into a street in Clacton-on-Sea just before midnight last night and exploded, to spread death and destruction over a wide area.

For many hours it was believed that a third civilian was killed.
The number of injured was also in doubt, until the Ministry of Home Security issued the following announcement:-

“It has been established that he number dead is six, including four Germans. The injured number 156 - 34 cases being serious.”

That the number of cases of serious injury was no higher is generally recognised to be due in part to the splendid work of the A.R.P. personnel in rushing the injured to first-aid posts for immediate treatment by doctors and nurses.

The dead civilians are:
Mr. Frederick W. Gill (52), a retired wool merchant, and
Mrs. Dorothy Gill, his Australian-born wife.

There seems little doubt that the raider was attacked and disabled by British fighter aircraft while on a mine-laying expedition, and it is believed the pilot was trying to come down on the sea near the shore. Instead, after circling overhead for about half and hour, he crashed some two hundred yards from the sea at the junction of the two roads near the High Street, Clacton’s principal shopping thoroughfare.

LIKE PACKS OF CARDS
A few moments later there was a terrific explosion, causing houses to collapse like packs of cards, shattering hundreds of windows and scattering thousands of tiles.

Simultaneously the Heinkel’s petrol tank burst into flames and became a raging inferno, while the fragments of the warplane’s cargo of bombs and mines, flying in all directions, started a number of fires.

Between 25 and 30 houses were completely wrecked, and more than 50 rendered uninhabitable. Backs and fronts had been torn away, great cracks appeared in sagging walls, roofs were opened to the sky, and piles of debris littered the streets.

HOUSE DISAPPEARED
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Gill, struck by the bomber as it crashed, simply disappeared. Spectators, many of them bandaged, arriving on the scene, looked across a large garden covered with bricks to where stood two semi-detached houses badly damaged. They were under the impression that one of them was “Orchard House,” where the Gills lived. But the mound of bricks over which they gazed was, in fact, all that remained of “Orchard House.”

William Gill, 19-year-old son of the dead couple, is in hospital with head injuries, and has not yet been told of his loss.

According to his friend Kenneth Harper, Gill helped to get his father out of the house and then went back for his mother.

“I suppose he found his mother was trapped, and he ran to get help,” Kenneth said. “Then while he was out the house collapsed entirely.”

‘PLANE SEEN CIRCLING ROUND
Kenneth Harper was one of those who saw the Heinkel circling round, and was running towards it after the crash when the explosion occurred. “The next thing I knew debris was flying all around me, and I put my arms round my head and ran.”

The fact that the ‘plane was circling overhead for so long before it finally fell was responsible both for some extraordinarily fine work by the town’s A.R.P. personnel and for a large number of injuries which might have been avoided.

Many people were in the streets or looking out of windows when the crash came, and were cut by flying fragments of glass or pieces of bricks and tiles.

As a chief air raid warden said: “One lesson to be learned from the explosion is that people who had taken cover were uninjured, and an air raid shelter within a few yards of the crater in which the wreckage of the bomber lay was completely undamaged.”

Some residents were inclined to criticise the authorities for not giving an air raid warning. “I think,” said one of them, “that most of the people who were injured were hurt because either they were looking out of their windows, having heard the ‘plane overhead for so long, or were sleeping in upper rooms and had tiles fall in on them. Had they been in lower rooms or in a shelter the majority might not have been hurt at all.”

Edited by dbf, 02 April 2009 - 05:22 PM.

  • 0

#11 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:31 PM

Well highlighted Diane. The posts state that the bomber narrowly missed an orthopaedic hospital, shudder to think the casualties that would have caused.


Thanks GH,
Another related find - showing extent of the devastation caused.

YouTube - 1940 Air Crash at Clacton-on-Sea

another link here with more info
SNAFUDIECASTSignPage

During the night and much of the next day the emergency services worked to clear the area and house those made homeless by the explosion. Rescuer workers noticed what they believed to be a hot water cylinder lying among the rubble and Detective Sergeant Barkway remembered resting his foot on it on several occasions. But then someone more curious noticed German words stencilled on the side of the `hot water cylinder'.

