This rather different form of bomb also troubled Whitstable.
Incendiaries were small and
dropped in clusters as John Moore explains.....
last year, I was looking at some of your photos of Harbour St. and was
reminded of a night during the war when Incendiary bombs rained down
on Whitstable. They didn’t explode. They just ‘popped’ when they
landed and then burst into flames. Every household had a ‘stirrup
pump’ to put the fires out.
We lived in Harbour Place then, (I was about 9 or
10 yrs old) and a few of them landed nearby. A
house 3 or 4 doors towards Cromwell Rd had a couple on the roof.
also passed some on our way
to the shelter in Harbour St. (between the fish shop and
the ‘duck your head sweet shop’). There was one in the
doorway of the fish and chip shop and one in the doorway of the pub.
your shot of Harbour St, the shop to the right of ‘Just shoes’
had its window blown out. I recall hearing "grown ups
talking" about the arrest of one shop owner after a transmitter
was traced to his premises.
site has stirred my memory over the years.
During the course of the war, Whitstable suffered some damage as
a result of incendiaries....
|When the sticks of incendiaries fell on Whitstable, the old
Spencelys store was hit and
afterwards had a salvage sale.
London - Formerly Whitstable
As John Moore points out, stirrup pumps were distributed
to counter the impact of the devices. In our "Military
Installations" Chapter, John Harman (Canada) identifies the
distribution point. The equipment included specially adapted buckets and
they could be collected from the changing
rooms at Westmeads recreation ground. It was here that ARP wardens operated a
Also in our "Military" chapter, Christine
Punter (New Zealand) has drawn attention to the fact that special
watches were maintained for incendiary devices. Lookouts were deployed
at the Castle.
Remarkably we can now take a look at one of the bombs.... thanks
to Mark Foreman who has one in his home in Alberta, Canada....
|I wonder if John Moore (or anyone else) would remember my Great
Grandfather, James William Parker, his wife and my Nan Gladys from the
time during the war when they lived at Harbour Cottage, right on the
harbour, where my Grandfather was the Harbour Master?
During the sixties, the footings to the house still stood, as did
the entrance to the Anderson shelter in the garden, just to the East
of the Upper Gates to the Harbour, next to the Angling Society HQ.
I have a complete (de-activated!) incendiary bomb that fell on the
Harbour into a cement powder pile, and failed to go off! This is shown
in my photo below...
Brian Smith ponders the method of delivery of incendiary
|The women of Whitstable no doubt hoped to come across a normal
parachute from which they could make some luxury undergarments
were a few much smaller parachutes found than those used by unfortunate
airmen. As far as I can recall they were about 3 feet wide and were used, so some
said, to drop incendiary bombs.
Why would incendiaries be dropped
by parachute? Perhaps those parachutes were used to drop target
illuminating flares although in either case there was no sign of burning
on any such parachutes I saw.
They were an excellent ‘trade’ at
school although I was never lucky enough to find one.
If anyone can elaborate, we would love to hear from you.
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