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Wartime Bombing in Grimsby Lincolnshire with Unique Maps

The World War II German Air Raids on Grimsby in Lincolnshire.
I wanted to take a specific look and collate as much information on the wartime bombing raids endured by those living in Grimsby.
An incredible result with a fantastic map means we now have to look into the history of what happened during the aerial bombardment of the Humber Coast

For the purpose of this article we’ll stick to the events that happened solely in Grimsby, Cleethorpes and the very immediate area, other places deserve separate coverage.
We have a historically very important map which was located by the one and only Neville, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s pretty special and can be seen at the bottom of the article. It is a relatively modern , circa 1930s street map of Grimsby so nothing special - except . . . this one comes from Nazi Germany and is dated 1942 - on it they have marked targets for German bombing raids and it comes with their colour key as to what colour represents what !

The History of the German Air Raids on Grimsby & Cleethorpes

As always, I would ideally like to collate as much history and information in subsequent comments. I will not make this article overly long as it could get unwieldy, hopefully it will continue to expand over time in comment form - do you know anything ? If so please do leave a comment.

Being a port Grimsby was a major target for the Nazi Air Force and was bombed heavily. So much so many children were evacuated, some even sent abroad by their families in 1939 to escape the bombs.
The German Luftwaffe deliberately did not bomb the dock tower as they used it as a guide and landmark - so much so the government even discussed destroying it themselves !
The area had Air Raid Wardens who were generally men too old to join the army, there were Air Raid Posts situated throughout the town as there were Air Raid Sirens.

Many houses had Anderson Shelters made of corrugated iron in their gardens to which they were to retreat on hearing the sirens, how much protection they afforded is something I’d like to hear more about.
Later on in the war, about 1943, Grimsby was the first town to have anti-personnel bombs dropped on it. These were designed not to explode and impact but when subsequently handled. These were scattered far and wide causing chaos some even ended up sitting in the roof guttering of houses !

places planned for destruction

A List of Local targets Printed on the Side of a Map Used by the German Luftwaffe

People who lost their homes and were ‘bombed out’ made their way to the town hall in order to be listed and alternative accommodation found.
Barrage Balloons went up over ships and important buildings but still the bombers came, some even crashing locally, one made it through to Freeman Street though and fired its machine guns down the whole length of the street resulting in several civilian casualties.
In total 197 people were killed in WWII during the bombing raids and although it was an important target neighbouring Hull faired worse. One reason for this was perhaps that after the war it was revealed that Grimsby was to be the main point of attack on the East Coast for the planned German Invasion. Presumably they wished to preserve some of the infrastructure in the eventuality of invasion by land based German troops.
There’s clearly a massive amount more that can be added to this and I should like to see it grow in the form of comments so if you know of anything at all then please do leave a comment.
If you experienced the raids then your memories would be extremely valuable - please do record them here and preserve them for all to see.
Now to those fantastic maps rooted out by Neville

targets for Nazi bombing raids

The Map in Overview
Classified and Overprinted top right: Only for Official Use


A Detailed Portion

German text at top translated
Military geography: Details known as of 15.1.1942

doodlebug bombers aeroplanes planes flying

The Colour Key
Translation, words from top to bottom:
Railway workshops - Port / Harbour Area - Field Army Hospital - Warehouse - Shipbuilding - Waterworks - Fuel Storage / Dump - Sawmill
Mill - Paper Mill - Oil Mill (literal translation) - Fish Processing Factory - Tram Station / Depot - Railway Bridge - Road Bridge - Foot Bridge

It takes some getting over that you are looking at an actual map pored over by German High Command in the Luftwaffe in order to plan bombing raids on Grimsby.
It’s little wonder Hitler banned the removal of maps of Germany from Germany well before 1939 - clearly thinking ahead !

If you’ve any comments, opinions or information please do share
Thank you
All the best

See Also Our List of Air Raid Casualties in Grimsby


  1. The Dinosaur said,

    May 2, 2010 @ 12:00 am

    Rod, a good friend of mine who grew up in Grimsby and who sadly passed away last year, told me a memory he had of the bombing. He was only a child then and in the aftermath of a German raid saw a row of dead bodies at the roadside, as he stood looking at them, a policeman walked up placing his hand on my friend’s shoulder, “you don’t want to be looking at that sonny” he said “move along now”.

  2. jim said,

    May 2, 2010 @ 6:51 am

    my father once told me that after the raids he went out collecting shrapnel or bomb fragments and amassed a small collection. i never saw any of these pieces but wonder if he would have been much safer with a playstation.

  3. Rod said,

    May 2, 2010 @ 7:42 am

    many thanks for ensuring your friends dreadful experience is not forgotten.
    There’s something special about that anecdote that really does take you back to the period. I think it’s the policeman - I can picture the scene in my mind with clarity that suggests I actually saw it myself.
    Many thanks indeed.

  4. Rod said,

    May 2, 2010 @ 7:46 am

    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site - hope you’ll return.
    You raise a fascinating area to be considered. Children during the period. I imagine for young boys the whole thing must have been tremendously exciting at times.

    Obviously there was tremendous hardship but youthful ignorance of the whole wartime picture may well have allowed them to live a sort of Boys Own Adventure some of the time.
    It would be great to hear similar experiences
    All the best

  5. Rod said,

    May 2, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    Some random interesting snippets, facts and statistics.

    First German plane spotted
    A Heinkel III was seen October 1939, no bombs were dropped - it’s recorded as a reconnaissance flight

    First bombing raid
    June 22 1940 saw the first bombs falling on GY - it was at Love Lane Corner

    Docks targeted
    July 1940 saw the first Luftwaffe raid on the docks themselves, no damage was done as they all landed in the river

    Lord Haw Haw
    The famous propaganda radio broadcaster (one of several people) also gave the town a mention. He claimed great damage to Great Grimsby - he subsequently suffered great damage to his neck when we hung him !

    The last air raid
    The final raid on the town was on March 4, 1945

    196 / 197 people died and there were over 400 seriously injured, countless suffered various other injuries

  6. Amiguru said,

    May 2, 2010 @ 12:39 pm


    I thought I would hold fire :roll: with my memories as they are all immediately post war, and allow others to have a go first.

    Being born in 1942 in N. Wales, (as my Dad was in the RAF and was stationed at Penrhos), I don’t remember anything of the events in Grimsby during the conflict, however, once Dad was demobilised in November 1945 we moved to Cleethorpes and he joined the Transport Police and was often on duty at the Grimsby Docks Crossing. We lived in Brereton Avenue close to Blundell Avenue and as I grew older I used to play with my friends on the bomb sites along Grimsby Road between there and Park Street. We saw them as great sites to enact our games of playing at soldiers with plenty of piles of rubble to hide behind.
    We must have been warned about butterly bombs as I remember being aware not to touch any strange objects. Butterfly bombs were particularly nasty anti-personnel devices which were fused in a variety of ways including by motion sensors.
    Grimsby was peppered with these in June 1943 but there was always the possibility that some of the ms versions may have remained among all the rubble where we played.
    Another recollection of this immediate post-war period is when as a seven-year-old I went to put something in the dustbin and found what I thought of as a bomb in it! On adult reflection, it was probably a cannon shell for aircraft use as it was, as I recall, something like 6 inches long by 3/4 inch diameter. I thought it was the bees-knees as I had a real ‘bomb’ to use in war games with my pals! I would throw it up in the air and we would all run for cover and manage to survive….that is until my Mum found out about it !?!*! :cry:
    It seems that a young fellow that rented a room from us had thrown it away in the bin and it apparently was still live being an intact case and projectile. It was improbable that it would have ‘gone off’ by impact but not the sort of thing for a young lad to be playing with!


  7. Rod said,

    May 2, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

    great to hear the first-hand stuff, many thnaks and I hope others will follow you in sharing there’s.
    I’ve been questioning The Real Mr Collins today and will get his memories on shortly

  8. Rod said,

    May 2, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

    These are the remembrances of my father ~ The Real Mr Collins.
    I wrote them down today and repeat them here - this is the kind of stuff I really like - anecdotal and real life.
    Here they are in snippet form relayed by me so tense will alter here and there I suspect:

    Every house that had a garden was provided with an Anderson shelter which you installed yourself.
    If you had no garden then you got a steel table which you and your family were to hide under when the air raid sirens sounded.
    The shelter my father had, as a 14 year old boy, was the most luxurious in the street as his father had a floor put in and bunk beds !

    His wife, other son, the dog and my father always went to the shelter when the air raid sounded though due to false alarms many didn’t bother.
    One night his father was stood, with the dog, outside the shelter entrance, only he was allowed to do this the rest of the family had to stay inside, behind a blast wall he’d had built from fish boxes filled with soil and topped with sandbags. He was watching the ‘fireworks’ as Hull was bombed.
    Suddenly there was a ‘wooshing’ sound as a bomb was actually coming in close to them, he kicked the dog through the entrance way and dived in himself cutting his head open.
    My father and uncle thought this hilarious but would never dare laugh as they’d get a ‘damned good thrashing’ if they did !

    At 8.15am in 1942 my father was travelling to work on the trolley bus when he saw a German plane with smoke pouring from the back of it start to lose height and crash into the River Humber
    During air raids the anti-aircraft guns and the naval guns on board ships in the Humber used to let fly at the planes. They were known as the roofers best friends as some many house roofs got damaged by falling shells !

    There were was an AA battery at Broadway and, i think, around Peakes Lane. The ground would tremble when they started firing and then you’d hear the tinkling of bits of shrapnel falling.
    He remembered the night the Butterfly Bombs were dropped (the first to be dropped anywhere in the UK). They were all over in Nunsthorpe, Ainslie Street and the Freeman Street area.
    They also landed in the cemetery but because it was overgrown they could not be cleared so it was sealed off for the duration of the war.
    Every now and then you’d hear a loud bang from there as a dog had gone in and set one off and blown itself up !

    At night you could watch the doodle bugs flying through the sky with flames coming out the back - they weren’t aimed at Grimsby but were on their way to Sheffield.

    He also remembers the day the German plane flew down part of Freeman St the Cleethorpes Road spraying machine gun bullets down the whole way
    Now, tell me that wasn’t worth a read !
    Many thanks to my father.

    Mr. Collins Jr

  9. Rod said,

    May 19, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

    that’s very interesting indeed, I’ve screen capped the area in and around here - do you think the dots with circles around them indicate HAA sites o rjust sites in use such as aerodromes etc
    Cracking find !

  10. Amiguru said,

    May 19, 2010 @ 9:07 pm


    I would deduce that a star indicates a marine lightship or lighthouse; a square I thought of initially as just a village but it seems more complex than that; the dot in a circle seems to indicate an aerodrome; the butterfly shape may well be radar; the penant-on-a-stick would seem to be golflinks but there are ones in curious places; the numbers would seem to indicate heights but then there are anomalies like 500 near Grimsby and the numbers are two different sizes, I think some are heights and some are site indication code numbers; all very intrigueing so I shall hunt around for a key. Some or all of the above may well be wrong.

    I thought Chris would enjoy giving this one a chew, shake and spit-out when he gets connected again ;) Meantime maybe Len Copsey might be able to shed some light…


  11. Martin Bridge said,

    May 27, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

    Interesting stuff.. I’ve been researching some of the civilian casualties, buried in Scartho Road Cemetery as a result of these raids (esp. the big one of 14 June 1943). Some can be found just beyond the WW2 military plot. The Irishmen killed at the Victoria Tramway Depot bomb are buried in the Catholic plot.

    However, wandering around the war graves brought me to 6 enemy graves! The CWGC only gives scant incorrect information (”POWs”) - no, they are Luftwaffe! I am exceedingly indebted to Roy Ripleys/Brian Pears ‘NE War Diaries website’ for most, (not all) of the info. Can anyone fill in the blanks?

    KARL THEIDE: 3/2/40 - His Heinkel He111 was one of several, attacking shipping around the mouth of the Tyne. Shot down into the sea 15 miles east of Tynemouth at 11.15 by a Hurricane based at Acklington. 3 crew were rescued by trawler and later transferred onto a Grimsby-based ARP vessel. 2 killed; only KTs body was recovered.

    EDWARD ZAHN: 6/11/40 - anyone got any information on his demise?

    FRITZ DANZENBERGER & WALTER KOSLING: 22/3/41 - A daylight raider, en-route to bomb RAF Leeming. Oberleutnant FD was part of Heinkel He111 of KG4 Eindhoven. Lost their way over the Humber area. Emerging from low cloud, they were hit by AA fire and jettisoned their bombload near Immingham, Fw Observer Walter Kosling bailed out, but his parachute became ‘hung-up’ in the tailplane and all went into the ground near the Immingham-Habrough Road. FD killed too - 2 survived (made POW.)

    HUBERT TOELTSCH - 26/7/43: One of 3 raiders shot down attacking Hull on the 13-14 July. His Dornier 217 went into the sea off Spurn Head at 00.32 c/o a 604 Squadron Beaufighter. All crew missing but HT’s body was recovered from the sea nearly 2 weeks later on 26 July.

    GUISEPPE TEDESCO - 24/12/44: Italian, but Italy had then surrendered. POW? - anyone know anything?? And does anyone know the circumstances why the German graves in N Coates church got there?

    Next time you visit the Grimsby war graves section, here are the intriguing circumstances that led these young enemy airmen to be buried in a strange land. I am please that today all are equally honoured by the CWGC. MB.

  12. Rod said,

    May 27, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

    what an outstanding addition - many thanks indeed.
    That’s absolutely fascinating and I do hope that anybody who knows anything or any relatives of those concerned see this and leav ea comment.
    It’s happened several times before on the site so hopefully will again.

    If anybody can add anything to what Martin has written please do leave a comment - many thanks

    Last year I was at Scopwick, it’s in drafts - still got to write it up, and like you I was very pleased to see wreaths laid at the graves of German pilots, saw that the British Legion had done the same at a few other churches as well Martin - makes you even prouder to be British when you see that !

    Thanks again for the outstanding comment Martin ( I know I go on a bit when people leave great comments but I appreciated it so much - as do many others - especially in years to come)
    All the best

  13. History Hunter said,

    May 28, 2010 @ 1:19 am

    In reply to Martin Bridge,

    17.8.43 57357/147 Ferdinand Rechberger. North Coates (St Nicholas) Churchyard, Lincolnshire, England. War Graves Plot Grave 38.

    Ferdinand was one of the crew from a 5/KG2 Do217 shot down off the Lincs coast by a night fighter. His was the only body recovered from the sea, on August 23rd. The rest of the four man crew are still missing.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    2.2.42 12/J.R.44/14 Gustav Borkowski. North Coates (St Nicholas) Churchyard, Lincolnshire, England. War Graves Plot Grave 23.

    Gustav was one of the crew of a Do217 of 6/KG40 shot down off the coast of Norfolk by P/O J Henderson of 19 Sqn on the 2/2/42. He bailed out & was picked up 20 minutes later, but died of exposure. The other 3 crew were never found.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    2.10.40 RIA 71038/50 Helmuth Kress. North Coates (St Nicholas) Churchyard, Lincolnshire, England. War Graves Plot Grave 7.

    No information can be found on Helmuth Kress, except that he was born on the 14.06.1918 in Stuttgart. There are many ideas being bounded around as to who or what he may have been. German Journalists flying on sorties were given ‘courtesy’ Luftwaffe ranks. This has been proven to be the case from numerous other Luftwaffe plane crashes throughout the war.

    Could Kress’ service number hold a clue? He has the letters ‘RIA’ in front of it? His rank was Feldwebel which means he must have been Luftwaffe.

    Another possible reason for him not being included is that he could have been from a Luftwaffe aircraft that came down in the sea sufficiently far offshore for it to fall outside the area that was covered by the Search and Rescue boats, and that his body was eventually washed ashore.

    Hope this is of some use.

  14. Rod said,

    May 28, 2010 @ 6:35 am

    Martin & others,
    You all need to take a look at this - superb
    There’s a cracker coming from Neville - just sorting the picture out etc

  15. Amiguru said,

    May 28, 2010 @ 6:52 am

    Do you remember me writing a ‘comment’ on the plane that crashed at Immingham on the Stallingborough gun emplacements thread?
    Well here is a picture relating to Martin Bridge’s post.

    Here is a picture from The Immingham News in 1970 showing a certain character holding a parachute chord and part of the crashed Heinkel referred to by Martin Bridges. This would have been Walter Kosling’s which Martin says got entangled in the tailplane. Credit must also go to Dave Smith who’s Grandfather ‘rescued’ it from the crash and Dave subsequently gave it to the Immingham Museum.


    Neville Sisson

    Hoping this is suitable to post Rod, not sure who the young fella is :roll:

  16. Rod said,

    May 28, 2010 @ 8:06 am

    I’d like to know how that gets topped or any spookier.
    Brilliant comment from Martin mentioning Walter Kosling bailing out of a German plane and then we get a picture of Neville holding Kosling’s parachute cord - it staggering !
    You couldn’t make it up !
    A Stunned Rod

  17. Martin Bridge said,

    May 28, 2010 @ 11:08 am

    Wow! - within only 24 hours of me posting up a question about other Luftwaffe crew, we get some brilliant additional input from “History Hunter” (many thanks HH, I am indeed indebted to you.) My nearest guess - which isn’t accurate enough, was to probably conclude these men were either POWs, or part of Luftwaffe intruder flight(s) shot down over North Cotes airfield (as happened at Scampton Church) - or else caught stalking the Lincs RAF heavy bombers returning home to their bases.

    Then ‘Amiguru’ (PS. like the 1970’s ‘mullet’) pieces together Walter Kosling’s last flight..poor WK came SO NEAR to saving his own life - a victim of a cruel fate.

    ‘History Hunter’ makes another good point when he said “invited guests” sometimes came along (officially & unofficially) on these Luftwaffe missions; the press & favoured groundcrew - who would have returned to their base before the authorities found out they’d sneaked on board an aircraft. The Brian Pears NE Diary site I mentioned details one unidentified body, who’d comprised an extra crew member for the type of aircraft specified. Their actions could have a tragic outcome..

    Stand down Tony Robinson, you’re outclassed by us lot! We’ll soon need our own TV programme..