As a precaution the area was evacuated and two Royal Naval mine disposal officers, Lieutenant - Commander R. Ryan and Chief Petty Officer R. Ellingworth were called in and identified it as the new `C' type parachute mine. Miraculously the mine had not exploded when the Heinkel crashed and it was defused and taken away for further examination.


Edited by dbf, 02 April 2009 - 11:48 PM.

  • 0

#12 geoff501

geoff501

    1.0594630943592952645618252949463

  • Registered Users
  • 2,142 posts
  • LocationHut Six

Posted 05 April 2009 - 07:51 PM

Diane,

Sorry, only just read your message.
Does this help? Four German burials at Cannock. Note that one is recorded as army and one death is recorded as 30th April. These are all I can trace for this date.

Geoff



Name: FRESEN, KARL-HEINZ
Initials: H
Nationality: German
Rank: Airman
Regiment: German Air Force
Date of Death: 01/05/1940
Service No: 62729 N.R.47
Casualiy Type: Foreign National
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block 5, Grave 111.
Cemetery: CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

Name: KOCH, HANS-GUNTHER
Initials: H G
Nationality: German
Rank: Soldier
Regiment: German Army
Date of Death: 01/05/1940
Service No: 62729 NR 34
Casualty Type: Foreign National
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block 5, Grave 113.
Cemetery: CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY


Name: SODTMANN, HERMANN
Initials: H
Nationality: German
Rank: Airman
Regiment: German Air Force
Date of Death: 01/05/1940
Service No: 72729 NR.7
Casualty Type: Foreign National
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block 5, Grave 112.
Cemetery: CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

Name: VAGTS, HERMANN
Initials: H
Nationality: German
Rank: Airman
Regiment: German Air Force
Date of Death: 30/04/1940
Casualty Type: Foreign National
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block 5, Grave 114.
Cemetery: CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY
  • 1
The WW2 Commonwealth Casualty Search Engine:
http://www.hut-six.c.../search39-47.php

"Well, the most important thing that was new was the idea of URI -- or URL. The idea that any piece of information anywhere should have an identifier, which will not only identify it, but allow you to get hold of it. That idea was the basic clue to the universality of the Web. That was the only thing I insisted upon." Tim Berners-Lee.





#13 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 05 April 2009 - 09:02 PM

Diane,

Sorry, only just read your message.
Does this help? Four German burials at Cannock. Note that one is recorded as army and one death is recorded as 30th April. These are all I can trace for this date.

Geoff


Thanks Geoff,
Yes this helps a lot. Appreciate you checking this for me.

Dates explained by the accident happening in the night...the army guy - thanks intriguing. I don't know if this means he was def. involved in this accident ... but if so, I wonder was it normal to have army on board.

Kind regards,
D
  • 0

#14 geoff501

geoff501

    1.0594630943592952645618252949463

  • Registered Users
  • 2,142 posts
  • LocationHut Six

Posted 05 April 2009 - 09:08 PM

Thanks Geoff,
Yes this helps a lot. Appreciate you checking this for me.

Dates explained by the accident happening in the night...the army guy - thanks intriguing. I don't know if this means he was def. involved in this accident ... but if so, I wonder was it normal to have army on board.

Kind regards,
D


Could be an army guy on board, or perhaps a CWGC error. The service numbers do look a bit odd. Don't know if a check on the VDK website will help, or if they just have a verbatim copy of the CWGC data. I have problems logging on to their site sometimes.

geoff
  • 0
The WW2 Commonwealth Casualty Search Engine:
http://www.hut-six.c.../search39-47.php

"Well, the most important thing that was new was the idea of URI -- or URL. The idea that any piece of information anywhere should have an identifier, which will not only identify it, but allow you to get hold of it. That idea was the basic clue to the universality of the Web. That was the only thing I insisted upon." Tim Berners-Lee.





