Bomb disposal in the north of England

Bomb disposal crew with defused bomb on the 14th October 1941

Even in a quiet week in the bombing of Britain some people were kept busy:

The bomb disposal group lived an exhausing, hand-to-mouth existence, eating and sleeping whenever and wherever they could, even for instance in police cells, and often four hours’ sleep was as much as they got. The digging and hoisting equipment they had was often not enough, and they had to borrow from local contractors.

Once they had dug down to the bomb they had to find out how it worked – each one had to be treated differently, and you needed a clear mind. If you were afraid there was a risk of making a mistake.

There were many different bomb types, for instance, they started coming down by parachute, hanging from trees, and even church spires, and because they weighed over a ton, they were quite a problem to get down. The butterfly bombs were the most dangerous, being so sensitive that they could not be disarmed, and had to be blown up.

Normally the Bomb Disposal Officer did the final disarming, but there were so many bombs in the North East that Sgt. Lawton and the officer had to share the responsibility between them.

Read more of this story on BBC People’s War.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Earlier in the war:

Later in the war: