Cairnryan Ammunition train explosion 25 June 1946

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by AB64, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Looking for any information on an ammunition train explosion at Cairnryan

    http://www.britishpathe.com/video/ammo-train-blows-up has a short video clip
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/46/a2034046.shtml gives it a mention late on

    The Wikipedia page mentions Cairnryan at one point having 3 piers and one being destroyed in an explosion.

    CWGC has Cpl Roe of 1048 Port Operating Company RE killed that day and I believe he was killed in this incident, it also has 7 other Engineers from the same unit killed the same day all commemorated on the Brookwood memorial so I assume in the same accident.

    Thanks in advance

    Alistair
     
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  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Just found this

    "Ordinary shells were loaded in their boxes on to a fleet of landing craft, taken out to sea, unpacked, and rolled down chutes to the water. Although all ammunition was supposed to be defused before arrival, tragedies could happen. Eight young servicemen, members of an RE section loading shells on the North Deep Water Wharf, were blown to pieces when a case of fuses was accidentally mishandled. Four of them are buried in Stranraer's Glebe Cemetery, three "known only to God". A very detailed account of this traffic is given by Richard Holme in his "Cairnryan Military Port", published in 1997."
     
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Albert Edward Roe in the England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers, 1800-2014

    It seems Cpl Roe was the only one known by name, looking through the image attached there are a number of 'Unknown Soldiers' who died at the same incident


    Name: Albert Edward Roe
    Death Date: abt 1946
    Death Place: Result of Explosion At No 2 Military Port, Cairnyan
    Burial Date: 5 Jul 1946
    Burial Place: Stranraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland
    Interment Number: 1
    Grave number: 142
    Section: H
    Cemetery: Glebe Cemetery

    Its another database I did not know existed in Ancestry
    41905_6117463_0013-00110.jpg

    TD
     
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  4. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    I appreciate that in an explosion at close quarters it would be difficult to ID bodies, but surely they knew the names of those killed.
     
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    panels from Brookwood Memorial.

    CHETTLE, ROYCE


    Rank: Lance Serjeant Service No: 14258994 Date of Death: 25/06/1946 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers 1048 Port Operating Coy. Panel Reference: Panel 5. Column 1. Memorial: BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL Additional Information: Son of Joseph and Annie Chettle; husband of Doreen Chettle, of Nottingham.


    HEARD, FREDERICK KENNA


    Rank: Sapper Service No: 2156106 Date of Death: 25/06/1946 Age: 24 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers 1048 Port Operating Coy. Panel Reference: Panel 6. Column 1. Memorial: BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL Additional Information: Son of Frederick Archibald and Dorothy Kenna Heard, of Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire; grandson of Bessie S. Heard, of Birkenhead


    MURRAY, DAVID


    Rank: Sapper Service No: 14934361 Date of Death: 25/06/1946 Age: 24 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers 1048 Port Operating Coy. Panel Reference: Panel 6. Column 3. Memorial: BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL Additional Information: Son of James and Agnes Boag Murray, of Linthouse, Glasgow


    SNELL, ALFRED JOHN
    [SIZE=13.92px]Rank: Sapper Service No: 14720500 Date of Death: 25/06/1946 Age: 42 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers 1048 Port Operating Coy. Panel Reference: Panel 7. Column 1. Memorial: [/SIZE]BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL[SIZE=13.92px] Additional Information: Son of Alfred and Edith Snell[/SIZE]




    TAYLOR, LESLIE


    Rank: Sapper Service No: 14565139 Date of Death: 25/06/1946 Age: 22 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers 1048 Port Operating Coy. Panel Reference: Panel 7. Column 2. Memorial: BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL Additional Information: Son of William and Alice Taylor, of Charlton, London.





    TAYLOR, RALPH


    Rank: Sapper Service No: 14690286 Date of Death: 25/06/1946 Age: 34 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers 1048 Port Operating Coy. Panel Reference: Panel 7. Column 2. Memorial: BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL Additional Information: Husband of Ellen Taylor, of Preston, Lancashire.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Thanks TD for the register, the Scottish War Graves site has a photo of Roe's grave I'll hopefully visit at some point and see it and the other unknown graves - the odd entry is the "unknown soldier - claimed by next of kin" in line 11, not sure how that works.

    CL1 thanks for the panel images, those are the 7 names I got when I searched CWGC for the date with unit Royal Engineers.

    I'll order a copy of the Cairnryan Military Port book, I'd imagine an incident like this would get a decent write up

    Thanks

    Alistair
     
  7. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  9. Johnr

    Johnr Junior Member

    Hi
    My father-in-law, Clarence Heesom was the crane driver on the dock that day. He was literally yards away from the wagon when it exploded and he survived without a scratch. The worst part he told me was the next day gathering the casualties belongings to return to their families.
    John
     
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  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Hi John and welcome, hopefully you may be able to add a little more to this thread

    TD
     
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  11. BC610E

    BC610E Junior Member

    As an aside to the the explosion and the loss of life it caused, the Cairnryan munitions dumping continued to cause problems until recent times. When a pipeline was laid and trenched between Northern Ireland and Scotland a considerable amount of munitions were disturbed and some washed ashore on nearby coasts, with flares in particular causing a danger to the public.

    There were questions asked in the House as to why the pipeline builders had been allowed to trench through a dumping ground but I believe subsequent underwater surveys showed that the dumping had been often done in unauthorised areas, the principal area being a deep seabed feature called Beauforts Dyke. There's quite a bit about the topic in Hansard and also an on-line report by the British Geological Survey dealing with underwater explosions caused by the munitions detonating.

    Cheers

    '610
     
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  12. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Death register entries available on the website Scotlandspeople.gov.uk

    All deaths registered in the district of Inch Wigtown)
     
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