#15 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 05 April 2009 - 09:10 PM

Geoff
Thanks for that.
I'll have a look later on.
d
  • 0

#16 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 05 April 2009 - 09:28 PM

Hi Geoff,
Took your good advice.

These are the entries from the German site. I see straight away that for Oberleutnant Hermann Vagts the date is as for the other three 1/5/1940. Really is annoying that no unit ID is given ...

D

==

Name: FRESEN, KARL-HEINZ
Initials: H
Nationality: German
Rank: Airman
Regiment: German Air Force
Date of Death: 01/05/1940
Service No: 62729 N.R.47
Casualiy Type: Foreign National
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block 5, Grave 111.
Cemetery: CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

Nachname: Fresen
Vorname: Karl-Heinz
Dienstgrad: Unteroffizier
Geburtsdatum: 17.05.1914
Geburtsort:
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 01.05.1940
Todes-/Vermisstenort:
Karl-Heinz Fresen ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Cannock Chase (Großbritannien) .
Endgrablage: Block 5 Reihe 5 Grab 111

===

Name: KOCH, HANS-GUNTHER
Initials: H G
Nationality: German
Rank: Soldier
Regiment: German Army
Date of Death: 01/05/1940
Service No: 62729 NR 34
Casualty Type: Foreign National
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block 5, Grave 113.
Cemetery: CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

Nachname: Koch
Vorname: Hans
Dienstgrad: Unteroffizier
Geburtsdatum: 10.03.1919

Geburtsort:
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 01.05.1940
Todes-/Vermisstenort:
Hans Koch ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Cannock Chase (Großbritannien) .
Endgrablage: Block 5 Reihe 5 Grab 113

===

Name: SODTMANN, HERMANN
Initials: H
Nationality: German
Rank: Airman
Regiment: German Air Force
Date of Death: 01/05/1940
Service No: 72729 NR.7
Casualty Type: Foreign National
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block 5, Grave 112.
Cemetery: CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

Nachname: Sodtmann
Vorname: Hermann
Dienstgrad: Leutnant
Geburtsdatum: 16.11.1916
Geburtsort:
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 01.05.1940
Todes-/Vermisstenort:
Hermann Sodtmann ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Cannock Chase (Großbritannien) .
Endgrablage: Block 5 Reihe 5 Grab 112

==

Name: VAGTS, HERMANN
Initials: H
Nationality: German
Rank: Airman
Regiment: German Air Force
Date of Death: 30/04/1940
Casualty Type: Foreign National
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block 5, Grave 114.
Cemetery: CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

Nachname: Vagts
Vorname: Hermann
Dienstgrad: Oberleutnant
Geburtsdatum: 10.06.1915

Geburtsort:
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 01.05.1940
Todes-/Vermisstenort:
Hermann Vagts ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Cannock Chase (Großbritannien) .
Endgrablage: Block 5 Reihe 5 Grab 114
  • 0

#17 Smudger Jnr

Smudger Jnr

    Our Man in Berlin

  • Registered Users
  • 9,389 posts
  • LocationBerlin, Germany.

Posted 06 April 2009 - 08:10 AM

Diane,

I do not know if you are aware of this site and wonder if it may be of use to you.

There is a forum and lots of other links regaring Archive records.

Welcome to the Luftwaffe Archives Group

I wish you the best of luck.

Regards
Tom
  • 0
Reconnaissance Corps - Only the enemy in front.

#18 Drew5233

Drew5233

    Very Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 25,236 posts
  • LocationLeeds, West Yorkshire

Posted 23 June 2009 - 03:15 PM

During air activity by the enemy off the East Coast, a Heinkel 111 crashed at 2315hrs in Clacton-on-Sea. Loud explosions followed, and approximately 50 houses were damaged, of which four were completely demolished. Casualties so far as at present known amounted to five killed of whom four were Germans, and 95 injured of whom 49 were admitted to hospital. Public morale was excellent. Bodies are still being recovered.