  18. Amiguru said,

    May 28, 2010 @ 12:06 pm


    “like the 1970’s ‘mullet’”
    Not sure whether to be flattered or disparaged. :)
    If the truth be known, In 1963 the price of a haircut at my barbers in Cleethorpes went up from 1/- to 1/6d, ( for the youngsters that’s 5p to 7½p), and I refused to pay such a price hike so started cutting it myself and still do today. It may not be stylish but think of the fortune I have saved over 48 years! Oh, and get the cufflinks :oops:


  19. History Hunter said,

    May 29, 2010 @ 12:04 am

    Just to clarify one little point to Martin, in late 1944 the airfield became a ‘German’ POW Camp with about 3,000 POWs, mostly Poles and Ukrainians from the Polish 1st and 2nd Divisions who fought for Germany, and who were captured in France. Many POWs remained after 1945 as displaced persons ***. There were no actual German POW’s in the immediate vicinity of North Coates.

    The Donna Nook airfield closed in 1945 and the POW camp in 1948.

    *** (from Wikipedia) The term Displaced Person was first widely used during World War II and the resulting refugee outflows from Eastern Europe, when it was used to specifically refer to one removed from his or her native country as a refugee, prisoner or a slave labourer. The meaning has significantly broadened in the past half-century. A displaced person may also be referred to as a forced migrant. The term “refugee” is also commonly used as a synonym for displaced person, causing confusion between the general descriptive class of anyone who has left their home and the subgroup of legally defined refugees who enjoy specified international legal protection.

  20. Amiguru said,

    June 13, 2010 @ 12:39 am

    You haven’t covered the 1st. World War yet but just had to post this somewhere straight away and this seemed the most relevant thread!

    Extracts from a Report of Major General Ferrier, Commander Humber Defences 1916:

    “Following from Headquarters begins - ‘Admiralty reports zeppelin reported at 7.5 p.m. in the North Sea, seen about 100 miles East of Humber. Tonge lightship reports that the Boulogne wireless is reporting two Zeppelins in the North Sea and seen to be proceeding towards England. message ends’”

    “11.50 p.m.6th Bomb explosions were heard in the direction of Hull. Rifle fire heard in the direction of Stallingborough whilst bomb dropping was going on.”
    “12.10 a.m. 7th Red glare in sky seen in a North-Westerly direction, taken to be flames.”
    “12.15 to 12.25 a.m. 7th Zeppelin in full sight from the Battery, direction North west to South -East down the river.”
    “12.20 a.m. 7th Sunk[Island] and Stallingborough Batteries opened fire with Maxims. Number of rounds fired from Sunk [Island] being 152, & Stallingborough 49.”
    12.21 a.m. 7th Pom-poms heard to open fire at Killingholme or Immingham About this time a red rocket was sent up from the Examination vessel and also hooting was heard either from the Boom boats or the Examination vessel.”
    Killingholme [opened fire at] 12.21 a.m. Effects of fire not seen as Zeppelin was flying high towards Grimsby”
    “About 12.30a.m. 7th. Rifle firing and one explosion heard in the direction of Grimsby”

    “From two approximate angles taken from the tip of the P.W.S.S. at the time the Zeppelin was passing, the height of the Zeppelin was approximately 10,000 feet. It is obvious therefore that the fire from our M.guns could not possibly be effective.”

    “The casualties up to date [in Hull] are 19 (5 men, 9 women & 5 children) killed, 24 seriously wounded, and 40 cases dealt with at dressing stations and sent to their homes.”

    Howzat M’Lud

  21. Rod said,

    June 13, 2010 @ 8:00 am

    that’s superb and is now clearly an area I need to do something on.
    Obviously a great find and a fascinating insight but what really catches my eye are the gun batteries mentioned.

  22. Jacqui said,

    June 16, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

    My Dad was born in 1933 and remembers going to Cleethorpes on holiday during the war with his parents. They were near the beach one day when they heard what they thought was a Spitfire overhead coming from inland - it was a German plane though (not sure what type) - and ithey saw it drop 2 bombs - my Dad said the sand went as high as the plane .- and later the plane was shot down at Spurn Head. I don’t know the date. A holiday to remember obviously!!

  23. Rod said,

    June 17, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    thanks for taking the time to share that - really is appreciated and welcome to the site.
    Recording events like this is fabulous and I hope we can colect many more
    Thanks again Jacqui
    All the best

  24. harry buck said,

    July 31, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    My father was Ernest Frederick Buck and he had a habit of going to the local Nunsthorpe Maternity Home (now demolished and replaced by a Care Home) after an Air Raid to see if any help were needed with casualties. Following the All-clear siren on 14th June 1943, he walked up our street (Kingsley Grove) and was killed by an Anti-personnel bomb. My mother was informed next morning and was thus widowed with 4 kids and one “on-the-way” at the age of 32. I believe that 99 people lost their lives that fateful night including the proprietor of the local Post Office, one Nathan Wilkinson. Many locals will remember “Wilk’s” but how many would know after whom it was named and how he lost his life so long ago.

  25. Rod said,

    July 31, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

    thanks so much for the comment and welcome to the site. What a tremendous man your father Ernest must have been and what a tragedy to lose him in such a way.
    It’s impossible to imagine the pain and suffering and when you see what people complain about today . . .

    Thanks again for sharing this moving information with us Harry and I shall raise a glass to Ernest Frederick Buck tonight. Both he and his selfless deeds are now here for posterity.
    All the best

  26. Ann said,

    August 1, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    Hello, I’ve just found your site and the map showing Cumberland Avenue in Grimsby. My parents (now deceased) rented a house there for a few years during the war; Dad worked for the Ministry of Defence, involved in the degaussing of minesweepers (the electrical system to protect them) and I was born whilst they were there. I remember hiding under the kitchen table (as a very small child) with Mum during a daytime air raid, and the barrage balloons up in the sky. My godmother was Mrs Melba Lock, wife of the local chemist Mr Gordon Lock. On 12th February 1945 Mum launched one of His Majesty’s Motor Vessels Number 1170, and was given a small gift to commemorate the day. I’m sure the ship is long gone but I wonder if anyone can please suggest who I could contact to find out more about this little vessel? Thanks and best wishes.

  27. Val Mercer said,

    August 3, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

    I’ve lways had an interest in WW2,and always bought Newspaper supplements of this era.I have found a May,1984 edtion of “Bygones”,which is subtitled “The War Years”.It is all about Grimsby &District,and some very interesting articles and pictures are in it.If you would like me to send it to you,you are more than welcome to it.
    Please let me know,and I’ll E-Mail you.


  28. Rod said,

    August 4, 2010 @ 8:20 am

    Hi Val,
    that sounds fabulous - many thanks

  29. Bryan Coulter said,

    August 6, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

    When the anti-perssonel bombs were dropped there were posters plastered everywhere the next day telling us not to pick up lighters,compacts,etc.One of them dropped on the hood of a car near us on Bentley St. My dad who was in the Cleethorpes Fire Brigade was with a group that set it off.All .during the war I heard these explosions and I imagined that bombs were falling around us,I wish someone had told me they were only guns!The only bomb I heard was dropped on Bursar Street, right next to our school.

  30. Rod said,

    August 7, 2010 @ 8:11 am

    this is just superb - thanks so much for sharing it - really appreciated.
    Watch out for some more wartime Grimsby stuff coming up asap thanks to Val Mercer

  31. John in Canada said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 1:50 am


    A very interestiong collection of stories. I was born in 1939 and grew up through the WWII years in Scartho. I do remember seeing bomb damage in Grimsby, particularly St James’ Church, around the Bull Ring, Along Victoria Street, a cinema near the River Head. The worst damage I remember was across from the bus station.

    I remember being warned about butterfly bombs, and I believe one fell near our house. We had an Anderson shelter in our backyard (which after the war was dug up to become a shed). My cousin had a “Morrison Shelter” (Steel table in the living room) although they did have a big garden. From the Anderson shelter we could hear the “Ak Ak” guns at Cleethorpes (?) and see the flares and searchlights in the sky looking for, and sometimes finding enemy aircraft.

    One clear memory I do have is of the Lancaster bombers of the “Dam Busters” squadron doing low level practice runs over the beach at Cleethorpes.

    My father, who is still alive and well at 100, remembers WWI, and the Zeps that bombed Scartho. I think one landed near the school, one near St Giles church and others further away. I believe that there is a monument in St Giles churchyard to the Zep. bombing. My Grandmother used to refer to the weather on quiet sultry summer nights as “Zep. weather”.

    On a different topic altogether, there used to be a monument in People’s Park called (I think) the Smethwick Monument to Fishermen. It was carved by my great uncle, and I wonder if it is still in existence. If you know about that monument, I would be interest to here more about it.

    Sorry if these comments are a bit disjointed and undocumented, but I was under 6 at the time.

    John in Canada.

  32. Rod said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    fabulous stuff - really appreciated and welcome to the site.
    It really brings things alive to hear real life accounts of things rather than simply doing research and I think it’s important to preserve such memories and information.

    I’m not aware of anything about the monument in People’s Park John - we’ll see if any information turns up
    Thanks and regards

  33. Amiguru said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 10:48 am


    As Rod says, a most valued contribution. In return, I have done a quick search and found the following on the North East Lincs Listed Buildings list:

    “Address: Peoples Park, Grimsby Building: Smethurst Memorial DCMS Reference Number: 699-1/29/53 Grade: II”

    I’m sure a picture will turn up in due course but hope this reassurance helps in the meantime. Incidentally, I worked at Peoples Park in the sixties.


  34. History Hunter said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 11:11 am

    One photo of said Smethurst Monument in People’s Park as requested/required

  35. Rod said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    that’s what I’d call the deluxe service :)
    Thanks guys - really appreciated
    All the best

  36. History Hunter said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

    As can be read from one of the links that Nev provided, the inscriptions are very much orientated towards the one individual, namely ALDERMAN HENRY SMETHURST JP/ MAYOR OF GRIMSBY (to give him his full title). It seems that there is no actual mention of anything to do with fishing and fishermen. The elaborate carving is solely to do with the fact that Smethurst was the owner of the largest fleet of fishing smacks in Grimsby. Alas, i think the ‘Smethwick Monument to Fishermen’ that John of Canada mentions was maybe just a local colloquial name given to it, but it was never official.

  37. John in Canada said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

    Thank you All!

    That is very good information to have. The identity of the carver is given as “RW Ray”. That would be be my mother’s Uncle Bob. (I will have to find out what the W stood for).

    Thank you again!

  38. Amiguru said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 4:20 pm


    I have just checked the 1881 census and think we have your Great Uncle ‘Bob’!

    He is listed as being born in 1861 in Spalding and aged 20 then of course; his occupation is given as ‘carver (Wood)’ and he was unmarried and living at his parents home, 53 Fildes Street, Grimsby. His middle name was the predictable William and his dad’s name was Robert A. Ray.

    Hope this leads you off on other genealogical adventures.


  39. History Hunter said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

    Your very welcome John. Not much beats us bunch of historical nutcases!

  40. harry buck said,

    August 13, 2010 @ 8:43 am

    After posting my comments on 31st July, I checked that they had been entered and was suddenly faced with an amazing coincidence! The date was 2nd August 2010- the 100th anniversary of my father’s birth!

  41. John in Canada said,

    August 19, 2010 @ 2:21 am

    While Googling to find this site again, I noticed this link to pictures from wartime in Grimsby.
    If you have not seen them already, they be of interest to you.


  42. Curious said,

    August 19, 2010 @ 4:48 am


    I find your website fascinating!

    I know this isn’t the right category to place this question, but I wasn’t certain where to put it. I am curious about a mystery within my family during the beginning of parish records being kept. The name of the husband and wife are inscribed on the exterior of the parish church wall. What would be the reason(s) for doing this?

  43. Rod said,

    August 19, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    Hi Curious,
    thanks for the kind words and welcome to the site.
    I’ve come across it once before here

    Not sure why, may be it was requested to be outside, maybe inside was full, perhaps there’s a league of importance as in nearer the alter etc

  44. Pat Cook nee STEAD said,

    September 25, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    Dont quite know how I ended up on your site, but what wonderful lucky find with such interesting reading.
    I was born in ‘The Mount’, Mill Rd, Cleethorpes in 1936. Later known as Croft Baker Maternity home. I lived in Cosgrove St Cleethorpes from 1943 till I married in 1959, my father finally gave up the rented house around 1990, still had its outside toilet, no hot water or bathroom.

    We had a ‘Morrison Shelter’ it took up most of our ‘Front Room’ a steel cage with mesh on three sides, a flat steel top which was good for doing jig-saws on. Late on 11 April 1944 my mother went into labour, the midwife came, all going well till the siren sounded, my mother was moved to the shelter, labour continued in such a small space, baby about to be born when all clear sounded and Mum was taken back upstairs. My brother John duly arrived early on 12th, in the confusion the leg of the bed went thru the woodworm riddled floor boards, my father was despatched outside to take down the clothes line and lash the bed together. The joys of wartime childbirth.

    The outside of our and other houses had straif marks, caused by a lone aircraft flying low over the street, and, blasting off a few rounds, nobody injured as far as I can remember, unfortunately the marks have now been rendered over.

    I have some shrapnel, which I think my Grandfather collected, I recently loaned it to my grandson to take into school for a school project on WW2 My Grandfather was a maintenance man at RAF North Cotes, he had to help clear up after accidents on the airfield. A wheel came of a plane when trying to land, the wheel careered into the canteen, killing at least one person, he helped clear debris from crash landings, including body parts.
    My Aunt’s, his daughters had fine underwear and nightgowns during the war, made from bits of parachute silk, brought home by Grandfather.

    My Grandparents who lived on the opposite side of the road to us in Cosgrove St, always had young airmen from RAF North Cotes arriving or leaving their house.. My Grandfather used to bring them for a meal, and perhaps spend the night, sleeping on the floor, so they could get early or late trains from Cleethorpes Station. The same with men arriving back from leave, they always knew my Grandmother would feed and house them till they got transport back to North Cotes. I have lots of photographs of the young men, enjoying their hospitality, or having a good time singing around the piano, whilst one of my Aunt’s played all the wartime songs.

    I went to Bursar Street Junior School, two houses almost opposite the school gate, were bombed and became a rubble site for many years.

    As a child I stood in the middle of the road in Cosgrove Street watching the V2 Rockets overfly Cleethorpes, is that the right title, the unmanned rockets, launched from Germany. They made a distinctive eerie sound, we knew some poor souls further inland were soon to be in trouble. Cleethorpes beach was out of bounds, barbed wire ran the length of it, stopping entry to the beach. On the Pier Gardens, there appeared a trailer with the ‘Squander Bug’ on it, I think it was to do with encouraging people to save ‘Savings Stamps. The ‘Bug’ was quite large, like a huge potato with eye’s, a mouth and spidery arms and legs

    Was very interested to read about the Zeppelin raids on Grimsby and Cleethorpes. I am a Family Historian, and have visited the Memorial in Cleethorpes Cemetery which was erected to the Memory of the men of the 3rd Battalion Manchester Regiment who were killed in the Zeppelin raid at Cleethorpes. Bombs were dropped from the Zeppelin and landed on the Baptist Church in Alexandra Road, Cleethorpes, where the men had been temporarily billeted, it was on 1st April 1916. My father was three years old then, he said he could remember being woken by the blast, as he lived close by.

    I have a list of the men mentioned on the Memorial if anyone is interested. It gives all the mens Service Numbers. Also there is quite a full account of the raid in one of the books I have about Cleethorpes, if you want any more information.

  45. Rod said,

    September 25, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

    thanks so much for taking the time to share all that priceless information with us and indeed the world - it’s hugely appreciated and welcome to the site - I hope you’ll return
    Fantastic anecdotal information Pat - that’s the stufff you’ll never find in books - priceless
    Kind regards

  46. John Collins said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

    I am wondering if anyone has any useful information on Goxhill Airfield, being across the Humber from Hull, does anyone know if it was bombed. I need to excavate in the area of the old airfield any info would be useful. Thanks

  47. chris keyworth said,

    September 29, 2010 @ 9:06 am

    excavate ????

  48. roger said,

    October 1, 2010 @ 12:02 am

    Hi The gentleman to see about Goxhill airfield is Ron Parker who has written several books about it and did run trip`s around it a few years ago,he did live at a bungalow on the edge of it near the memorial site Roger

  49. Paul Rowe said,

    October 9, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

    Rod you have a fascinating site.My uncle by the name of Alf Lumley was in the Home guard during the war.One of their main functions was to maintain and switch on an array of lights at Humberston somewhere near the fitties.The lights were set like streets so that German pilots were supposed to think they were Grimsby. Perhaps that is why GY/Cleethorpes were not as badly damaged as Hull. Paul Rowe, Lorraine,Port Elizabeth,South Africa,(once of 6 the Cloisters Wybers Woods)

  50. Rod said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 8:29 am

    Hi Paul,
    thanks for taking the time to comment and welcome to the site.
    It’s very interesting to hear about your Uncle and the decoy site at Humberston.
    There were a few decoy sites around the area what would be greta to know is how effective were they ?

    I wonder in general how often they actually did get bombed
    All the best

  51. Eugene Forrester said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

    Hi Rod

    Just stumbled across your site. Nice one. I’ve always had an interest in “local” stuff and have kept me eyes pealed over the years.

    I did notice what I believed to be the last remaining evidence of the war time bombing over Grimsby on the railway bridge next to the Council works entrance. There could clearly be seen bullet and shrapnel holes in the sides of the iron plate that made up the sides of the bridge.

    bullet holes in Grimsby railway bridge

    I took a number of pictures of these holes and sent them off to the Grimsby Telegraph to share with their readers but heard nothing. I assumed they weren’t interested. Shame really as these holes represent what I believe to be the last physical evidence of the damage done to the town during the war.

    air raid damage Grimsby

    Sadly they are no more because the bridge was replaced several months ago without so much as a mention from anyone. I was probably the only person in Grimsby who knew or understood the significance of the history being destroyed :(

    Eugene Forrester

  52. Rod said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

    thanks for taking the time to send all this in really appreciated and welcome to the site.
    I wasn’t aware of the above I wonder if anyone else is familiar with the holes ?
    Very interesting indeed Eugene
    All the best

  53. chris keyworth said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    i remember my mum saying somthing about this years ago. having seesn the damage done by armour peircing rounds i can clearly say these are one and the same…

  54. History Hunter said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 5:23 am

    I was aware of the holes in the bridge for years. With me having a healthy interest in all things war, my father revelled in telling me about the attacks on Grimsby in WWII.

    As to them being the last physical evidence of ‘the Huns’ handy work in town, there are still bullet holes that can be clearly seen in the walls of Strand Street School. During the war, school children were not allowed to use the playground, which is one of only 4 in the country situated on the roof, due to the threat of bombing and attack by fighter bombers.

