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CASUALTIES OF THE BOMBING OF BRIXHAM

 

NOTE:

The Kingswear side of the River Dart lay within the authority of Brixham Urban District Council at the time, so  this listing includes a number of names from the bombing incident at Philip & Son's Noss Works which also appear in the casualty list for the bombing of Dartmouth.

 

Since we first published this section, the following information has come to our notice from Bruce Peeke who was present in Brixham at the time of the raids. We are very grateful to Bruce for adding to the information available on this site and ask you to read it before you continue.

 

"On this Casualty page, relating to the bombing of Brixham, the London City is referred to as a coal barge but a more correct description would be ‘coaling hulk’ as she was a real ship; in fact I have always understood that she was a former German ship that had been seized after the first World War.  She was indeed sunk three times but was not raised after the third time and broken up much later after the war. 

 

I have compared the list of air raids with one I made some years ago from copies of the ARP Incident Book held in Torquay Library.  One thing I noted was that the sinkings of the London City took place on 13 July 1940 at 1330, 27 Feb 1941 at 13.25 and 31 March 1942 at 1340.  That last raid is not in your list, but neither is another recorded as being on the harbour at 2050 on 11 May 1941 for which the incident book records 6 HE bombs from 8 aircraft, a trawler sunk, 2 personal injuries and 2 properties damaged.

A similar raid (in which I have a personal interest) which is not in the list is one recorded on 14 May 1942 at 1850 on the harbour and quay by 4 aircraft dropping 4 HE bombs (3 in the  harbour and 1 on the quay); a small trawler was sunk, there was 1 personal injury and 15 houses damaged.   I lived with my mother and sister in one of those properties (my father was in the RAF) and we had to be evacuated for a while until windows and ceilings were replaced and furnishings dried out from the sea water that had been blown in.  It was the bomb that blew the trawler apart that caused our damage and I later found a beam from it in our back garden, it having travelled completely over our roof.  

Another unlisted raid I copied was on 18 June 1942 at 0600 on Furzeham and I have the last 3 entries in your list as being 21 January 1943 and 29 May 1944.  As stated on the web site, there were no warnings of the tip and run raids, some of which are recorded as involving machine gun and cannon fire as well as the bombs."

Bruce Peeke

 

AIR RAIDS ON BRIXHAM

Raids listed by Bruce Peeke above have not been included.

The recording of air raids was done by a number of organisations

and in the chaos of war, some were far too busy on the ground

to worry about paperwork so the list below is not yet complete.

 

Reading various sources in 2008, one gets the impression that nothing much happened to Brixham by way of bombing. The official Civil Defence Records paint a rather different picture: raids on nearby places such as Churston are not included in the list below - these are solely the  dates of raids on Brixham itself:

15 July 1940

20 August 1940

27 November 1940

30 December 1940

17 January 1941

27 February 1941

12 March 1941

11 May 1941

19 May 1941*

11 June 1941 

27 March 1942

6 May 1942*

12 July 1942

29 Jul 1942

21 January 1942 - 1st raid

21 January 1942 - 2nd raid

29 May 1943

Perhaps the fact that only the two raids marked * produced fatalities has contributed to the legend that Brixham got off fairly lightly compared to other places in Devon but it was a nerve racking time for the inhabitants because these were mostly "tip and run" raids - i.e. the planes skimmed in over Berry Head so suddenly that there was no time for an air raid warning to sound. The BBC and Devon County Library Services have both collected a number of personal accounts of wartime experiences and we are grateful to Plymouth Library Services for this extract by a former Brixham resident whose name is not given:

 

"We went outside to sit on the wall above Brixham Harbour. We heard the planes but there was no air raid warning so we thought they were British. No such luck! As we watched, we saw the bombs leave the plane and we all dashed indoors. As many as possible squeezed into the cupboard under the stairs - I couldn't as I suffered from asthma. We had all our windows out and a ceiling came down as well as damage to our roof. There was a new bungalow a couple of streets away and it was demolished."