This incident marked the first civilian casualties on the mainland Great Britain in which Mr Frederick Gill and his wife Dorothy were killed in Orchard House, Victoria Road. It will be seen that although the initial Home Security Report above only lists one civilian death, this was corrected the following day.

3/KGr126 Heinkel He 111H-4. Brought down by AA fire whilst engaged on a minelaying operation near Harwich. Crashed into houses in Victoria Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex 11.50pm. and exploded killing two and injuring 156 civilians. Oblt. H. Vagts, Lt. H. Sodtmann, Uffz. K-H. Frezen and Uffz. H-G. Koch killed. Aircraft 1T+EL totally destroyed.

ATB Blitz Vol.1

If anyone is interested there are quite a few pictures including a couple of memorial/grave and a map drawn of the aircrafts flight path along Victoria Road.

Cheers
  • 0

#19 Owen

Owen

    .

  • Super Moderators
  • 18,871 posts
  • LocationUnder the stairs

Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:24 AM

Just seen this in The First Year Of War In Pictures.

Posted Image

Posted Image
  • 0

#20 von Poop

von Poop

    Adaministrator

  • Idi Admin
  • 12,241 posts
  • LocationThe Abbey of Thelema

Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:54 PM

A gent's contacted me with some more that he compiled on this crash - asked me to post this ~A :

German Heinkel Bomber Crash Clacton-on-Sea
April 30th. 1940.

According to an unofficial hand written report, written by a police constable present at the incident and sent to me by him many years ago, and still in my possession, the following information might be of interest:

The remains of the 4 German airmen were taken into the old fire station in Old Road.
Mutilation was present in all 4 cases, (a ghastly sight, if not gruesome, sic.)
All 4 airmen had had their clothes burned and were without their flying boots and gauntlets. A doctor suggested that this was because at the actual time of the crash and at the sign of extreme danger or during an expected crash, the victim’s ankles, feet and wrist muscles and ligatures tend to rapidly shrink – all over in a split second – with the result that boots and quite often gauntlets would come apart from the bodies, (sic.) Another theory put forward is that the airmen had deliberately removed their gauntlets and boots in the belief that they might have belly-landed in the water.
At a later medical examination of the bodies it was found that all 4 airmen had inhaled smoke, suggesting that they were still alive prior to the plane crash landing and bursting into flames, with the subsequent exploding of one of the mines.
The pilot of the bomber, (Hermann Peter Vagts), suffered the loss of his head. The head was either never found in the wreckage or elsewhere, or was somehow otherwise mislaid. Theories on this one abound, but suffice it to say that in the 1960’s a German pathologist’s exhumation report confirmed that the pilot’s head was not in the coffin.

Some personal information about the 4 dead airmen:
Hermann Peter Vagts, (pilot, aged 25). He was the son of a Kiel girls’ school headmaster. Hermann Vagts had 3 brothers, all of whom lost their lives in the war. In a letter written after the war the pilot’s mother spoke of the fact that all her sons, like English sons, went out to do their duty for their country. Her sons had all been musicians of one sort or another and she said how “silent the house had become” since their departures. Her husband could not bear the loss of his 4 sons and died of heartbreak a few years later, although he had managed to pay a visit to France to visit the grave of one of them. She had often “stayed awake at night, hoping that there would be a knock on the door from one of her sons at least.”

Hermann Wilhelm Sodtmann, (observer, aged 24). He came originally from Travemuende. An only child, his younger brother dying a few months after birth. Hermann had served in the Hitler Youth and the Brownshirts organisation and later went on to train with the Luftwaffe. He took part in the Polish campaign of 1939 and was awarded a Knight’s Cross 2nd. class. His Luftwaffe commanding officer had written a glowing report about this airman’s character and remarked on his “pleasant and friendly disposition.”

Hans Guenther Koch, (radio operator). He was the youngest crewmember, (aged 20). He originated from a small village called Neu Skalmirschuetz, (now in Poland.) His father was an engine driver.

Karl-Heinz Fresen, (engineer, aged 26). Nothing known; possibly came from Hamburg.