  55. Rod said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 8:44 am

    that’s very interesting indeed, I didn’t know that - perhaps we should look to get together a list of all the evidence left and catalogue it.
    I wonder whether there’s any more out there ?

  56. History Hunter said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    Im sure i have a book called Blitz on Grimsby somewhere and it is bound to say all the areas that were bombed and strafed, and dates, so it could be as easy as to do a bit of walking around the areas to see if there are any original buildings etc that still show evidence of the Hun.

  57. History Hunter said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

    I have just read a quote from a gentleman called Vic Smith of Cleethorpes who was at Strand Street School when the bullets hit.

    To quote Vic, “I distinctly remember playing up there with some mates at ‘togger’ with our tennis ball. In fact, we were doing just that on the day a German plane bombed Burgon’s Store. That’s when the bullet marks appeared, and that’s when I broke the land speed record”

    How scary must that have been!

    New pants please, vicar!

  58. Matthew burrows said,

    November 1, 2010 @ 8:56 am

    I lived in Guildford street in the early 80s. The northern part of which is littered with gaps in the terraced housing with more modern buildings built in-between. What has always bugged me is what was as the north end of Guildford street, now there are 2 expances of grass along the sides of Oxford street and Hilda street, and a park and flats across Oxford street towards cleethorpes road. Would this have been terraced housing bombsites? If so it’s a very big patch of land and I’m at a loss to explain in!

  59. Rod said,

    November 1, 2010 @ 9:19 am

    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site. Of the top of my head I don’t know the answer but it’s worth looking into. Bomb damage sounds feasible - checking some older town maps may help - or perhaps there’s somebody out there who knows already.
    If I turn anything up I’ll get it posted.

  60. Martin Bridge said,

    November 4, 2010 @ 12:19 am

    Hello again Rod, and all you other historical buffs

    Am stuck up here in Cumbria, when a neighbour; a fellow ‘Yellowbelly’ gave me a book, “Grimsby at War” by Clive Hardy (Grimsby Evening Telegraph.) There is a photo (no. 178) of 2 American MPs with 3 girls, (wow, the girl on the left is hot stuff!) It was taken outside ‘The American Red Cross Service Club’. WHERE WAS THIS CLUB? Using my ‘photo-scan memory’ of Grimsby, I know it is NOT the one in the Old Market Place. I am wondering if the photo is in Bargate, near Deansgate Bridge?…hmmnnn. Can anyone help me out here?

    (Last - I do hope someone had the foresight to preserve that section of Doughty Road Railbridge. I knew, as a schoolboy in the 1960’s , it was damaged by German WW2 bullet/cannon holes.)

  61. Rod said,

    November 4, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    Hi Martin,
    this is one we can surely get to the bottom of - I don’t have the book I’m afraid but somebody out there must know
    Where was the ‘The American Red Cross Service Club ?’

  62. Martin Bridge said,

    November 4, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    GOXHILL AIRFIELD: Am endorsing a comment of Roger’s to John Collins (28 September) here..

    Yes - you need to see Ron Parker for ANYTHING you need to know re. USAAF Goxhill in WW2. Ron is THE man and had in 2007, a substantial book out, “Goxhill Airfield in Memories & Photos” (£18) which is a fascinating visual record of those days: I bought my copy from him. He compiled it after substantial research and MANY great photos, kindly sent in of WW2 days there, by former American personnel. (Go check out ‘lonely dispersals’, where once there were P38s and P51 Mustangs. Interesting stories too!) Regret to say the old Control Tower, which I had copiously photographed in the 1970s/80s has now some bloody stupid, American WW2 theme park at Virginia Beach (”..gee, Wilbur honey: woud yer looka t-h-a-t”!

    Ron also very kindly sent me a copy of the original airfield site plan, showing where EVERY installation (accom sites/ARPshelters/gun posts/dispersals etc etc) is/was. Do you want to know the site of the base’s sewage works??..of course you do!..Ron has the answer.

    I am somewhat wary of giving you Ron Parker’s address, because of spam etc etc - but, if you still live in HulI, I advise you take a trip down Goxhill’s Church Side, and ‘ask from there..’

  63. chris keyworth said,

    November 4, 2010 @ 11:12 am

    i picked up a wopping piece of ww2 shrapnal again the other day whilst out detecting on of cause a highly secret location high in the wolds next time me and rod meet up i will let him photo it so eveyone can then see what it looks like and how to recognise it if they find a peice, its really interesting stuff and i love finding it, i think it arks back to when my dad was little and he used to go looking for it,

  64. Rod said,

    November 4, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    Where was the ‘The American Red Cross Service Club ?’

    Acording to my father . . .
    It was in the Old Market Place. It was a building used by Turner’s the Drapers in the Old Market Place. It had a big public clock outside and a passage at the side going to Chantry Lane.

  65. Martin Bridge said,

    November 5, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

    Hello again Rod


    Thanks for having at go re. where this American Red Cross Club is - but you’re wrong. I knew of the one in the Old Market Place (it’s featured in Ron Parker’s Goxhill book.) But in the photo I described, from “Grimsby at War”, there are 5 people (3 women +2 American MP’s) sat outside it, on a very low wall. There’s a balconied “grand, terraced house” behind them, complete with the club sign & a double-columned entrance porch. That’s not the Old Market!

    As the book also features another photo of 3 American servicemen, sat on a low wall, in the sun - at the junction of Bargate & Pelham Road, (the ‘Pelham Road’ sign is seen behind their lower legs.) I’m making a guess the club may have been on the opposite side of them, on Bargate. There is a row of several, ‘once-grand’, superior terrace houses still in that locality..and it would be close to the railway station, to return them to Goxhill.

    If I was in Grimsby, I’d take the book and check it out with today! Perhaps some other interested ‘local sleuth’ can do it for me??

  66. Rod said,

    November 5, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

    not having the picture to look at I simply passed on what my father remembers - he too has no picture to look at but after reading your comment let me know he cannot remember another one - only the one he mentioned.
    He did wonder whether possibly there might have been two because of American Segregation at the time ?

    Just a thought but I won’t go into the segregation issue as I fancy doing a separate article on it.
    Hopefully somebody out there who has the picture and knows the area my be able to chip in

  67. Spencer said,

    November 6, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

    If you can post the picture I’ll have a look, if it is on Bargate I’m only round the corner (and very nearly bought one of the houses on that row a few years ago).

  68. Martin Bridge said,

    November 7, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    Hello Spencer


    Have scanned it in and I’d love to post you the photo of this “mysteriously located American Red Cross Service Club”! (I too, always thought there was only one; in the Old Market Place.) Q. How do I post the picture onto this site Rod?

  69. STEVE said,

    November 20, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

    Hello all,
    At junior school in the 70’s I remember a teacher bringing in an inert “butterfly bomb”. Apparently this was from the cemetery (Jewish cemetery?) mentioned earlier. I believe this was in the area of Abbey Rd/Doughty Rd, now a recreation ground. The story he told was there were so many bombs within the cemetery they simply cleared the area including all the headstones.

    While attending Toll Bar school damage to brickwork could be found on the buildings of the old part of the school. We were told during the war a lone German aircraft had circled the school, strafing it with machine gunning fire.

    Also there was a quick mention of Zeppelin raids during WW1. There is a plaque on a building in Pinfold Lane, Scartho commemorating the raid.
    Excellent site by the way!!

  70. Rod said,

    November 21, 2010 @ 9:17 am

    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site - hope you’ll return.
    This is fantastci information, very interesting Steve - I wonder whether it’s true about the headstones Steve ?
    That would be very interesting to confirm.

    Thanks again Steve, really appreciated
    All the best

  71. KEN WILKINSON said,

    November 22, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

    HI ROD,

  72. Rod said,

    November 23, 2010 @ 8:04 am

    Hi Ken,
    many thanks for taking the time to share your memories and welcome to the site.
    A lot of people would do well to read your account and think about it the next time they complain about life today.

    Thanks again for sharing it Ken, it’s extremely interesting and importatnt to record and preserve.
    Kind regards

  73. vanessa baxter said,

    December 29, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

    My grandfather Thomas James Miller was killed on 13th July 1943 by a bomb. He lived in Harold Street and was acobbler. I wondered if anyone can give me any more information about this?

  74. option911 said,

    January 1, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

    Taking nothing away from those who had to live through the bombing or those who lost someone in the bombing, Grimsby & Cleethorpes did not suffer greatly at the hands of the Luftwaffe in comparrison with any other industrial target or large population center. I know it mustn’t have seemed like it at the time! The reason for this was that Hittler and the high Command had selected Grimsby for its second front on its invasion of Britain. With its large docks, rail infrastructure and local airfields, it had everything to reinforce and invasion fleet.
    Militarily, the area should have been saturated as one of the busiest industrial areas in England, with the largest fishing port in the world and 10 active RAF airfields within 10 airborne miles. I along with my Parents were born in Montague street, my parents remember the Strand Theatre (opposite Ramsdens, now flats)being hit by a mine, blowing all of the seats over the houses on one side and depositing them on the roof of the houses on the opposite side. My Grandmother, who died last year aged 100, worked on the Docks braiding nets for Tosh Robinsons. She used to run home to Montague street every time there was an air raid, to check on the children, then to go back to work.

  75. Lucky said,

    January 29, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

    Hi All,

    Couple of points i may be able to help with,
    Firstly Guilford Street, and it’s ‘gaps’
    1 have seen Aerial maps of Grimsby dated 1940 at the Council, and those ‘gaps’ were present then, as were a good many others in the East Marsh Area. It was actually that which brought me here in the hope light could be shed on what caused them, and if indeed it was bombs. I suspect from the images i saw that it was, as there was clearly rubbled areas on some of the ‘gaps’.
    The Doughty Road Bridge section pocked with holes has been retained and preserved, and the intention as i am aware is to display the piece further back up the road for future generations to marvel at. I work at the depot, so the ‘lore’ of the bridge is well known to me, and i’ve seen the cropped section waiting for display.

  76. Rod said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site.
    That’s a couple of really great pieces of information and thans for sharing.

    It’s great news that the section of bridge has been preserved and something I wasn’t aware of
    All the best

  77. grimjim said,

    February 15, 2011 @ 5:19 pm


    while i have no information on your grandfather i do know my father was born during a raid in guilford street.the date he was born was july the 13th 1943.I remember my uncle telling me that incendriary bombs had set fire to nieghbouring roofs while he was being born

  78. richardastill said,

    May 6, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    hi i was digging a friends garden ,just of anderson st, today and she told me that there was some concreate in the ground,it wasnt much so i stared to clear the soil away when i notice it was an anderson shelter ,you can still see the marks made by the coragated sheets ,a bit later after a bit longer i found the open door way . did they use concreate to batten down the anderson shelter ?

  79. Rod said,

    May 7, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    I think they were put together however the owner chose.
    Some were built by homeowners, others paid builders to do them I think so whilst the shelter itself would have been uniform everything around could vary slightly I suspect

  80. History Hunter said,

    May 7, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

    Martin Bridge said,

    November 5, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

    Hello again Rod


    Thanks for having at go re. where this American Red Cross Club is - but you’re wrong. I knew of the one in the Old Market Place (it’s featured in Ron Parker’s Goxhill book.) But in the photo I described, from “Grimsby at War”, there are 5 people (3 women +2 American MP’s) sat outside it, on a very low wall. There’s a balconied “grand, terraced house” behind them, complete with the club sign & a double-columned entrance porch. That’s not the Old Market!

    As the book also features another photo of 3 American servicemen, sat on a low wall, in the sun - at the junction of Bargate & Pelham Road, (the ‘Pelham Road’ sign is seen behind their lower legs.) I’m making a guess the club may have been on the opposite side of them, on Bargate. There is a row of several, ‘once-grand’, superior terrace houses still in that locality..and it would be close to the railway station, to return them to Goxhill.

    Would the American Red Cross Club have anything like a chapel?

    There is a building in the very vicinity of where Martin Bridge mentions in his description. On travelling along Bargate towards Deansgate Bridge, look at the very last building on the left before the traffic lights (large red end wall). The building is officially the first building in Pelham Road, but if you look on the wall you will see evidence of a very large (bricked-up) archway. Could this be the old entrance the the building? At the ‘back’ of the main building is a single storey building with a very ornate stained glass window? Could this have been a chapel of some sort?

    Incidentally the ‘low wall’ mentioned at the junction of Bargate and Pelham Road is still there.

  81. History Hunter said,

    May 7, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

    I have just been looking on GE and noticed, as if to prove a point, the the houses along Pelham Road are, as Martin described “a balconied grand, terraced house behind them”. Another thing I have noticed though is the fact that as the houses on Pelham Road now are, the first one is number 4 with number 6 next to it. What happened to number 2? I’m not aware of any bomb damage in Bargate which could have resulted in the building being demolished, but maybe it was demolished when Bargate was widened at that junction???

  82. History Hunter said,

    May 7, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    Further to my previous comment….i have just had a skulk around the said area and noticed that the building with the visible stained glass window actually has another 4 round the other side of the building. The very same building looks to have had a modern garage door added to the rear, this possibly changing the original use of it. Seems a bit OTT to have stained glass windows in a garage!

  83. Rod said,

    May 8, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    looks like some intriguing work here - many thanks - this needs following up I think

  84. harry buck said,

    May 11, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    Reading one of the contributions, I notice that the cemetery in the Abbey Road area is mentioned as possibly the Jews Cemetery. This is not the case as the Jews Cemetery was, and maybe still is, at the Hospital end of First Avenue in Nunsthorpe. The cemetery in the Abbey Road area is now a Council Open Space and was previously known as the Old Cemetery to distinguish it from the one off Scartho Road.

  85. Rod said,

    May 12, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - really is appreciated and welcome to the site
    All the best

  86. Siddo said,

    May 17, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    Guildford st. Yes it was bomb damage. I was born down there in the early fifties, and me mam used to tell me all the stories about the damage. The council built houses on the flattened parts of the street, as they also did in Oxford st, although they were council flats…Surrey Ct, Sussex Ct and so on. I remember my mates and I playing on the Oxford st ‘bombie’ as we called it, there was often an abandoned car or two to play in. Old prams in abundance, we would use the wheels and find some old wood to make our ‘trollies’ up. Think maybe, the ‘gerries’ were aiming at the Ice House in Victor st, and schools where soldiers were often gathered in, but not sure…Hi to Chris Keyworth (ex HUY).


  87. lynne connell said,

    May 17, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    Hi there all,
    with regards to the red cross being in the bargate area of town, we used to live in the middle flat at 11 Bargate approximately 24 years ago, and where told that it used to be something to do with the red cross,a hospital if i remember rightly,it had supposidly housed american servicemen during WWII. There where some initials/letters crudely carved into the marble fire place, which we where told where done by the servicemen that had stayed there.
    It would be interesting to find out if this story is true and if so does the fireplace still exist as the house was renovated a few years later by its new owner,

  88. Pat said,

    May 17, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    Very interesting to come across this site and the reference to the Grimsby At War Bygones. I’ve got to admit it, I actually compiled and wrote that during my time as a journalist on the Evening Telegraph. The American Red Cross Club was in the Old Market. The picture referred to was taken in, I seem to remember, in Bargate outside the home of someone who worked there. That photograph came from a former staff member at the club. I forget her name now but in 1984 she lived in Laceby and certainly had some fascinating tales to tell. There were, in fact, TWO clubs - you’ve guessed it, one for whites and one for blacks. It seems the freedom the Yanks were helping us fight for extended only so far.
    As for the butterfly bombs, I did a great deal of research into this raid and interviewed many of those who were there in July 1943 and who had to deal with the aftermath, including some members of the Royal Engineers’ bomb disposal team sent to Grimsby to deal with them. Grimsby was one of only two places in the UK where the bombs were dropped (the other, I seem to remember, was Plymouth) and so effective were they that whole areas were brought to a standstill. There was a total news blackout after the raids and the Germans never did learn how effective they were. It took years to unearth them all - one boy was killed after climbing into Doughty Road cemetery and picking up a butteryfly bomb he found. I believe the last one turned up during the mid-1970s. A man had found it at Great Coates and had put it into the pannier of his motorbike, riding round the town for a day or two before taking it to Grimsby police station. One of the detectives there at the time, Jack Bickley, recognised it for what it was. It was gingerly carried out onto a lawn at the back of the building and the bomb disposal squad called. They sandbagged it, afixed a small charge to the bomb and I was allowed to press the plunger, thus realising a boyhood dream! It went off with a hell of a bang and bits of sandbag flew right over the building and landed in Victoria Street.
    On the subject of remaining bomb damage from the war, there are some shrapnel scars on the front of the bus depot opposite the police station. These came from a bomb which demolished a lodging house, killing a number of men who were sleeping at the time. Incidentally, the steel framework of the bus depot itself was once part of the World War 1 American seaplane hangar at North Killingholme.
    One of the notes above refers to people watching V2s fly over. What they were seeing were probably air-launched V1s, which were carried out over the North Sea in specially adapted He111s and launched a 100 miles or so off shore. Most were aimed at Sheffield and I remember my own grandparents telling me of one which came down near Gainsborough.
    Hope all this is of interest…..

  89. S Jones said,

    May 17, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

    I’ve just been reading your site with interest.
    I read a coment from History Hunter ” I’m not aware of any bomb damage in Bargate which could have resulted in the building being demolished, but maybe it was demolished when Bargate was widened at that junction??? ”
    This is making me think i’ve mis-heard a family story (H H Seems to be well up on this sort of thing),
    I always though my Great Grandmother was bomded and killed in Dudley street, i beleive the family owned either number 8 or 10 Dudley street.
    I rememeber reading an article that was wrote by my Great aunt Joan (i cant remember her last name) that was published in the Evening Telegraph and bygone.
    I now need to find out a bit more family history and repost at a later date.

    Keep up the good work

  90. Rod said,

    May 17, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    Siddo, Lynne, Pat and S Jones,
    many thanks for taking the time to leave such fabulous comments and a very warm welcome to the site.
    Some great information not only added but also preserved, very interetsing and very much appreciated
    Regards to all

  91. Freeman said,

    May 17, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    Dudley Street was bombed in the war I believe.

    Great site, and great maps. See you’ve had a couple more visitors since someone left a link in the Telegraph comments.

    I saw the comments about the bridge in Doughty Road. The council have put the bit of the old bridge with the bullet holes back next to the new bridge, with a little info board explaining what happened. Took about two weeks before some mindless youth had sprayed their “tag” on it. Still the council workers were out the same day to paint it over.

    My mum’s family are all from Grimsby, and she was born in 1924 but she’s dead now and so are all those stories, and I’m much too young.

  92. Gordon Needham said,

    May 18, 2011 @ 1:56 am

    A house on the railway side of Dudley Street was bombed - I remember going into it’s Hallway to ‘nose around’. I also visited the bombed Evingtons on the corner of Chantry Lane and the Bull Ring - all without my parents finding out!

  93. Rod said,

    May 18, 2011 @ 8:07 am

    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site, I’ll check the bridge out as I wasn’t aware of that development
    All the best

  94. Rod said,

    May 18, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    thanks for sharing that and welcome to the site.
    Strange as it may seem I can imagine it all seeming like wquite an adventure for a young boy.
    I’m only surmising of course thinking how I may have reacted and being a child unaware of the full implications of horrors of the situation.

  95. Gary said,

    May 20, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    Hi Rod

    I have enjoyed reading the posts on your site, & it is now in my favourites

    As an ex navy diver I have spent 35 years clearing up after the Germans

    Having recently purchased No: 17 & 18 Kingsley Grove Nunsthorpe I can confirm that the Jewish crematory is at the back of my properties, & was interested to read the post by Harry Buck & the unfortunate incident & death of his dad in Kingsley Grove

    One story I have Ref: Shrapnel, in 2002 whilst looking for ordnance on an old firing Range in Purfleet Essex, that the RSPB had taken over from the MOD, I informed one of the staff that 2 huge ponds on the 1,000 acre site were probably bomb craters, I was told that no they were man made

    I was on the site for 4 years, during a real dry spell one of the 2 ponds (which are only a few meter apart) dried out, so I was in with my metal detector & located the nose of a very large bomb, a while later I found the nose of the 2nd bomb, buried some 25 meters away, the RSPB now think the ponds are bomb craters.

    I look forward to visiting this site, keep up the good work


  96. Rod said,

    May 20, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    many thanks indeed, absolutely fascinating and welcome to the site.
    It’s great to hear this sort of ‘inside informtaion’ as it were
    All the best

  97. harry buck said,

    May 23, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    Your most recent correspondent has not only confirmed my memories of the location of the Jews’ cemetery but has also jogged my memory about bomb craters. There was a fairly large one in what is now the Grimsby Institute grounds and it was almost directly opposite the end of Weelsby Road and fairly adjacent to the small clump of trees which, in those days, included a number of fruit trees, known locally as “Peg Leg’s Orchard”. Nobody ever saw this man with a wooden leg and I later suspected that it had been invented by grown ups as an anti-scrumping invention! I shall be interested to see if anyone else remembers this. One other surviving relic in that area is, of course, the horse trough on the traffic island. In my youth, this was covered in shrubs but eventually cleared as the number of cars proliferated.

  98. Martin Bridge said,

    June 3, 2011 @ 9:00 pm


    Hello all. Just some back onto this website after a few months. First - Many thanks indeed to ‘Pat’, for her very likely journo explanation of the truth behind all this: “The American Services club” in the Old Market Place being reserved for WHITE GIs, whereas the one in Bargate, was probably designated to “Jim Crow”. With the passage of time, I see it as very likely that politically-incorrect aspects of American services life, ie. racial segregation, are not mentioned or else glossed over.. (PS. The “chapel window” is interesting, and would fit..)

    When I am next down in Grimsby, I will duly take my 2 Bargate WW2 photos with me, and have ‘a look-see’ around Bargate. My thanks to ALL who were intrigued/spurred by my earlier query, to go investigate this puzzle. MB

  99. Rod said,

    June 4, 2011 @ 6:14 am

    welcome back and many thanks for chipping in again.
    I will duly take my 2 Bargate WW2 photos with me
    They sound very interesting indeed Martin !

  100. Martin Bridge said,

    June 4, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    Hello Rod, ‘Amiguru, History Hunter’ et al..

    “KARL-ERNST THEIDE” Luftwaffe - Buried in the military section of Scartho Road cemetery: First reported on May 27 2010.

    I have a few more details on him. For this, I am indebted to Bill Norman’s “Broken Eagles: Luftwaffe Losses over Northumberland & Durham Vol 2″. Pages 30-34 flesh out the incident.

    Theide’s Heinkel 111of 2/KG26, took off from its base at Lubeck-Blankensee, making UK landfall over Middlesbrough. It then patrolled northwards, seeking shipping. When 15 miles east of the Tyne estuary (and flying VERY low at 300′ in very cloudy weather) 2 Hurricanes from nearby RAF Acklington spotted it. Both fighters duly shot out both engines, so Theide’s Heinkel ditched into the North Sea; in a heavy sea and a snow squall + a SE gale AND on the 3 February! My God, what appalling conditions to ditch in!! The pilot later stated that, given these conditions, he deliberately ditched the Heinkel near to a trawler. The 5-man crew were all cast into the sea, relying only on their lifebelts. The plane’s dinghy did not release, the Heinkel remaining afloat for only a minute.

    4 crew members were picked up by this Swansea regd trawler, ‘Harlech Castle’, heading for Grimsby. However, the 5th crew member already appeared dead face down in the water, and next moment disappeared. That body was Karl-Ernst Theide, a Uffz (= Corporal.) He’d probably drowned. The other crew members later stated “Theide was not wounded, but his buoyancy aid had punctured”. (Of these 4 remaining crew, 3 were made POW, but Uffz ‘Willi Wolf’ died later on board the ‘Harlech Castle’ from his wounds. And where Wolf is buried, I do not know!)

    It is believed Theide’s body floated down the east coast and reached the Humber, where it was duly recovered and buried in Scartho Road cemetery. PS. Theide’s funeral service took place WITHOUT service honours. (It was considered inadvisable to do this, given the strength of local feeling against Luftwaffe raiders, who shot up trawlers as ‘legitimate targets’.)

    So, when next in Scartho Road cemetery, stand by this man’s plot. Consider what state his body must have been in, having been in the water for so long, swept down by sea currents. It also explains the circumstances how ‘a Karl- Ernst Theide’ came to be buried there. This may prove of benefit to historians and for the man’s relatives, trawling Rod’s website, 70 years later?

  101. History Hunter said,

    June 4, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    Your a mind reader Martin. Only last week i was stood at his grave wondering about his demise, along with a few others, and took a photo of the headstone so i had all the details to hand. That saves me looking now. Thanks.

  102. ernie elford said,

    June 9, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    Rod found your page very interesting,i lived in Ayscough St on the west marsh in 1943,i was 10 days old which would make it June 4th.The house was hit with mam my sisters Rose ,Pauline and myself inside.We all got out ok and im told Rose had her coat on fire as she ran to the shelter.The local archives show the address bombed as 153 and 157 this is incorrect as it was 153 and 155 where i lived

  103. Sue said,

    June 9, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    Hi, Just seen the story in Grimsby Telegraph, very interesting, and looked up this site.
    My Great Grandparents were caretakers of Cannon Ainsley Street School (Garden Street)
    George Wilson my gt grandfather was killed by a butterfly bomb as he walked across the
    school hall on the 14th June 1943 the vibration on the floor set off the bomb.

  104. Rod said,

    June 9, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

    I really appreciate this invaluable information, many thanks indeed and welcome to the site - hope you’ll return

  105. Rod said,

    June 9, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    thanks for getting this preserved for posterity, it’s very important.
    Regards and welcome to the site

  106. sutz50 said,

    June 9, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    Hi, I’ve just read tonight’s Grimsby Evening Telegraph & a letter from Harry Buck led me to this site. Impressed with the site & contributions from various scribes!

  107. History Hunter said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 2:06 am

    I feel a Michael Caine (#) impression coming on….

    Did you know, and not a lot of people know this…………… that during the hostilities of WW2 air raid sirens were sounded 704 times in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, including on the very first night of WW2, 3rd September 1939. That turned out to be a false alarm, as did a further 666 times, but that meant that there were 37 bombing raids on Grimsby and Cleethorpes which claimed a total of 196 lives and over 400 injuries.

    During the war, the name Grimsby was replaced in censored newspapers by the euphemism ‘an East Coast Town’ when reports of attacks were mentioned.

    German reports found after the war stated that Grimsby was an easy target in itself and also a direction finder for longer bombing raids all due to the ease of finding the Dock Tower.

    Only two of the air raids were classed as being on a large scale. Both came in the summer of 1943. The first was on 14th June 1943, commonly known as the butterfly bomb raid, in which 99 people were killed. It later became clear it was a very early experiment by the Luftwaffe in the use of that type of bomb. My dad remembers that night clearly. He and a few friends went out after the raid to look for shrapnel etc not realising that the Germans had dropped this new type of incendiary device. In the few hours they were out around Convamore Road, they heard 3 explosions very close, one of which he said killed the local Air Raid Warden who didn’t realise what it was and kicked the butterfly bomb! One lesson learnt!

    The second came a month later on 13th July 1943 and was a conventional ‘high explosive’ raid that claimed the lives of a further 64 people.

    The first true air raid was on the 29th October 1939 when a lone Heinkel flew over on what was deemed to be a reconnaissance flight. A month later, they returned, on this occasion mining the approaches to the docks of Grimsby, Immingham and Hull.

    It was on 22nd June 1940 when the first bombs fell, sticks of explosives falling in fields at Love Lane Corner and close to Cleveland Bridge at the far end of Gilbey Road. Soon after that another raid was focused on the Dock area but not a single bomb struck land, with all falling harmlessly in the sea.

    It was nearly 2 months later when Grimsby suffered its first casualty. On 19th August 1940, bombs hit Peppercorn Walk, killing one of the residents, Fred North. It is from that attack that the holes appeared in the Doughty Street Bridge from the ensuing explosions and flying shrapnel. (The holes are not uniform enough in shape to be from cannon fire)

    Three weeks later another raid dropped incendiary bombs across town, but didn’t cause any serious damage. Bombs were found around Wellington Street, Park Street, Yarborough Road, Tunnard Street, Rialto Avenue and Cromwell Road as well as Scartho and Cleethorpes.

    From this point on the bombings came more regularly. Another life was claimed in a raid that left houses in Heneage Road wrecked in December 1940 and, a few weeks later, two land mines fell at Great Coates.

    Five people died on 4th February 1941 when bombs hit Arlington Street and Lord Street and wrecked the town’s library (I wonder how many books survived that bombing and are still held in the Libraries now?) The next raid saw homes in Roseveare Avenue damaged and, also during February, high-explosive bombs landed on the West Marsh railway sidings.

    The worst single incident of the war so far occurred on 27th February 1941 – a day later called “Bloody Thursday” – when a single Dornier came in low over the docks area, machine-gunned the Cleethorpe Road area (bullet holes can still be seen in the wall of Strand Street School) and dropped a stick of bombs that killed 11 people and badly injured many more. A few buildings along Cleethorpe Road were completely destroyed in the attack.

    In March 1941 further raids saw fire bombs dropped on Scartho and Immingham and on Cleethorpes where homes in Bursar Street, West Street and Mill Road were all damaged.

    Somewhat surprisingly Grimsby was not attacked for another 9 months when a quick attack on the dock area caused a small amount of damage.

    The death toll mounted again when 13 people died on 13th April 1942, after an attack left homes in Weelsby Road, King Edward Street, Albert Street and Hope Street damaged or destroyed. A further 38 were injured in the raid.

    During another raid in June more people died when a single raider scattered bombs in the Sussex Recreation Ground area in Cleethorpes.

    As previously mentioned at the start of this piece of rubbish, the main damage to the area came in June and July 1943 during the two major raids of the war on the towns. Hundreds of buildings across the area were destroyed or badly damaged. Thousands saw their homes damaged or destroyed by the butterfly bombs, any of which could go off at the slightest touch, or the high explosives bombs dropped by the raiders. What needs to be remembered though, is that on those two terrible night attacks, 163 of the 196 local deaths occurred.

    After that July raid there was no further major raids on the area but just 9 weeks before the end of the war on 4th March 1945, a single aircraft flew low over Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Humberston, spraying houses, shops and streets with cannon fire. One person was killed and another four were hurt.

    That was the final German air raid on Grimsby and Cleethorpes. 196 individuals had died, ‘killed by enemy action’ as it says on their gravestones. There are a large number of those killed in the raids in Scartho Road Cemetery, but having seen them only last week, it is sad to see that there are numerous gravestones that are now unreadable due to weathering or have been broken or have fallen over. These people deserve better than to be forgotten.

    (#) Incidentally (and not a lot of people know this) that Michael Caine never ever said ‘not a lot of people know that’ It was actually Peter Sellers, doing an impression of Michael Caine, who said the immortal words, which then unbeknownst to Mr Caine became his catchphrase.

    Sorry for going on and on and on. Even i was beginning to get bored halfway through!

  108. Rod said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    tremendous stuff - a great deal of work and very much appreciated, as I’m sure it wil be by others both now and in the future.
    Brilliant !
    In appreciation,

  109. History Hunter said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    I was at Scartho Road Cemetery this week and realised that in the German Graves there are three that have the same date of death, namely 6-11-1940. Their names are August Schmitz, Edward Zahn and Georg Werder. I know Martin Bridge has mentioned Edward Zahn before, last year, but there has been no mention of the other two. I have done a bit or research and found absolutely zip…nada….nothing. Now we all know about the Danzenberger and Kosling graves, having been shot down during a raid, but I cant find anything relating to these 3. Now common sense would say that they all died together, but there is no proof.

    Any one got any ideas?

  110. Martin Bridge said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    Hello History Hunter

    I too (as you stated), have been unable to discover the circumstances which led these other Luftwaffe men; Zahn, Schmitz and Werder, to their deaths/Grimsby burials on 6 Nov 1940..

    Their same day of death MAY suggest they were crew members in the same plane, but I’ve found you can never be sure; esp. 70 years afterwards! (I’ve been researching a Do 217 crash up on Hadrian’s Wall, at ‘Steel Rigg’, Northumberland - even the contemporary March 1943, British intelligence reports differ on details.)

    Clicking onto “NE War Diaries” informs me there was a 3-plane Luftwaffe, mine-laying operation 5/6 Nov, in the Humber Estuary. (And the Humber was heavily defended.) Also, there was a raid* on Leeds on the 6th. Nov. - but relating this to 3 same-day burials, is pure conjecture..

    IF anyone can assist here with factual information, I also would be grateful! (And there are some excellent sleuths out there!)

    PS. *Sorry HH, I can’t resist it: These raiders were obviously briefed to, “Oi! - blow (more than) the bloody doors off..”

  111. Martin Bridge said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    ..and you can now call me.. ‘Mr Bridger..’

  112. Rose said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

    My brother Ernie Elford has a few things wrong (he was only two weeks old so his memory was not that good!).The houses bombed were 155 and 157 Ayscough Street. so the archives were wrong. Also it was the Whit weekend of 1943; I think that could have been the14th June. We were trapped in the house and the next door neighbour’s son who was on leave from the R.A.F. rescued us.

    I was the one with my coat alight and a warden grabbed me and rolled me in a rug. At the time I was a small child but I remember it vividly. When the all clear went we were given clothes far too big for us and sent to Granny’s. She never had room for the four of us so we were sent to different places including old neighbours in Ayscough Street; where we stayed for a few days before we were on the move again (pillow to post comes to mind).

  113. Rod said,

    June 11, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    thank you so much for sharing your experience and memories with us and welcome to the site.
    Your experience is both horrific and enthralling and surely helps bring home the realities of life in Wartime Grimsby.
    Thanks again Rose

  114. Richie-M said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    My grandmother grew up in Thrunscoe Rd, Cleethorpes and told me about her shrapnell collection. One piece she collected from a bomb in Hardy’s Rd area (I believe was farmland at the time) had a date on - 1932! I think this goes to show how long Hitler had been planning things. Also i heard a story from her about a plane machine gunning Sherburn St. Aparently half an hour later and all the kids would have been walking home from school.
    Her farther was a fireman working in hull mostly. a wiley character who was partial to a bit of black market dealing doing whatever he could to keep the family fed and watered. When constructing the anderson shelter he tapped into a drain meaning theirs was the only one in the street that didnt get damp. He even ran an electric cable down.
    One of the funniest things my grandmother told me was one night in the blackout, the sirens went. She got out of bed to go to the shelter and her mother told her to grab the bed pan on her way as her little brother had not been well. Whilst making her way down the stairs in the pitch black she tripped, and fell knocking herself out and covering herself in the bed pan contents. When she awoke she was sat in a chair with her mother scrubbing her with a yard brush and the whole family wearing their gas masks. brilliant.

  115. Janet S said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    I am trying to find out more about the bombing of Heneage Road Methodist Church ? December 1940? The caretakers daughter was killed.
    Also about the boom defence, my father in law was the forman rigger and was killed when the hawser snapped. I have tried to get him recognised by the War Graves Commission but they will not agree although other civilians are. He was under the command of a naval officer and taught rigging to a number of naval personnel.
    Also has anyone else told you of the ‘black faces’ the members of the Home Guard who were trained as under cover fighters in the event of invasion. Their life expectancy in that event was expected to be 2 weeks.

  116. History Hunter said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Janet, would the ‘black faces’ be the British SOE (special operations executives) units (forerunners of the SAS), conducting clandestine operations under the guise of the Home Guard, in a stay-at-home guerrilla warfare role? If so, then yes I know about them.

    I havent heard of actual Home Guard members being trained as Rambo.

  117. Rich said,

    July 17, 2011 @ 12:57 am

    Just to add into the mix our house on lestrange st still has 3 bullet impact marks above the front bay window ,recieved from a lone german raider coming from the direction of the old girls grammar over the allotments and onto the docks,the previous occupants son told me this story so the ladders came out and the offending impact marks were duly found.

  118. Rod said,

    July 17, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    that’s very interesting indeed, many thanks for sharing it, much appreciated

  119. Dave said,

    July 29, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    Just another old memory passed on, My grandfather was a chief skipper on ASW trawlers (hmt Wolves, Norwich City) but a memory from my Granmother was she kept a collection of coins near the gas cooker in case of invasion when she intended to gas the children and herself. Another was her son was with the RAF, I think in the far east and when he was at home on leave they had an air raid. He decided to stay in bed as it would not be much to worry him as he had spent two years in the front line, as soon as the bombs started to fall he was knocking at the anderson shelter begging to be let in, much to the amusment of my Gran.