Credits for information: Spencer Wilson, Derek and Karl Johnson

Footnote: Sometime in the 1960’s a friend of mine noticed two people looking at the airmen’s graves. He heard them speaking German and went up to them. The man said that he and his wife had come over specially to see their son’s grave before he was exhumed to be taken to the German cemetery in Cannock Chase. My friend was presented with a nice fountain pen. Sadly my friend was never able to recall the German couple’s name.

Posted Image Leutnant Hermann Sodtmann


V.S. Wilson
  • 0

Cake?

 

Any questions about life, the Universe and everything else; ask Owen, he loves all that stuff.


#21 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:27 AM

Thanks for posting this VP...

... and to the person who compiled the information and contacted WW2Talk, the addition to the thread is appreciated. Thank you very much indeed.

Regards,
Diane
  • 0

#22 Owen

Owen

    .

  • Super Moderators
  • 18,871 posts
  • LocationUnder the stairs

Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:39 AM

Another view of the house.
Pity we haven't got any nearby members to 'Then & Now' this incident.
Shame there is no GoogleStreetview either.
:(
Clacton at War - Online - Education Activities for Schools from Clacton VCH Group

Attached Files


  • 0

#23 Verrieres

Verrieres

    no longer a member

  • Validating
  • 1,592 posts

Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:14 AM

Essex Police view/report of the night/Funerals ETC here
Essex Police Museum - The End of the Phoney War



Verrieres
  • 1

#24 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:20 PM

Interesting excerpt from the above link provided by Verrieres ... links into the thread somewhere about use of swastika for burial in UK.

The four airmen who died were Oberleutnant and Flugzeugfuhrer Herman Vagts, aged 25 years, the pilot of the Heinkel, Herman Sodmann, 24, Karl-Heinz Fresen, 26 and Hans- Gunter Koch, 21. It was decided to bury the four airmen in the local cemetery and on May 4 crowds lined the streets as RAF lorries carried the Swastika- draped coffins to their final resting place at Burrsville Park. Extra police were drafted in to the area as a precaution against demonstrations, but apart from an outcry from some of the popular press, all passed off peacefully. Many floral tributes from local people were laid on the graves.


Edit: thread about Nazi flags at burials http://www.ww2talk.c...cemeteries.html

Edited by dbf, 02 February 2010 - 01:31 PM.

  • 0

#25 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:28 PM

During the night and much of the next day the emergency services worked to clear the area and house those made homeless by the explosion. Rescuer workers noticed what they believed to be a hot water cylinder lying among the rubble and Detective Sergeant Barkway remembered resting his foot on it on several occasions. But then
someone more curious noticed German words stencilled on the side of the `hot water cylinder'. As a precaution the area was evacuated and two Royal Naval mine disposal officers, Lieutenant - Commander R. Ryan and Chief Petty Officer R. Ellingworth were called in and identified it as the new `C' type parachute mine. Miraculously the mine had not exploded when the Heinkel crashed and it was defused and taken away for further examination.
(Sadly the two men were killed at Dagenham during the London Blitz whilst examining another parachute mine - both were awarded a posthumous George Cross).


Confirmation of the earlier water cylinder story.

CWGC entries for the two RN mine disposal officers who were in attendance that day and who subsequently were killed:

Lieut-Commander RICHARD JOHN HAMMERSLEY RYAN, G C., H.M.S. President., Royal Navy who died age 37 on 21 September 1940
Son of Admiral Frank Edward Cavendish Ryan, C.B.E. and of Eleanor Stuart Ryan (nee Campbell); husband of Margaret Ryan, of Wroughton, Wiltshire.
Remembered with honour HASLAR ROYAL NAVAL CEMETERY
Grave/Memorial Reference:G. 8. 24.
CWGC :: Casualty Details

The following details are given in the London Gazette of 17th December 1940:-"The King has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the George Cross to Lieut. Cdr. R. J. H. Ryan, R.N. for great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty." Lt. Cdr. Ryan was a master of defusing the magnetic mine with several successfull results and as such was called upon for the more difficult tasks with this most dangerously delicate type of bomb. At Hornchurch in Essex he made safe a bomb which threatened the aerodrome and an explosives factory. Lt. Cdr. Ryan, together with C.P.O. Reginald Vincent Ellingworth, R.N., then went to a warehouse in Dagenham, Essex, where an unexploded bomb was hanging from a parachute. The pair, who had faced many dangers together, were both killed by it's explosion and both were awarded the George Cross posthumously.