  120. Rod said,

    July 30, 2011 @ 5:47 am

    great comment - mnay thanks indeed - I love not only to hear these things but also to get them on record.
    Many thanks again and a warm welcome to the site
    All the best

  121. David Boon said,

    August 22, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    I wasn’t born until 1944, so I have no direct memories of WW2, except tiny snippets my mother told me.
    She said she was bombed out of Springbank (Gy) and had to move to New Haven Terrace, no meanfeat for a woman on her own with 3 children!
    She said she was terrified of doodle bugs (spelling?) and refused to go in a shelter, mainly because of a certain male… can guess why. Before joining the army my father was a bricklayer and he maintained the safest place was under the staircase, being very solidly built - so thats what we did!
    I just wish I’d asked more questions, but they had both died by the time I was 24 so I hadn’t actually asked them very little. Nice finding this site, thanks Rod.

  122. Rod said,

    August 23, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    many thanks for sharing that David, it is appreciated and greta to get it on record - welcome to the site and I hope you’ll return
    All the best

  123. Chris Keyworth said,

    August 23, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

    Under the Stairs is indeed the strongest place in any house, there was some experiments done last year publicised on TV where a veriaty of explosives and bombs where tested on a row of houses infact a full street, i think it was called Blitz Street on C4 with Tony Robinson they tottaly destroyed the street and the only things left standing was the staircases and a bottle of milk..

  124. Rich said,

    August 26, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    Rod,just another snippet which is war related as young teenagers we used to play alot on the upper taylors avenue area which as late as the late 60″s-early70″s had virtually no houses on it,just a couple of derelict farms and outbuildings,there used to be a large deep ditch which ran down the edge of the field on which lindsey school now resides with a large derelict barn adjacent to taylors avenue,while out exploring the area(something which i doubt 13 year olds do much nowadays)we stumbled across what appeared to be some buff coloured waxed linen protruding from the side of the ditch,on pulling at the cloth it came away and wrapped up inside was a german paratroopers helmet,my friend geoff,paul and rich taylor im sure still possess this trophy one can only wonder aat the story behind it….a further snippet relating to the zeppelin bombing on the chapel in alexandra road in ww1,my grandmother who was 14 at the time often told me that people had reported seeing a flashing light directed up into the sky moments before the bombing……thanks for your time.

  125. Rod said,

    August 26, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    absolutely fabulous - this is just the sort of stuff I love, really is.
    Thank you so much for not only taking the time to share it but also for getting it on record
    Very best wishes

  126. option911 said,

    August 28, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    Rod, some brilliant information again; especially History Hunter’s article on the raids. I read this to my Parents, who grew up in Montague Street. They remember the Dornier raid as they recalled the aircraft shooting the area near Barcroft Street School. They also mentioned the landmine dropping on the Strand Cinema in Cleethorpes Road. This was located on the site occupied by flats, opposite Ron Ramsdens. They told me of the huge blast and the row of houses on the Grimsby Road side of Montague Street surviving the blast fairly unscathed. The houses on the opposite side of Montague Street (railway side) had windows blown in and a large number of cinema seats deposited on and through the roofs of the houses. Not sure when the Strand was blown up as it is not mentioned in HH’s article.

  127. History Hunter said,

    August 29, 2011 @ 12:40 am

    Janet S, with regards your contact with the CWGC and their refusal to accept your father-in-laws death was war-related you could always contact a fantastic website who try to prove the worth of those who have been forgotten.

    The website is h##p://

  128. History Hunter said,

    August 29, 2011 @ 12:45 am

    option911, both the Strand Cinema and the Tivoli Cinema were bombed on the 13th July 1943, the day the high explosives were dropped all across town. 64 people lost their lives that day.

  129. minnie said,

    August 29, 2011 @ 1:01 am

    I used to work in the Blue Cross building on the corner of Cleethorpe road and Kesgrave St which was 207/209 Cleethorpe road- I was told that this was built on a bomb site (so was the building that used to be Avery Scales on the opposite corner which was the mirror image of ours) Is anybody able to confirm this for me?
    I had been told about the Dornier raid - apparently the bullet marks on Whiteheads shop front are/were still visible? I was also told there was look out position on the top of the Caxton theatre which is still there?

  130. Rod said,

    August 29, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    thanks for getting that recorded here and please thank your parents as well - really is appreciated

  131. History Hunter said,

    August 29, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    From initial findings there is a distinct possibility that it would have been built on a bomb site. I am correlating all the Civilian War Dead across both towns, and the addresses in which they died, and the Blue Cross seems to be on the line of bombing. So far I have deaths along the virtual line from Frankland Place (off Brereton Avenue nr Lestrange St) across Brereton Ave, Sidney Street, the Strand Cinema, Cleethorpe Road and Bath Street. We also know of other bombings on that raid over the West Marsh so the line can be imagined even further across town.

  132. pikey pete said,

    September 8, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

    ainslie street park was once a cemetry and during the war it was out of bounds for a period due to been littered with butterfly bombs. .my mother lived in wintrigham road and she was out in the street when a german plane came over head . she recalls it was that low she saw the bomber crew in the plane looking down she ran into the alley and dropped her favorite bike which was never found later.The yanks were stationed in gy and they went to the gaiety mecca in wintrigham rd some houses were commisioned by the yanks for living quaters. . after the war 1946 time my mother rememembers visiting a friend whose home was used by americans and the celler was full of box after box of candles which they had left behind .. this find was great because dont forget rationing was stil limpossed to 1953 the whole street got candles by the box load from legsby ave to ainslie street

  133. Stuart Renfrew said,

    September 25, 2011 @ 1:38 am


    Just found your site. Very interesting. My grandfather was in bomb disposal during the war and I have been doing some research into his activities. He was awarded the George Medal for his actions during the Grimsby butterfly bomb raid in 1943. The stories recounted here have added a good bit of colour to the information I have gathered so far.
    Here is an excerpt from the entry in the London Gazette relating to it:

    Posted in the London Gazette on the 19th November 1943.Awarded for actions at Grimsby and Cleethorpes, Linconshire between 14th and 22nd June 1943.On the 16th June L/Sgt Renfrew went to the small yard at the rear of the Salvation Army Hall, to investigate an S.D.2 (Butterfly Bomb). He found a pile of sandbags, the ARP wardens had misunderstood instructions and covered it with sandbags. He removed the top layer and cut through the lower ones, so as not to disturb the device, till he could view it. A charge was placed upon it and detonated, the only damage, a small window broken.On the 19th he defuzed a bomb, which he thought had failed to arm itself as he was working he heard it arm,. He was fortunate that he was able to remove the fuze and throw it away. Luckly the gaine made of bakelite was broken and stayed in the bomb, minimising the explosion. However he did suffer a few pieces of copper embedded in his hand.The 21st saw him dealing with a bomb insecurely balanced on a bed at 27 Campden Road, however he managed to move the furniture and destroyed the SD2 by a controlled explosion.

  134. Rod said,

    September 25, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    thanks for taking the time to leave the comment - really is appreciated and welcome to the site.

    “Decorations Awarded to Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Personnel”
    L/Sgt J B RENFREW - George Medal

    Absolutely tremendous Stuart !
    Kind rgeards

  135. Martin Bridge said,

    September 26, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    Hello again Rod, History Hunter, etc

    ‘THE AMERICAN RED CROSS SERVICE CLUB’: (NOT the one in the Old Market Place!)

    I am moving towards closure on this.. see several debates, approx May 7-17 by various amateur sleuths, inc. Lynne Connell & Spencer. Hi everyone:

    Today, I was looking at Ron Parker’s “Goxhill Airfield in Memories & Photos” (NB. an excellent piece of work by Ron.) Lo & behold, on P 93, there’s a close-up photo by this Red Cross Services door, (titled “Mrs Jackson, centre”) which exactly matches my earlier, bigger photograph! It shows the white front entrance + Greek pillars .. AND 2 clear plate(s) ‘Number 17′, on the door!

    I suspect this is ‘Number SEVENTEEN Bargate’, (not no. 11*) and is approx opposite Pelham Road. I hope to be down in Grimsby later this week, so I am going to have a snoop of number 17, armed with my photos. (*I wonder if the club also occupied a few adjacent houses, Spencer?)

    I think earlier contributors to this debate are correct. This was the US Forces designated service club for “Jim Crow”; something they don’t want to talk about, 70 years on! The US forces ‘whites only’ club, being the one in the Old Market Place.

    NB. Page 89 of Ron’s book also shows a American MP standing at this location (?) - judging by the townhouses in the background. Their low front walls looks the same in brick height & design to my main photograph - taken on its first anniversary, 13 Dec 1943.

    Best wishes

    Martin Bridge

  136. Rod said,

    September 26, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    tremendous stuff and very interesting indeed - I look forward to hearing more and if anybody out knows anything related to the above or his any photos etc - please do let us know

  137. History Hunter said,

    September 26, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    Number 17 has fairly plain pillars outside its front door, but number 19 has what look like greek style pillars.

    Im wondering about the numbering of the houses though as if you look along the terrace, then the current number 17 should actually be number 15, as its the 8th house along. Therefore that would make the current number 19 actually number 17, fitting in with the greek pillars etc. Incidentally the first house in the terrace has windows in the side of the building so is the original first house. I havent checked what number the first house is, i suppose it would have been the obvious thing to do, but alas im a doofus!

  138. History Hunter said,

    September 27, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

    Went past today and can confirm that the first house in the terrace is number 3. There used to be a large detached building, St James House, standing closer to the junction, which would have been Number 1, Bargate.

  139. Martin Bridge said,

    October 1, 2011 @ 11:16 am


    Hello everyone, esp Rod, Lynne C, Spencer & esp. ‘History Hunter’:

    I made good on my promise. I was down in Grimsby this week, armed with my A4-size, 1943 “American Red Cross Service Club” photographs - & a modern digital camera, (I can post these piccies up on your website Rod, if you can tell me how.) I also had Ron Parker’s book; “Goxhill Airfield in Memories & Photos” along with me - if you have a copy, look up page 93, “Mrs Jackson, Centre”.

    Comparing today’s look with these 2 photo(s): The portico and adjacent house details still remain - so it MUST BE “Number 17!” The 4 white, Classical-styled pillars also remain in situ, but the low wall, (where the 2 American MP’s and 2 Red Cross house-staff once sat, in my main photograph) is now rebuilt and much higher.

    I then checked out Ron Parker’s book; Page 89-photo. “Brady MP” - yup, (ooops, I’m sounding American!) this photograph’s background shows the same row of house fronts, (but probably looking towards Deansgate Bridge.) I then wondered; just HOW MANY floors/houses, did this American Service Club take up?!

    So, leaving aside the other ‘American Red Cross Service Club’ in the Old Market Place, there must have been a LOT of American MP’s on duty outside the Bargate premises. But was ‘number 17 Bargate’ an American Red Cross Service Club racially designated for ‘Jim Crow’? On this, I am still guessing..could it be “other US ranks?” Can anyone more informed, comment here?

    Finally, the 3rd. photo I have: “2 American servicemen + an American MP, relaxing in the sun at the junction of Pelham Road & Bargate” which has now changed utterly: The once low wall & hedge (complete with white, night-time curfew, horizontal visibility stripe!) is gone: it’s now a public, grassed-over, tree strip. (Q. Hmmnn, I wonder if this photo’s background; which was the very end building in Pelham Road, subsequently got hit by a bomb?)

    So, some afterlight has been shed on a part of Grimsby’s American Services past - probably emanating from ‘USAAF 345 Goxhill’: I shall contact Ron Parker on this - but, as I uncover some facts, the past throws up yet more questions!

    Cheers everyone.

  140. Rod said,

    October 1, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    fantastic stuff and very fascinating indeed - please do let us know if you uncover anything else
    All the best

  141. elizabeth said,

    October 26, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    my mother trained as a nurse during ww11 in grimsby and recalls many raids one in particular was aimed at the hospital which was supposed to be exempt as it carried a cross on the roof the german plane missed and hit the biscuit factory next door.Mother carried on working as a nurse until she retired in 1981 mum now has vascular dementia and is in a nursing home aged 90 years and has to pay £2,240 per month for her care we have just found out today that social services won’t even give her a walking frame.I feel disgusted and very angry at the way she has been treated after all she has given both financialy and emotionaly to her country.

  142. Rod said,

    October 27, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    thanks you for sharing the information on the air raid - really is appreciated though I’m very sorry to read the latter half of your comment - it’s a disgrace quite frankly !

  143. Expat Keith said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    Some fascinating stuff here, I haven’t read all 142 comments so apologies if I’m duplicating.
    My father was run over by a truck during an air raid, he was running to get to the Anderson shelter in his garden, had he made it he would be dead as it was hit by a bomb. He lived down Harold Street a few doors from the school, he tells me that the Germans thought the school was a hospital hence the bombing raid. I don’t know if this was true the but bombing definitely was.

    I remember seeing Anderson shelters in back gardens when I was a kid, they had rotted by then but were clearly identifiable. My granny told a story of bouncing bombs going down Rutland Street, she shut the door saying bugger off you sods, again not sure if true but typical of my gran. She was a minor local celeb being an 83 year old newspaper vendor in Rutland Street, she was featured in an early 70’s copy of the tellywag delivering papers in a wheelchair, granny Moyers don’t know if anyone remembers her, her son Jud also delivered papers.

    Rod just to reiterate this site is fantastic, I moved away from GY in the late 80’s having been unemployed for 8 years continously since leaving school. I still have strong ties with the town and come home regularly, it’s very much in my blood.

  144. Rod said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    what an absolutely remarkable story and thank you for sharing what happened to your father.
    The idea of being hit by a truck running for cover during an air raid is amazing enough but the fact it then saves his life . .. it’s remarkable Keith.
    Pleased you’re finding things of interst here Keith and thanks for the kind words and contributions.
    All the best

  145. Marc Lawless said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    @ken wilkinson after reading your post about a bomb being dropped in fildes street i came across this photo that if isnt the site must be very close

  146. Richie_Rich said,

    December 14, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    Last week I was in Parkinsons cafe on The Kingsway, Cleethorpes and overheard a facinating conversation by two elderly gents who were obviously around during the war, they spoke about 3 bombs that landed in Hardy’s first field (Chichester Road area nowadays I presume), they used the craters as swimming pools! They also mention a land mine on a parachute that was heading towards the buildings close to said cafe, when an updraft took it over them and it landed on the beach, one said the North West and South Staffordshires were manning the pill boxes at Cleethorpes and the navy came along to deal with it, crowds formed on the seafront whilst the police were telling people to open their doors and windows in case it went off! They also recall a bomb dropping on Sussex Rec and they went back to their house in Twyning Place and it had no doors windows or ceilings… sorry this is a bit of a ramble I’m just typing as rememeber bits.


    Richie Rich

  147. Rod said,

    December 15, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    not a ramble at all, very interesting, always keen to get stuff like this recorded
    Thanks and regards

  148. Chris B said,

    January 1, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

    I was very interested in the reference to the South Staffordshires in the comment above. My wife’s grandfather served in the South Staffordshire regiment from boyhood (He had been gassed in the Great War, I am told) and was killed in an air raid 14 June 1943 according to oral record in Grimsby. His name does not appear in the list of casualties on the Facebook site of the Grimsby and Cleethorpes History Club
    His CWGC record says that he was a member of the 70th Battalion South Staffs, who appear to be a training regiment. His remaining family know nothing of the circumstances of his death. I suppose it is possible that he was a victim of the “butterfly bombs” which were used for the first time en masse on that day. I understand that the government kept the effectiveness of these devices secret, which might explain the lack of information. He is buried in his home village of Fazeley, Staffordshire, in the graveyard of the church where I married his grand-daughter.
    Apologies if I am breaking the “family research” rules.

  149. Steve-Welwyn Garden City said,

    January 3, 2012 @ 8:48 am

    Good morning Rod,
    I have posted a request on and was advised to ask you……l did post on here regarding RAF Waltham awhile ago so you might remember me.
    My Uncle was based with 100 squadron before being lost without trace on a raid to Berlin in Sept 43, so his last confirmed place would have been the site of RAF Waltham.

    My Dad was only 13 then when he lost his only Brother. Sadly my Dad died at the beginning of December and we have decided that we would like to scatter some of his ashes at the place his brother was before leaving on that final raid. We might even pay a visit to the Jug and Bottle and maybe Coningsby or East Kirkby on the way home.
    The question we have is what sort of access if any is there to the old site, and if none how would we go about trying to gain some sort of legal entry?? We want to do this on what would have been Dads birthday in May. Hope someone can help. Thanks, Steve.

  150. History Hunter said,

    January 3, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    Steve, access is open to everybody throughout the whole site. Some of the original buildings are being utilised by local businesses and there are some newer buildings on site too but the old roads and pathways throughout are accessible. You can even walk the runways, which personally i think would be a great place to scatter the ashes.

  151. Rod said,

    January 3, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    as HH mentions access is no problem to the site, there’s a bit of industry about and private business premises etc so that’s just something to bear in mind.

  152. Jon S said,

    January 3, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

    Steve, if you don’t mind me saying so I think HH has suggested something very appropriate - one of the runways would be an extremely poignant place to scatter ashes, especially if there’s a stiff breeze. May I suggest that you consider the longest, north-south runway, just to the north or south of the intersection that is now concreted (very clear on GE)? These parts are grassed, which seems better for ashes than concrete or tarmac, and have easy public access.

    I’ve been involved in a number of ashes ‘drops’ from the air, and all were respectfully thought-provoking occasions.


  153. option911 said,

    January 3, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

    If you would like me to meet with the family, to give them some sense of direction with regard to the Airfield, give me a shout. As I am only 100yds away, it is not a problem.

  154. Steve-Welwyn Garden City said,

    January 4, 2012 @ 5:45 am

    Great news and thankyou all for your considerate replies. I will certainly be in touch nearer May for access and guidance, thankyou Option 911 for the offer of assistance.

    My Uncles Lanc was believed to have crashed into the North Sea returning from Berlin but of course we can never confirm this. So what better we thought than to scatter some of Dads ashes at his brothers last known location, and to think that we could do this on one of the old runways brings a lump to the throat.

    I had said to my late Dad that l would this year attend the opening of the long awaited BC Memorial in London to honour his brother. Now l shall be there for him too and for the 55000+ that were lost and forgotten by successive governments. Thankyou all.

  155. Rod said,

    January 4, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    very kind and generous - many thanks indeed

  156. Steve-Welwyn Garden City said,

    January 5, 2012 @ 5:48 am

    Morning Rod,
    I do have a scan of the telegram from Grimsby Aeronautics that told my Grandfather that his son was missing on Air ops.
    Would love to post it here if l knew how, sure folk would be interested, makes it all so real.

  157. Rod said,

    January 5, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    that would indeed be very interesting - if you click on my name above this comment you’ll see a page with my email address - if you send it to me I’ll get it on the site
    Thanks and regards

  158. MartinBridge said,

    January 11, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    Hello Steve-Welyn Garden City

    As stated, the longest runway at RAF Waltham is still much pretty intact and concreted still. Your Uncle’s last heavy bomber raid over Germany may well have left GB terra-firma from this point of departure..

    Also, be aware that there is an official RAF 100 Squadron memorial stone by the old Grimsby to Holton-le-Clay road, at the NE end of the village. It may serve as a focus of contemplation?


  159. Steve-Welwyn Garden City said,

    January 12, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    Thanks Martin, l have looked at the whole are on GE.
    I knew about the memorial stone and now know exactly where to find it.

    I think my Brother and l might have a dry run between now and May to see where we need to enter etc.

    I did look for the well known sign about the site on GE but cant see it, l presume its along the Cheapside road somewhere?
    Thanks for posting.


  160. option911 said,

    January 12, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

    Steve, the memorial plaque about the airfield and the debt paid by Bomber Command is along Cheapside at the entry to the airfield and technical site. Contact me through Rod if you want me to meet with a map of the airfield and its wartime layout. I only live 200yds from the entrance and have studied the history of the airfield, having recently retired from 32 years in the RAF and now active with the RAFA. There is a small RAF Waltham museum at the windmill. It has a good miniature airfield layout but you may need to pre-warn them of a planned visit as they are not always open.

  161. John A Walker said,

    January 14, 2012 @ 6:26 am

    I was born in 1938 and my family lived at 105 Newmarket St. My father dug a hole for an Anderson Shelter in the back garden. I recall the airaids - sirens and bomb blasts - vividly and I was very frightened. I once asked my father - on leave from the army - what would happen if a bomb hit the shelter. He replied “It would bounce off”! I recall going into the street some mornings and seeing unexploded devices surrounded by sandbags. My mother’s father John Beel who lived at 118 Nelson St was killed on 13/04/1942 by a bomb that destroyed the house - he foolishly had gone out to use the toilet. His wife Georgina Beel survived the blast by hiding under the staircase but for the rest of her life she was anxious and stone deaf. She came to live with us at Newmarket St.

    One of those Polish prisoners married a relative of mine probably so that he could remain in Britain - it was remarked that ‘he could not go back to Poland’ so he must have fought for the Germans and I once overheard him spreading utterly disgusting anti-Semitic views.

  162. Rod said,

    January 14, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    I really do appreciate you taking the time to share this and to get it on record, many thanks indeed for the very interesting coment and welcome to the site

  163. Martin Bridge said,

    January 14, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    Hello again, ‘Steve of Welwyn Garden City’

    Am pleased to see that you have been offered advice & assistance from other website users, should you require it before your father’s ashes are scattered in a final private farewell..

    Old RAF Waltham airfield (last time I saw it, I don’t live there now) is still 99.9% open to the public, and the 3 runways one can walk along - inc. the main one. This N>S runway may well have been the likely departure point for your uncle’s heavily-laden Lancaster to have left from, en-route to Berlin.

    A late afternoon/early evening ‘farewell’ may also prove appropriate, as the planes would have been taking off then, en-route to (night)bomb Germany in fading May daylight. Others more knowledgeable than I can better advise you here as to the probable timing.

  164. Steve- Welwyn Garden City said,

    January 14, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Thanks one and all once again, my Brother and l are definitely going to come up in the next couple of months for the dry run, which will also be moving as we did not know there was so much access. Will be in touch for some directional assistance soon.
    Best regards,

  165. option911 said,

    January 15, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    Further to the comment about the Polish fighting for the Germans. Many Polish originally faught with the Polish regiment of the Wermacht in the early part of the war. Many didn’t really have the option to refuse service, and in fairness, Germany were doing a damned good job of giving the rest of the world a bloody nose. Who would not choose to be on the winning side. I also think it is funny how the world forgets that anti-semitic views were not only restricted to Germany. It was just convenient to hide it all after the war and just place all the blame on the Germans. Back to those former Wermacht Polish, many faught with distinction on the side of the British. Some of those were members of the Carpathian lancer Regiment based in Weelsby woods. Sorry if I offend with my views, I just think as a nation, we previously had more in common with Germans; not all of them were card carrying Nazi’s. As a modern military unit, the Germans had good humour and proffesionalism. I always found them one of the easier nations to work alongside.

  166. Rod said,

    January 15, 2012 @ 6:26 am

    you make not only an excellent point but a very valid one. Sadly, the persecution of the Jews has gone on for millennia and even in a supposedly modern and enlightened world goes on to this day.

    As to the Poles themselves, nobody fought like they did during the war.
    The Polish pilots were more successful than our own and we wouldn’t have won the Battle of Britain without them, we owe the Poles a great deal.
    If anybody doubts the bravery and honour of the Polish check the post I wrote about The Battle of Wizna

    There were plenty of people here that wanted a right wing government and wanted to do a deal with Hitler as they fully supported his policies and ideas.
    The problem with extreme Right Wing policies is that they can be very appealing to ‘normal people’ at certain times in economic or cultural cycles.

    When there’s trouble, be it financial or physical Nationalism always comes to the fore - it’s a danger Europe currently faces I believe.

  167. Steph Fitzgerald said,

    February 5, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    I was born in Grimsby and lived there until a few years ago (now in Canada). All of my grandparents lived in Grimsby and Cleethorpes while I have been alive and they all served in the efforts. My mum’s mum was in he Womens RAF and her dad was a Bevin Boy (not bad at as he was over 6ft!). My dad’s mother worked in the land army around the wolds (originally from Lord Street, Grimsby) and would cycle with the other girls into town for a night out.

    Because of the black out and the dark country lanes she said they used to cycle in a long line, the girl at the front would have an illegal bike light to try and guide the others but on more than one occasion they would often find themselves fallen into a ditch! It was on one of their jaunts into Grimsby that she met a young Canadian RAF rear gunner - who was so taken with her he tracked her down to where she was working.
    When he went calling he found she had returned home to her mothers in Grimsby because of a bad tooth so he found her address and went calling in Grimsby. She was summoned from her room by her mother when he arrived, telling her “she was to have nothing to do with a dam yank!” She did in fact marry him and he became my grandfather.

    He was a very special rear gunner in the fact that he completed a full tour of duty without so much as a scratch.
    He apparently said that the only time he almost came a cropper was when they were coming in to land at Waltham (I think) on a very foggy morning and the pilot had misjudged the landing. They were so close to Waltham stump that he could have reached out and touched it as the grazed by!

    After WW2 he joined the RAF (stationed at Scampton and Bimbrook) as an aerial photographer (my dad has some excellent photographs taken by him). Unfortuneately he was killed when his plane was coming in to land - from the report it said that the weather conditions were poor visability and the plane over struck the runway. This was in 1952 - the plane crashed in a nearby farmers barn, there were no survivors.

  168. Rod said,

    February 5, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    what a fabulous comment - many thanks indeed and a warm welcome to the site.
    Thanks again for putting it on record Steph, it’s both interesting and important
    Kind regards,

  169. Chris Parrott said,

    February 6, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

    Pat Cook mentioned an incident which might be the same as one my mum remembers. During a raid one night the family was in the Anderson Shelter in the garden of their house on Clee Rd when they heard a “whump” (and definitely “not a bang as you’d think” which sounded almost right on top of them). The next day they found out 12 (?) houses on Bursar Street opposite the school had been demolished.

    Not sure of the number of houses but judging by the space occupied by the old school annex it must have been substantial. Interesting that things have moved full circle and it’s now houses again.

    One of my dad’s wartime stories concerns a cinema (the Strand?) which got bombed the week after showing Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. Probably not an entirely true story, but it would be great to imagine a German agent risking capture to send a message to OKH reporting the outrageous provocation he’d read in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph’s “what’s on” page!

  170. Rod said,

    February 7, 2012 @ 6:43 am

    thanks for that, really appreciated and a warm welcome to the site

  171. History Hunter said,

    February 7, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    The Strand Cinema was the only cinema that was destroyed during the bombings. The Great Dictator was a popular film to be screened, originally released at the back end of 1940 and was regularly re-shown as a morale booster for the visiting patrons.

    Although no patrons were killed in the bombing one of the Fire Guards died, William Herbert Wright, on the night of the High Explosives raid on the 13th July 1943.

  172. brian darley said,

    February 19, 2012 @ 6:47 am

    I remember being in an Anderson shelter in Harold st the night of the bombing along with my brothers mother and grandparents.It was dug into the ground with about 2 foot of soil on top.We heard the drones of the air craft above followed by the whistling of the bombs being dropped 3 or 5 and an allmighty explosion.the ground shook and dirt fell on us from the roof of the shelter.the bombs had landed obout 100 hundred yards away on both sides of the street .In the morning on leaving the shelter glass was every where all the windows had been blown out.In the st one end of the school was badly damaged and a row of houses gone and the same opposite on the otherside of the st,luckily the school saved many houses.As kids we played on these bomb sites once they were made safe and we had our victory bombfire there.

  173. Rod said,

    February 19, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    thank you for sharing that - it’s very valuable and very much appreciated.
    Many thanks again and welcome to the site

  174. Steve-Welwyn Garden City said,

    March 11, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

    Good evening all and Option 911 in particular who kindly offered help and assistance with info about access to the former RAF Waltham site.
    We intend to scatter some of Dads ashes at the last location of his Brother before he left on his final mission in Sept 43. One of the runways would be ideal.

    This will be at the end of May but we want to come up for a dry run on Thurs 22nd March to familiarise ourselves with access and where we will go. A visit to the museum would be nice too.

    We intend possibly visiting the RAF chapel at Lincoln cathedral on the way, it will no doubt be a long day!!.

    Option 911 please can you contact me via this site with your advice about entry etc., l am sure your help will be invaluable.



  175. option911 said,

    March 11, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

    Hello Steve,
    I will make sure that I have this free in my diary. I think it would be best if you contact Rod, I will also contact him to authorise release of my e-mail address. That way we can contact directly and I can give you my Phone number. I will contact the Waltham museum to see if they can be open for you. I will try to ensure that your day passes with pride and dignity.

  176. Rod said,

    March 11, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

    what a gentleman - wonderful, if you both drop me an email - I’ll swap over the details
    Very best wishes

  177. Martin Bridge said,

    March 11, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

    Hello, Steve of Welwyn Garden City

    You may know this website already.. but, go onto ‘aerial views of UK airports & airfields.’ Scroll down to either ‘Grimsby’ or ‘Waltham’ (it’s the same airfield) and you will be able to gaze and go close-in on the airfield today.

    If you desire the main runway, this is the one that is running parallel to the new A16 ‘Louth Road’. Its orientation is North to South.

    Best wishes on the 22nd.

    M Bridge

  178. Stewart Evison said,

    April 17, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

    Hi Martin

    Regarding the Heinkel He111 of KG4 Eindhoven that crashed on Habrough road.
    I am interested to find out the names of the 2 survivers. Has my father was at the seen of the crash and I have a dagger that my father was given from one of these survivers as he walked to his capture.

  179. History Hunter said,

    April 17, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

    The two other members of the Heinkel crew were Feldwebel (Sergeant) E. Stephan and Feldwebel H. Heisig, one of which was believed to have broken both his legs when he landed heavily having baled out quite late.

  180. Amiguru said,

    April 18, 2012 @ 7:23 pm


    Well found! :)


  181. Rod said,

    April 18, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

    HH is the man on these things, he really is !

  182. History Hunter said,

    April 19, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    Merci beaucoup Messrs.

  183. Haych87 said,

    April 20, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    This website makes for very interesting reading! I’ve enjoyed reading it.

    I wondered if anyone had any information on the old Thrunscoe building on Highgate. I’ve been in the building with a spiritualist and we have been told that the building had something to do with holding secrets from the Second World War. There was a meeting room where secret meetings took place which has direct links with Winston Churchill and there is a filing room that was run by two corporals (who were the only people allowed in there, due to the sensitive nature of the documents!) While i understand that not everybody believes in spirits etc, i am fascinated by the information that we found out and i am trying now to collect information to see what was actually in the building considering it was built with the original intention it was a school. Now the building has been changed significantly since, but does anyone remember, or know of any stories from family or friends about what was in that building?

  184. Rod said,

    April 20, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    thanks for the fascinating comment and welcome to the site - I’m afraid I know nothing of any use mysefl but if anybody out there does . . .

  185. Lucky Len! said,

    April 26, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

    The Mystery of the ARP Toilet!
    I remember quite clearly at about the age of 5, going to the beach over Suggitt’s Lane (because you couldn’t cross Fuller St Bridge at the time) with 5 or 6 older kids (including my eldest brother and I won’t name any others to protect the not really innocent!). They found a cannister, which they immediately tried to open by throwing stones at it and throwing it at the breakwaters. After about an hour, someone decided it could be of use to the ARP so back we all went, me on the trolley with the canister between my legs to stop it falling off. It was taken to the ARP shelter at the end of Combe St in Sidney Park. As there was no one at home, we put it in the newly built toilets and shut the door. Not thinking anymore about it, we all dispersed to our homes - mine being in Combe St. The next day, the police & the ARP warden called to see my mother regarding the disappearance of the ARPs toilet (which had exploded during the night!) and did her children know anything about it. It is a well known fact that the toilet blew up, but at the time no-one owned up to anything. I think enough time has gone by to say it was me and some of those others are still around, and they know who they are!! This is a fact so the mystery is cleared up once & for all.

  186. Rod said,

    April 26, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

    Lucky Len,
    what a sublime comment - absolutely wonderful - thank you so much for sharing it - it’s absolutely wonderful.
    What a story and how good to have it on record
    In appreciation

  187. Paul said,

    May 1, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    The post by Eugine regarding the holes in the bridge.
    From what I have heared, the aircraft was an Me109 that straffed a light railway loco going over the bridge, it then flew over Humberston, and straffed Tetney Road. And narrowly missed a woman infront of what was the Scout hut. A round split a tree in half in front of the hut. A spent case from the plane went through the glass roof my Uncles green house. I still have the case! which he gave to me when I was a boy.
    The Me109 (from what I have heared) was shot down in the Wash.

  188. Martin Bridge said,

    May 7, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    Hello Paul

    …Hmmnnn, dubious that story. A ME109 was a single-engined fighter. Even over Kent in 1940, it only carried enough fuel to remain operational over (southern) England for approx 30 minutes! More like a Me110? ..tho’ those ‘bullet holes’ on the bridge, look like cannon fire to me (I doubt machine-gun bullets would penetrate the heavy steel.)

  189. History Hunter said,

    May 7, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

    The holes in the old railway bridge were far to irregular in shape and were the result of the nearby bombs dropped in and around Peppercorn Walk. My dad saw the damage 2 days after it had happened on the night of the 13 July 1943, the night of the High Explosives raid. There was a gentleman by the name of Arthur Green killed at 23 Peppercorn Walk.

  190. Paul said,

    May 10, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    The Aircraft that straffed humberston was seen by my Uncle George who lived on Tetney Road, and he said it was a Me 109, he could well have mistaken the name of the aircraft, Although the Bf109G did have long range tanks and flying out of Northern Holland may have been able to make it.
    It could carry 30mm cannon or 20mm as well as 7,92 machine guns
    There are no recorded crash sites in Lincolnshire for Me109’s or Me 110’s, only HE111,Do215, Do217, Ju88.
    The attack on Grimsby by the single aircraft was early March 1945.
    The damage, “irregular ” it may be, but does look a lot like cannon fire. When you hit steel plate at dead 90deg, with a heavy calibre weapon, you will get a nice neat hole, when you put a slight angel on it , you get odd shaped holes, and tears in the steel. The steel on the bridge looks to be about 3/4 plate. A jacketed lead core 7.92 bullet traveling at 2500fps will go through steel plate like its been done with a drill press, hower the Luftwaffe used a 7.92 B-ball , which had an exploding pellet in it. And the 7.92 phospherous round had a steel armoured piercing core and so did the Spitzer all used by the Luftwaffe.
    The spent case (and clip) that my Uncle recovered from the green house was 20mm.
    The 20mm round fired by the MG151/20 was , tracer, high explosive or phospherous.
    I have seen a lot of steel plate over the last 20 years damaged by large calibre weapons on various MOD ranges, some have had perfect round holes, others very strange shaped.
    HE can make very irregular holes and so can cannon fire without exploding!

  191. Linda Grant said,

    May 12, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    My Gran stayed with her parents during the war (I temporarily forget the name of the street but my Great Uncle lived there till his death in the 90’s - the Anderson Shelter was still there in the garden which was bisected by an alley).

    She used to tell me a tale of hanging out washing in the garden accompanied by my uncle and heavily pregnant with my mum (so must have been near end of the war) and seeing a parachute and realising too late that it was a bomb and, unable to make it to the shelter, dashing indoors and hiding in ‘the gas cupboard’.

    The blast blew in all the windows in her house in Campden Cresent and my sister still has the bedroom furniture that was in the front bedroom and in a shaft of sunlight you can see the bits of glass embedded in it.

  192. Rod said,

    May 12, 2012 @ 6:13 am

    thanks for the comment, verymuch appreciated and welcome to the site
    All the best

  193. A'Tuin said,

    May 30, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    Hi Rod and all,

    My Grandparents, along with my Mother and her youngest brother, lived at No 3 Frankland Place during the war. On the night that the bomb hit they were safely in the Anderson shelter, but felt it shake quite severely during the raid. On emerging they saw that two houses had been hit and completely demolished. The rest of the houses, theirs included, were relatively unscathed apart from having had the glass blown out of every window.

    Mum drove for Blackburn’s Coaches (later to become Granville Tours) during the war, and would regularly have to take prioners of war from the camp (in Weelsby Woods I believe) out to farms in the Marshchapel area where they worked on the land. There were armed guards on the coaches but apparently the prisoners were a jovial and friendly crowd, and never any trouble. She formed the opinion that they were pleased to be here and away from the fighting.

    When not driving coaches she was an ambulance driver, part of the Civil Defence team based at Barcroft Street school. On the night of the butterfly bomb raid her crew was despatched to ferry casualties to the hospital. As the night went on they found more and more streets closed because of unexploded bombs lying in the road - quite a few of the roads were ones they had driven down only a little time before. After dropping their last casualty they tried to return to Barcroft Street only to find that the whole surrounding area was closed off due to unexplodeds in the road - again these were roads they had driven along earlier in the night after the bombs had been dropped.