Chief Petty Officer REGINALD VINCENT ELLINGWORTH G.C., P/J 26011, H.M.S. Vernon., Royal Navy who died age 42 on 21 September 1940
Son of Frank and Kate Ellingworth; husband of Jessie Day Ellingworth, of Portsmouth.
Remembered with honour
PORTSMOUTH (MILTON) CEMETERY
Grave/Memorial Reference:Plot Y. Row 18. Grave 11.
CWGC :: Casualty Details

The following details are given in the London Gazette of 17th December 1940:- The King has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumuous award of the George Cross, for great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty, to Chief Petty Officer R. V. Ellingworth, R.N." C.P.O. Ellingworth, together with Lt. Cdr. Richard Ryan, R.N., went to a warehouse in Dagenham, Essex, where an unexploded bomb was hanging from a parachute. The pair, who had faced many dangers together, were both killed by it's explosion and both were awarded the George Cross posthumously.


  • 0

#26 MTD001

MTD001

    Junior Member

  • Registered Users
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:37 PM

I have only found this forum because of this thread as I have a personal interest.

My late mother, her parents and brother lived around the corner from the site of the crash (about 400 yards away in Holland Road). My grandfather was one of the ARP wardens for the area (I think he told me he had left his house just before the actual crash), the force of the explosion caused him to be deaf for many months at the time and again in later life. Later he was joined at the scene my mother and her brother (he became an RAF pilot and was killed later in the war). The 'hot water cylinder' incident was a family story I grew up hearing many times, my late uncle sat astride the 'cylinder' thinking it was exactly that before being quickly moved away on being told it was a bomb!

In 1970 my mother was interviewed about the incident for a 30th anniversary piece by the BBC in the East of England, and she told the story of the 'cylinder'!

This was pre-video recorder days, does anyone know if this is in existence on-line anywhere?

Similarly, is the photograph from The Times with the people standing around available anywhere in better quality?

Mike

(A brief thanks to Adam of the admin team here for sorting out my registration problems)
  • 1

#27 dbf

dbf

    Captionless

  • Super Moderators
  • 12,929 posts
  • LocationProvince of Moribund

Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:49 PM

Hello Mike and welcome to the forum.
It's great to hear from those who have personal connections to these events.

I am sure your uncle moved pretty carefully and quickly!

I am attaching pdfs for the pages from The Times, May 2, 1940 so that you can have a look at the photo and article yourself. I think it would be worthwhile contacting Imperial War Museum for a start. I have noticed quite a few photos from the Times in their online archives.
All the best,
Diane

Attached Files


  • 0
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

#28 MTD001

MTD001

    Junior Member

  • Registered Users
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 20 February 2010 - 04:38 PM

Diane

Many thanks for the welcome, quick reply and the PDFs

Mike
  • 0

#29 ChrisR

ChrisR

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 117 posts

Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:38 AM

Owen, someone already mentioned this has a write up in The Blitz Then and Now Vol 1 -There are some real nice then and now shots in there - ok they are a few years old now, but worth a look.
For anyone interested in further research of this story, there is an article 'The day War came to England' in an old Flypast magazine (a February issue but I don't know what year -probably 8 years ago-ish).
Also a bit of additional info in books about Navy Mine Disposal -
'Secret Naval Investigator' by Cdr Ashe Lincoln
and
'Service Most Silent' by J.F. Turner
  • 0

#30 ChrisR

ChrisR

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 117 posts

Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:42 PM

Have dug out my copies of those books.
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
  • 1




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users