    Whilst the butterfly bombs were primarily anti-personnel devices she often wondered if they would have been powerful enough to injure, or even kill, her and the other ambulance crews who were out that night and who no doubt drove very close to many of the devices. She looked on it as the luckiest night of her life.

  194. History Hunter said,

    May 30, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    Fascinating glimpse of wartime Grimsby A’tuin. Its just a shame that there has never been a town wide Q & A for everyone who was old enough to remember ANYTHING regarding Grimsby during the war.

    The 5 people who died in numbers 10 and 12 Frankland Place, Mr and Mrs Kendall and their daughter Joyce Woodward, and their neighbours, mother and daughter Ethel and Pamela Allington are all buried in Cleethorpes Cemetery. Unfortunately the latter are not named on their grave, but are buried with Mr Allington who died a few years previous.

    Within 30 years we will have lost every single one of them and the first-hand memories will be no more.

  195. Rod said,

    May 31, 2012 @ 5:48 am

    thanks for the wonderful comment and welcome to the site - recollections and information like that are just the sort of thing we love here.
    Many thanks indeed
    All the best

  196. Chloe said,

    June 6, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    Just wondering if anyone knows any history of cosgrove street?

  197. Rod said,

    June 7, 2012 @ 5:55 am

    Hi Chloe,
    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site - not off the top of my head I’m afraid

  198. Pat Cook said,

    June 8, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    Not been on the site for ages.
    Just read Chloe’s request for information on Cosgrove St, Cleethorpes.
    I lived in Cosgrove St, from 1943 until I got married in Sept 1959, so there for a lot of the war years.

    I lived at No 9 and my Grandparents Jim and Julia Stead lived at No 4. In fact various generations of the STEAD’s lived at No 4 from when the street was built in 1898, I think, until Edie Clayburn nee STEAD died about 5 years ago and the house was sold. A lone plane flew low over Cosgrove Street, straifing our house and others, there were bullet marks on the house for years, before it was rendered over.

    Prior to 1944, several houses in Cosgrove Street were used to billet soldiers, during 1943 some of the houses were being left empty, and my Grandmother at No 4 wrote to my mother to say they were to be rented to the public again. My mother and I had gone to live with my other Grandmother, my Mums Mum, at Grimoldby near Manby, Lincs, my mother came over to Cleethorpes to view the house and decided to take it. Apparently in one of the bedrooms were piles of Army Blankets, my mother made herself a winter coat out of one, and reported the rest to the Police who came and took them away.

    Only a few years ago I was to hear a story I had never heard before. One of my Cleethorpes Uncles, told me the house had previously been lived in for while, by two blonde young ladies. They used to stand on the corner of the street calling out ‘Half a Crown’ to passing soldiers and sailors. I was only 6 or 7 when we moved in, so would have been unaware if my mother ever had unknown men knocking on the door. My mother would never have rented the house if she had known this.

    I used to know just about everybody who lived in the street when I was young, Torbinia’s Engineering Factory was at the bottom end of the road, they had buildings on both sides of the road where it narrows to go through into Albert Road. At the bottom right of the road, was the back of Trinity Methodist Church, now the car park which also has an entrance in St Peter’s Avenue. My brother John played the cornet and drums in the Boys Brigade band, they would come out of the rear entrance of the church and march up Cosgrove St.

    Cosgrove St was built around the time that St Peter’s church was built, late in 1890’s.

    During the war, the building on the right hand corner of Cosgrove Street, as you enter from the Market Place was ‘Humpty Dumpty Crisps’ for a while. Also just before the first house on the right No 2, there was a staircase which took you up to a large Community Room, where Whist Drives, wedding receptions, parties etc were held.

    The corner building on the left hand side of Cosgrove St when I was young was Cleethorpes Sorting Office, for the GPO, they had out grown the tiny sorting office at the Yarra Road Post Office, and moved to Cosgrove St. My father was a Postman working from there, my mother was a Post woman for many years also working from that Building. My father had actually been born in that building, he was born 6 Jan 1913, the building was then a Telephone Exchange, my Great Grandmother, a widow, lived there as Caretaker. My Grandmother Julia Stead who lived at No 4 Cosgrove St was in labour with her first child, crossed the road to her mother, just in time for my father to be born there. My family rented No 9 Cosgrove St from 1943 until around 1990 when my father went into sheltered accommodation. My parents had paid rent on the house for all those years. The landlady once offered to sell my father the house during the 1960’s, she wanted £3,000 for the house, but my father refused her offer.

    See my post in 2010, about some of my wartime memories of the street. Also how my brother was also born in the Morrison Shelter, but the ‘all clear’ sounded in time and the midwife got my mother back upstairs to her bed. I have a VJ Day street party photograph showing many of the streets residents, and lots of children. Also another photograph taken probably on the same day.

    When the street celebrated the Queens Coronation, there was a fancy dress party for children held at a cafe in the Market Place, next door to where the Schuburt Pub is now, sorry dont think that is how you spell it, and it has probably changed it’s name again now. I made a Beefeaters Outfit for my young brother John, and steaming somebodies old black felt hat to try and make a Beefeaters hat. It couldnt have been too bad as he won first prize, a Pocket Watch.

    I attended Bursar Street School, and then Thrunscoe. In the late 1940’s or early 1950’s I along with several other youngsters in the street formed the CADS. The ‘Cosgrove Street Amateur Dramatic Society’ we used to get books of plays from the Cleethorpes Library, then at the top of Isaacs Hill, I covered large buttons with cloth, and then embroidered CADS on them. We read these plays sitting on the little walls in front of our houses, we thought we were quite good at the time, later Brenda who lived at the bottom house on the right, and I were regular goers to the Caxton Players in the Empire Theatre on Alexandra Road, neither of us were ever to appear on any stage.

    Some of my friends and playmates in the street during the 1940’s were Bargewell, Frost, Nithsdale, Clough, Jackson.

    I can remember having one birthday party during or immediately after the war, party fare such as it would be, was laid out on top of the Morrison Shelter in our front room, it took up just about all the floor space,

  199. Rod said,

    June 9, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    wonderful, simply wonderful, many thanks indeed, I love to see this sort of info recorded and preserved, really appreciate it as I’m sure Chloe will too
    Thanks and regards,

  200. Pat Cook said,

    June 9, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the comments Rod.

    I just read it through again, and it wasnt the Caxton Players, it was the Fortesque Players. Roy Dotrice led the players for many years, he was the father of Michele Dotrice, who played the long suffering wife of Michael Crawford in ‘Some Mothers do have em’ My memory needs 24 hours to get going these days.

  201. Skyman said,

    June 23, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

    Hi Good site. Does anyone know what the number of the houses or part of street that were bombed in lord street

  202. History Hunter said,

    June 24, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    Im not sure of all the house numbers that were damaged, but I know of a few people who died on Lord Street.

    Hilda Goodfellow and her daughter Sheila both died, as did Lena Rose Cran and her son Michael, the youngest victim of the raids aged 15 months, who were friends of the Goodfellow’s. They all died at 149 Lord Street on the 4th February 1941

    Evelyn Sharpe of 151 Lord Street also died on 4th February 1941

    They were the only 5 people to die on that night

    William Collins, aged 83, of 22 Lord Street died on the night of the High Explosive Raid on 13th July 1943

    William Towriss, who was a Fire Guard living in Anderson Street, died on the corner of Anderson Street and Lord Street on 13th July 1943.

  203. Olwen said,

    June 30, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    Hello, I have enjoyed reading all the anecdotes on this site, what a good idea to capture all those memories.

    Does anyone remember Chantry Lane being bombed? I have family that came over from Ireland and lodged there, apparently they moved out just in time! They remember a butchers shop opposite a barbers shop. Were these flattened or is this a family tale??

    Keep up the good work - I have added you to my favourites

    Kind regards

  204. Rod said,

    June 30, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    Hi Olwen,
    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site, off the top of my head I don’t recall and information but perhaps somebody else out there does . . .

  205. Olwen said,

    July 1, 2012 @ 4:48 pm


    Thank you for that link - I’ll bet that was the Butcher’s shop my family remember. I have printed the article off to put in my family history folder. Good bit of detective work on your part!

    Kind regards

  206. ian bradley said,

    July 22, 2012 @ 11:21 am

    Good morning
    As my late dad worked for Kettles Funeral Directors before and after the war this history interests me.He originally lived in Stirling St and later Cleethorpe Rd at the “shop”
    My main point is that this morning my uncle Gordon (smith) told me that whilst riding to work on his bike from Laceby Rd he heard a loud noise and then saw tracer bullets coming down asa german plane attacked the area.
    He said that the street lights had been put back on so i am thinking that it was the March 4 1945 attack
    To verify this, does anyone know the date that the lights were put back on in Grimsby please?
    Regards ian bradley

  207. Rod said,

    July 22, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    thanks for the great comment and welcome to the site - I don’t know myself but perhaps omebody else can help . . .

  208. Billy Jack said,

    September 12, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

    I was born in 1936 and lived in Grimsby for a short time 1941/2. My father was in the Royal Navy, building boom defences accross the Humber which i was told were anti German Sumarine nets. I lived in a street just down from the main entrance to a large park. We lived with a family whose mother was a Mary Wells? and i remember the lovely smell when she was baking bread rolls. We then moved and lived with a family whose son was Albert Frankish? who i learned to play cricket with and they called his father Kish. I went to school for a short time before returning home to Scotland. I also remember air raids when we hid under the table and then visited a house which had only the bare walls remaining and a very deep bomb crater beside it. The nearby cinema had a large Wurlitzer organ which came up into the theatre playing the music of the day. These are some of my recollections of my stay in wartime Grinsby.

  209. Amiguru said,

    September 12, 2012 @ 9:54 pm


    I would say then that you most probably lived in either Hart Street or Combe Street, Cleethorpes and the park you refer to is Sydney Park; the nearby cinema would be the ‘Ritz’ as it was then, (later the ABC Cleethorpes).

    I lived in Brereton Avenue, opposite the park, 1945-48 and I too went to the Ritz, particularly the Saturday morning matinee when the organ rose out of the pit in front of the stage. The children’s compere was a rather butch woman in tweeds called ‘Aunty Andy’! :lol:


  210. paul greenwood said,

    October 9, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

    Just been reading the posts on WW2 bombing in Grimsby, all very interesting. My grandparents used to live in Arthur street and when they had there house rewired in the seventies part of a butterfly bomb was found by the electrician working in the attic! The electrician kept the bomb- unfortunately
    Does anyone still have an anderson shelter in their garden? mine is still in good condition, we keep garden furniture in it.

  211. Rod said,

    October 9, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    fantastic story and what a result having an Anderson Shelter, there can’t be that many left in towns I’d have thought.
    I come across them in rural villages etc but not in towns generally

  212. Rob from Welwyn said,

    October 14, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    Hello Rod,
    I think my brother Steve has posted on here a few times regarding our Uncle John who was based with 100 squadron at RAF Waltham. He was the rear gunner on JA969 which was lost on the night of September 3/4th 1943. With the help of other contiributors on this site - Roger Stephenson and option911, Steve and myself have filmed various events this year including:


    This is the story of our quest to scatter our father’s ashes (he passed away on 1/12/2011 aged 81) at the final earthly connection with his brother (our Uncle), Sgt. John Hayton at the former wartime airfield of RAF Grimsby (Waltham). John was a ‘tail-end charlie’ in Lancaster Bomber JA969 when his crew and he were lost without trace on a raid to Berlin on the night of September 3rd/4th 1943…it was only John’s third mission after training. We are kindly indebted to Roger Stephenson - co-curator of the Waltham Windmill museum, partly dedicated to 100 squadron, who were based at the airfield during WW2, for opening the museum to us out of hours and thus allowed us to view such an important historic tribute to the squadron. We are also indebted to Gavin Marshall. Gavin lives 100 yards from the airfield entrance and his willingness to help us in our cause was a real highlight. Gavin is a retired fighter jet and former Red Arrows pilot and he can be seen sharing his memories and experiences in the museum. He also was our guide around the airfield and read the eulogy at the end.


    This is a short film of our visit to Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, in which we pay tribute to the crew of JA969.


    Steve and I were present at what was an emotional day in June at the private-ticketed event for the unveiling of the memorial. I’m sure Australia would have had live BBC-originated footage of the event. I have inter-mixed this with home video. What you see is footage from the salute area not seen on TV. The footage of the the Lancaster dropping poppies is my own work and not that of the BBC. Also seen is a walk around the memorial after ceremony and HRH Prince Charles and Camilla meeting veterans - again all my own footage. We visited the memorial a couple of weeks after the ceremony and filmed a further tribute and that is included here.


    Filmed at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, this is the annual Member’s day where we get to see a flying display of some wonderful old aircraft. Coningsby is the home of the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) and also the home of various Spitfires, Chipmunks, a Hurricane, a Dakota and of course the flight’s pride and joy - the Avro Lancaster PA474 - one of the only two Lancasters in the world still flying. Joining us here are Roger Stephenson from the museum at Waltham, who kindly introduced us to Ron Clark and Kathryn Reid. Ron was the pilot of the original ‘Phantom Of The Ruhr’ Lancaster, EE139, and also as you will see on the Bomber Command DVD, he also was on board PA474 and released the poppies on the day of the unveiling. Ron is well into his late 80’s. Kathryn is 94 and was a member of the WAAF. She worked in the Observation tower at Waltham and talks fondly of her memories bidding farewell to the aircrews as they board their planes waiting for the take-off on raid…….

    I have a few snippets of the above and if any of your readers would be interested to see them, then go to Facebook and search ‘Rob Hayton’. If anyone wants to add me as a friend on Facebook, just send a request through add I’ll add them. Perhaps we can share some stories??? We want to get ‘Welwyn to Waltham’ out to as many people as possible. All the DVD’s are available for viewing at the excellent Waltham Windmill museum as is a copy of Steve’s dossier, ‘Honour The Brave!’, our tribute to our Uncle John

  213. Ken Garner said,

    October 29, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    All very interesting. I was 9 when war broke out and took interest in what was happening. I lived in Chapman Street on the West Marsh and I think it was in 1942, I was going to school and there had been an air raid that night and over a few streets there were incendiary bombs stuck in the road tarmac and broken on the pavement. The ARP removed them and it was thought the resistance had joined the workers going into the factories in France and had tampered with the bombs..



  214. Ken Garner said,

    October 29, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    Hi again.
    In 1944 I was a Naval Messenger on the Grimsby Naval Base HMS Beaver. One day I was stood on the jetty near the Fleet Mail Office and was watching the frigate, Kittywake going out on patrol. There was a lot of signalling going on between the frigate and the Captains. Bridge. I asked a petty officer what was going on and he said. “There was anair raid last night and Kittywake is asking the bridge if jerry laid any mines in the roads last night and the bridge answered. “We’ll soon know, your first out this morning.


  215. James Coo aka Frinton said,

    November 28, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    I was born in 1931 as the first born of Freddie Frinton. During the war my father was away in the army. I lived with an aunt at 242 Cleethorp road which was then the Baltic boot store. We were bombed out sometime around 1942 when I moved to Southend on Sea. I remember going to my school in grimsby. It was a three story school with a flat roof which was our playground. I remember one day while we were all on the roof when two german fighters came out of the clouds and fired on the playground killing many of the children. After the war Ieft for America where I now live in Texas. My father was Freddie Frinton, star of TV, Radio and Films.

  216. Nixk M said,

    November 28, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

    James — your father is a legend. Everyone from Grimsby and Cleethorpes knew him ‘in my day’ (I’m not that old) from “Meet the Wife” etc etc — and, as I’m sure you know, he continues to be a New Year’s Eve legend in Germany, of all places.

    The school you attended was Strand Street — it’s still there, in an area which has changed quite a bit. I live in London, but my Mum’s next door neighbour in Humberston (next to Cleethorpes) remembers the day of the Cleethrorpe Road/Riby Square strafing quite vividly.

  217. Anne Freeman said,

    December 8, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    Hi..I was born in 1938 and remember, some things vividly about the war. I remember the Anderson shelters. Ours was always filled with water so we went into our neighbours’s shelter which was fitted out lovely. I remember, sometimes with horror, the sound of the bombers and the sirens. My father was a shipbuilder at Immingham so did not go to war but he was in the homeguard. I don’t remember any bombings in the area. I do remember going to my Aunty’s in Brigg and seeing the German POW’s file down in the road in crocodile fashion to fix roads and the English sheepdog which went beserk everytime he saw them.
    When the war ended, everyone at school (mine was Welholme Secondary Modern) got some chocolate and sugar - but only if their fathers had been in the armed forces. I remember the disappointment.
    The most vivid memory was just after the war when my mother got the first biscuits that I ever remembered having - a lovely wafer and cream biscuit. I tood one bite out of it and our elderly next door neighbour took it from me and ate it herself, saying “You will get fat if you eat that”. I never forgave her!!
    I now live in Western Australia but never foget Grimsby and my roots.
    What a great web site you have.

  218. Rod said,

    December 8, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

    thanks for the wonderful comment and a warm welcome to the site
    All the best

  219. Amiguru said,

    December 10, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    A newspaper report dated July 1943


    Enemy raiders made an intensive attack on Grimsby, on the east coast, last night, and dropped high explosive and incendiary bombs. A number of people were killed, and damage was done to property. Many people were treated at hospital for injuries.

    Rescue parties are still searching among debris for persons who are missing. A high explosive bomb tore a big hole in the ground beside a public shelter, in which 30 people were taking refuge. Only one person was injured. He suffered a broken arm. Buildings damaged included a church, a cinema, and several public houses, but most damage was done to houses. Scores of workers’ houses were wrecked.

    After the raiders had attacked Grimsby they bombed a neighbouring town and caused casualties. One enemy bomber was destroyed. Last night was the first time bombs had been dropped on Britain after dark since Hull was attacked on June 23.

    The London area had a brief alert early this morning, when A A guns in the Thames estuary were in action. Bombs were dropped at a place in the home counties.

    Identifiable details were not given of course as they might be of use to ‘the enemy’.


  220. David Barnett said,

    December 11, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    My grandfather (Sindy Barnett ) was a trawler man in the ww2 and it was said that his trawler ( name not known ) had shot down a German plane in the Humber or some where near there. This story was told to by my grandmother (Alice Barnett ) they lived in Weelsby st oppresit weelsby st school. Later before she died she gave me an alliminum paddle in a cloth case said to have come from
    the aircraft. The paddle has German writing it . I wonder if any body could give some light on this

  221. Amiguru said,

    December 11, 2012 @ 4:07 pm


    That’s a fascinating tale - a bit of unwritten history - ’til now!

    If you could just copy the writing onto this thread we shall soon translate it for you and that might help identify the plane; which in turn might lead to identifying the trawler. :)

    I was reading only yesterday of a German minelayer in the first world war, sowing a minefield in the Humber estuary, disguised as a Grimsby trawler :shock: Fortunately, it was captured!


  222. Amiguru said,

    December 11, 2012 @ 4:30 pm


    Copy the following into google:

    “A Do 17 shot down by Grimsby trawlers near the Humber Light Vessel.”

    This will give you ‘The Bosuns Watch’ as a top result; you’ll find the above statement as a quote from J.P. Foynes’ book, which I have.

    Its possible this is the event your grandad’s trawler was involved in; if so it was a Dornier Do 17 ‘Flying Pencil’.


  223. Amiguru said,

    December 11, 2012 @ 4:43 pm


    Another Google result gives:

    “……the Salacon was attacked a couple of times by a German aircraft which was apparently brought down by some concerted rifle fire from ‘Skipper Ward and his crew’”

    I’ll shut up for now but I’m sure others with more expertise in this area will chip in….


  224. Amiguru said,

    December 14, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    Evening Post


    Raiders showered incendiary bombs on an east coast town which the German communique says was Grimsby, and burned out many houses and also a cottage hospital. A number of people were killed by high explosives. With the moon approaching the peak, the Luftwaffe sent more raiders than usual over Britain last night. Whitsuntide holiday-makers in one town on the east coast of England. had to leave their beds and parade the streets scantily clad when raiders, attacked the area. A large number of anti-personnel bombs which failed to explode immediately necessitated the closing of several streets.


  225. Rod said,

    December 15, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    many thanks, as always

  226. Amiguru said,

    December 15, 2012 @ 8:23 pm


    7th. January 1944

    The night of yet another raid on Grimsby but when the ‘all clear’ had sounded almost miraculously, amid the rubble of several houses where bombs had fallen on Guildford Street, John Peck heard muffled children’s voices singing. He was looking for survivors and was astounded when he realised that the sounds were coming from heaps of brick rubble and earth!

    This miniature choir consisted of Mr. And Mrs. Webster’s children, Freda 9, Raymond 8, Joan 7, Ivy 5, Mavis 4 and Eileen 3. They were singing Sunday School songs they had been learning such as - ‘I Love Sunday’ and ‘I know Jesus Loves Boys and Girls’; this was supplemented by popular songs such as ‘When the War is Over How Happy We Shall Be’!

    Incredibly, they and their parents had made it to the Anderson shelter when the sirens went, and Dad was about to go back indoors for more blankets when a huge explosion blew him back into the shelter which was lifted intact by the blast, and dumped in a crater, only to be buried by falling debris! Of course they were all thrown into a heap and Mr. Webster was slightly hurt. When they groped their way to where the exit should have been they realised their dilemma - buried alive.

    To keep the children calm and lift their spirits, Mrs. Webster encouraged the singing; fortuitously it this that accelerated their rescue! When they got out they were to realise that their home had completely disappeared. Poignantly, as little Joan was lifted out she asked:

    Have we been dead Mummy, and are we in a new world

    I guess that made you feel, as it did me, like Mr. Peek the rescuer who said, “When we got the kiddies out, I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

    Perhaps one of those choristers will read this as they just a little older than me now. If they do I’m sure we’d all like to hear a first-hand account of what they remember.


  227. Rod said,

    December 16, 2012 @ 7:47 am

    another tremendous find, really appreciated.
    It really brings it home and makes you think about things people complain about today

  228. tez said,

    December 19, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Found this web site by chance.
    Born 1938………Lived a No 2 Freeston St ie Park St end….with mother grandma and sister
    memories……..Hiding under table during bombing when Harold St was bombed park st end on right
    playing in the bomb building swinging on ropes……..remember after a raid man on bike with megaphone
    dont pick up any coloured pencils As kids we got sticks and prodded them one of the three of us
    picked one up and took it home never went off some one collected it on a bike with a trailer with sand in the
    carrier……There was also a American billet on the corner of Freeston St and park St….large house
    Had a German flag used to wear it over my shoulders and run up and down the american stairs of that house.
    I had a metal hoop which used to make a noise on the stairs They made it square……I remember during raid
    hiding under tables the rats would be coming out of the back of the fire grates……..Hope this is of some interest
    early memories tez Just remembered another billet on the corner of Johnson st

  229. Rod said,

    December 19, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    fabulous comment, many thanks for sharing and welcome to the site
    All the best

  230. Alan Watts said,

    December 26, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    I wrote to you yesterday on my iPad so I thought today I would contact you again.
    I have very good memories of my father, James Watts, who was in the N.F.S. having to go to Sheffield and other places to put out fires. He came back black with the dirt and soot. He never said much about those fires. I have a document of commendation given by the Grimsby Council for his work in boarding a ship and trying to save it and the crew.
    I remember being in our Anderson Shelter and my brother, Ken, was home on leave. Ken used to play the bongo and on this moonlit night he played it outside the shelter whilst we were inside after the alarm had gone. Suddenly a German Aircraft flew over the backs of our terrace houses and started machine gunning. Ken threw his instrument in and he followed it. His only remark was ‘well it wasn’t that bad’, meaning his playing.
    I also remember my father being very angry when a man who had been bed ridden since the 14-18 war because he has been gassed, was killed by a German Aircraft that machine gunned the man’s front room which was were his bed was and killed him.
    My three brothers all went into the Forces. Two into the Navy and one the Army. Being only 6 when the War broke out I was left at home with my parents.
    There were several occasions when my father would wake me when the Alarm went and I would get dressed and then get undressed and back to bed - being used to me doing that he would come back and grab me to take me to the Shelter whilst he went to the Fire Station.
    The War took its vengeance because father died in November 1945 and mother February 1946.

  231. Rod said,

    December 26, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

    thanks for the wonderful comment and a warm welcome to the site.
    All the best

  232. Elaine said,

    January 31, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    I would like to add anecdotes from my family, now since deceased. My uncle had returned home from sea and had just got into bed when the air-raid sounded. After my gran told him to move he replied “if I’m going to be bombed it might as well be in my own bed.” He then slept through the air-raid and subsequent bombing near the house in Sussex Street which I now live in.

    My mum told me that once the air-raid sounded it was her job to collect the dog on the way to the shelter. The dog knowing this would jump onto the back of the chair nearest the dog waiting to be picked up.

  233. Tony Eaton said,

    February 16, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    I was born in Grimsby in 1937 and as a young schoolboy I witnessed the later raids on the town. I distinctly recall the ‘butterfly’ raid of June 1943 and my mother hurrying her four children to the shelter near Bath St [where we lived] and my brother pointing to the sky at a German bomber clearly illuminated by its own pathfinder flares. I must have then fallen to sleep as it was school time the next time I recall, and being told to be careful not to pick up any objects of the raid, eg the butterfly bombs which were lethal. While at Strand Street school I witnessed very briefly, a fighter probably a Spitfire, chasing a German a/c at roof level its cannon flashing as it flew. I was watching from that rarety a rooftop playground of Strand Street school but they both went out of view after only a few seconds. I regularly saw aircraft flying over Grimsby but not large bomber types but more the Mosquito type. My greatest and most vivid memory was the raid of July 1943. This time we were bombed out with my mother and older sister being killed with myself, a brother and other sister surviving without scratch. I was the youngest but was the one who shouted to the ARP as to where we were in the rubble. Nine people including our next door neighbours were killed that night in Bath Street. I was first sent to the old town sanatorium with scores of other children to be cleaned up and given a bed. There I witnessed by the noise of gunfire flashes and aircraft engines another raid which I believe was aimed at Immingham. I was then sent to Brighowgate Home for three months before being evacuated to Pateley Bridge in West Yorkshire. My mother and sister are buried in Scartho Cemetery. I have researched those two raids on Grimsby and now give talks to interested groups.

  234. Rod said,

    February 16, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

    Hi Tony,
    thanks for the great comment and a warm welcome to the site

  235. alynnor said,

    February 17, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

    Re History Hunter’s comment on 30th May 2012….. I came to this site looking for information on the bombing raid of 13th July 1943, as I knew that my grandmother’s parents and sister had died in that raid. They were William and Lizzie Kendall and their daughter Joyce, who had not been married long. As I had no idea where they lived (and died) or where they are buried, you can imagine how I felt on seeing their names! Incredible …. thank you.

  236. History Hunter said,

    February 17, 2013 @ 11:37 pm

    You are very welcome alynnor.

    You, and also relatives of other civilians who were killed in WW2, may be interested to read about this.


    I know it doesnt include those buried in Cleethorpes, but unfortunately the graves are all over the place, unlike Grimsby where the majority are in three specific areas.

    I have a photograph of their grave stone if you would like a copy, and if need be I could show you the grave in person if you wanted to visit it. Let me know. (Rod, you have my permission to pass on my email address if alynnor would like to contact me)

  237. Martin Kalson said,

    April 9, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    Hello Rod

    Is it possible to obtain a copy of the German map of Grimsby referred to here and shown in part? I know that it is not commercially available but I would be happy to pay for the cost of reproduction and postage or perhaps it could be scanned and I could print it myself. Please let me know if any of this is feasible. Thanks very much.


  238. Rod said,

    April 9, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    Hi Martin,
    I’m afraid it’s not, I only have the image seen above, sorry about that
    All the best

  239. summer said,

    May 10, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

    Hello I know its a bit late but the American Red cross in ww2 in Grimsby was I believe at 17 Bargate. We owned number 17 and number 11 in the late 1980;s and there was a marble fireplace on the first floor in number 17 , infact the photo that was previously mentioned was infront of 17 before the wall was built up because of a bus stop being there. Your can clearly see the dooway with the wonderful pillars outside which we recognised immediately. Hope this helps

  240. Rod said,

    May 10, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

    that’s absolutely fantastic, really appreciated and a warm welcome to the site.
    All the best,

  241. Friendlyric said,

    June 8, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

    My Grand father Use to be a Transport police, he use to Stand on the Dock gates in Grimsby , some times Immingham dock to, He and my Grandmother and my Mother use to live in Elsanam Road, next to Dixons paper Mills that got bombed. One Night my grandfather came home with a parachute, He said it came from a plane that was shot down and crashed near Immingham dock , My grandmother used the silk to make night cloths for her daughters,(MY Mother,)

  242. Rod said,

    June 8, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

    thanks for a superb comment, really is appreciated and welcome to the site
    All the best

  243. Amiguru said,

    June 17, 2013 @ 11:59 pm


    I know that we don’t normally put hyperlinks on pages on this site, particularly commercial ones, but I think you will allow the exception in this case:


    Talk about pertinent material - apart from that we all know you love stylish footwear soooooo -
    Might you loosen the clasp on your wallet??? :shock: You’ll have to hurry though as there are only 20 hours left as I type this at midnight!

    Lots of significant information to boot.

    Herr Mann von Roxstein

  244. Rod said,

    June 18, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    what a find!
    I’ve seen the guys stand at an Antique Shop in Louth, he has some great stuff.
    They should be in Immingham Museum really

  245. History Hunter said,

    June 20, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    Rod, with regards to what Friendlyric states a few comments up, the parachute might have been the one that Walter Kosling was wearing when he baled out and was caught on the fuselage and dragged to his death?

  246. Rod said,

    June 20, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

    I wondered about that myself but wondered whether I was being wistful again, pleased you had the same thought

  247. Rod said,

    October 7, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

    I’m Jimbo Matthew.78 yrs this month from Scartho my dad was the station seargent with the Grimsby Borough Police are some memories from 1942-3.1.When the planes where coming back from Germany we would count how many spaces where in the formation as they would keep the same position’s as they went out in.2.

    One night my Mam got me out of bed to see a sight that I had never seen ever,what I saw was hundred,s of search lights there where so many although it was a pitch black night there was hardly any night sky showing. 3.My Dad took me to peaks railway tunnel to see a massive gun on a railway truck.And when it went off it was deafening.with my Dad being a Police seargent not many people would have known about it.It only did the one shell before they moved it on.4.A spitfire fighter flying alongside a flying bomb nudging it to send it out to the North Sea.

    At Scarth Primery School we where ordered out to the railing’s out side because we where told the King and Queen w!
    here passing,and as we waited bout six large black cars came pass our school,which was nice of them because they could have just passed us by keepng to the louth.Rd.It must have been near the end of the War,a Spitfire was buzzing Scartho Village.I was stood at Scartho Fork when a spitfire came down to street lamp level until it reached the fork and banked left just missing the cottages the other side of the road.which was tricky to say the least.

    I rang the Police about what I had seen and the Policeman said did you get it’s number.Which I didn’t.Damn.At our school we had a visit from two wounded soldiers from the hospital ai the bottem of springfield.Rd.known as Sanny Lane because it was a sanatarium originally.The only American Red Cross that I ever saw was in the Old Market Place Grimsby.

    The prisoner of War camp in Weelsby Woods it was claimed that that the Italian Prisoner of War where sometimes seen at the Gaity Dance Hall that was in Wintringham Rd.Grimsby I doubt if it !
    would ever cross their mind’s as being a prisoner of war was preferred
    .Well that’s all I can think of at the moment.Jimbo

  248. Rod said,

    October 7, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

    thanks for sharing these wonderful memories with us and getting them on record - a warm welcome to the site
    Thanks and regards,

  249. Michael S. Dixon said,

    December 11, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    We lived in No 14 Frankland Place Cleethorpes and when the bomb landed directly on nos 10 and 12 -killing 5 people it also severely damaged our house. We were all under the kitchen table and after the initial shock found we were OK. I can still remember the dust and the plaster, brick and cement smell and the view of the night sky as the exterior wall of the house had gone. . We were not in our own Anderson shelter as it was flooded. We could hear water leaking from somewhere and my mother thought it would be better if we moved into the neighbors Anderson shelter. This was a mistake - there was a mother and her daughter lying dead in there (Mrs Allington and Pamela) and a man sobbing hysterical. It was a beautiful clear starry night. Eventually help came and we all walked (well my sister was carried and I sat on the shoulders of a helpful neighbour) to my Grandmothers house in Warneford Road. I was eight years old at the time and now at 78 I have lots of other memories bu!
    t that particular night will be forever in my mind.

  250. Rod said,

    December 11, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    thanks for both sharing those memories and for getting them on record, much appreciated and welcome to the site

  251. David Lewis said,

    December 14, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

    I was a 7 year old in 1943 living at 49 Waltham Road, Scartho with my family, and recollect warnings at school, and the production of a diffused Butterfly bomb, after the raid.

    I remember on many occasions being awoken by my parents and carried outside to the damp below ground Anderson shelter, where we would all spend several hours until the air raid was over and the “all clear” siren sounded, returning to bed within the house in the early hours of the morning.

    Also recollect seeing the search lights combing the night sky, from my bedroom window as I laid in bed, and the red and green tracer bullets fired at enemy aircraft, “Window” was often found in the streets after raids, (strips of aluminium foil of a specific frequency length) to jam enemy Radar.

    For me as a 7 year old and my young brother it was an exciting time, rushing out to find the bombed houses the next morning, and collect shrapnel, after a night bombing raid.

    My mother would count from my bedroom window, the heavy bombers going out to bomb German targets, and then count again during their return in the early hours.

    There was also a POW camp in the woods nearby for Italian Prisoners of War, after the successful North African campaign, to which we would walk, right up to the containment wire. The short Italian prisoners, very happy to see us, wore much oversized khaki greatcoats with a yellow diamond on their sleeves. I doubt my parents would even know we did that,

    Airmen from the local airfields used to congregate during the evening outside the local “off licence” shop on Louth Road nearby, enjoying high spirits, a beer and a good laugh, asking us if we had any sisters.

    Now living in Perth Hills, Western Australia, it is but a memory.



  252. Rod said,

    December 14, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

    thank you for sharing those memories, really appreciated and welcome to the site

  253. Tom Kimberley said,

    January 21, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

    In the casualties list I found my late best friend , Peter Robinson 124 Fields Street, we where both aged 10.
    His house had a direct hit, killing his Mum, Dad & Uncle. I was later told he was alive in the rubble calling for help, they could not find him in the dark, in the morning they found him dead.
    The air raid siren did not go until after the bombs dropped , I understand it was one bomber that sneaked in. South Parade School also got bombed that night, my Dad came into my bedroom next morning & said ” No need to get up, your School as been bombed”, we did not go to school for a while, then went to the old Macaulay Street school for half a day until South Parade School was repaired

  254. Tom Kimberley said,

    January 30, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

    As far as I can see no one as mentioned the “Gas Squad” that was formed in Grimsby at the beginning of the war, they where based at the old Scartho Road infirmary . My Dad was a member, remember him telling Mum & I about mustard gas!!, how terrible. Think later when it was thought the Germans where not going to drop any gas bombs it was disbanded & Dad went in the NFS.
    I may have a photo somewhere , how do we put photo on this site?

  255. Rod said,

    January 30, 2014 @ 5:09 pm

    Hi Tom,
    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site.
    There’s no facility for visitors to add images to comments I’m afraid

  256. Andrew sadler said,

    February 6, 2014 @ 7:46 am

    Great page, REALY enjoyed some of these stories, I have lived in the United States for over twenty years now, but was born in grimsby, and lived in immingham, we moved to Germany when I was eleven,. I do recall my parents, and grand parents telling the story of when a german bomber plane was shot down over “springer field,” the story told,..and known by all the neighborhood kids was that a crew member parachuted out, and landed in the near by woods ( murder wood Forrest) is what everyone locally called it,. The story was that a local farmer shot the german while he was still in the tree,. I also remember that on the street I lived on (38 battery street) it was said that anti aircraft guns were placed in some of the front yards, and that the locals (adults) were taught how to use these guns,. I remember seeing these small metal rail road tracks in a few front yards,. It was told to me that this is how they would move the heavy guns from sheds, or into position,..not sure ho!
    w much truth there was to any of these stories, but those are the ones me and my friends grew up listening too,. Maybe this will open other avenues, in your quest for information on the bombing of grimsby,.

  257. Rod said,

    February 6, 2014 @ 7:48 am

    thanks for the great comment and welcome to the site.
    Regards from England,

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