Courtesy of Plymouth Library Services

 

Garnet Tucker  (see below) was killed working on his fishing boat out in the harbour. A house in Fore Street was struck by a time bomb and 14 year-old Geoffrey Hill (see below), whose first day at work it was, was trying to get to the Preston family who lived there when the bomb exploded and killed him. There are some references to time bombs falling on Middle Street as well but if there were fatalities, the names of those have not yet been discovered. A coal barge named London City was "sunk" at her moorings no fewer than three times, and was salvaged on each occasion.

 

FREDERICK  ADAMS
Civilian Frederick Clarence Adams. of 58 Victoria Road, Dartmouth. Son of Mr. W. H. Adams and husband of Kate Adams. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works at Dartmouth aged 22.
DAVID BOTT
Civilian David Bott.of 25 Crowther's Hill, Dartmouth.  Son of George Bott, of Ranscombe Road, and of the late Elizabeth Ann Bott; husband of Vera Bott. Died at Philip's Noss Works at Dartmouth aged 28.
JACK BUSTIN
Civilian Jack George Bustin of 25 Hill Park Terrace, Paignton . Husband of Gladys Bustin. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works at Dartmouth aged 52.
ROSIE CRANG
Civilian Rosie Annie Crang.of 4 Greens Court, Higher Street, Dartmouth.  Daughter of William and Lily Crang, Injured at Noss Works at Dartmouth 18 September 1942; died same day at Brixham Hospital aged 20.
THOMAS FARR
Civilian  Thomas Farr of 3 Britannia Avenue, Dartmouth.Son of the late John Farr. Born in Dartmouth in the June Quarter of 1884. Died  18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works at Dartmouth aged 58.
RICHARD FRANKLIN
Civilian Air Raid Warden Richard Franklin. of 183 Victoria Road, Dartmouth. Son of Lieut. G. and Mrs. Franklin, of Eversrey, Whitefield Road, New Milton, Hampshire; husband of Jennie Franklin. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works, Dartmouth, aged 26.
GEOFFREY HILL
Civilian Firewatcher (child) and member of St. John's Ambulance Brigade, Geoffrey Western Hill of Devonia, Mount Rd., Brixham. Son of Councillor William E. Hill and Edith Marjorie Hill, of Devonia, Mount Road, Brixham. Born in Brixham in 1927. Died 19 May 1941 at 60 Fore Street, Brixham aged 14. This was his first day at work.
LIONEL HOLDEN
Civilian Lionel Edgar Holden of 9 Ferndale Villas, Dartmouth. Husband of Lilian Holden. Born in the June Quarter of 1898. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works at Dartmouth aged 44.
GEORGE  LITTLE
Civilian Fireman in the N.F.S George Herbert Frank Little of 1 Agra Villas, Lower Road, Kingswear. Son of Frank Arthur Little and Eleanor Ruth Little. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works, Dartmouth, aged 17.
HENRY LUCKHURST
Civilian Henry James Luckhurst of 3 Above Town, Dartmouth. Husband of Edith Emily Luckhurst ( née Swan) of Faversham. Born at Hollingbourne in the June Quarter of 1872. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works, Dartmouth  aged 70.
JOHN MARTIN
Civilian John Martin of Preston Villa, Milton Street, Dartmouth. Husband of Edith Alice Martin. Born at Newton Abbot in the September Quarter of 1894. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works, Dartmouth, aged 48.
ERNEST POOLE
Civilian Ernest Poole of 15 Brown's Hill, Dartmouth.  Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Poole, of Brimscombe, Stroud, Gloucestershire and husband of Edith S. F. Poole. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works, Dartmouth, aged 51.
SYDNEY POPE
Civilian member of the Home Guard Sydney James Alfred Pope of 41 Britannia Avenue, Dartmouth. Son of Alfred William and Emily Selina Pope. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works, Dartmouth, aged 17.
ELLEN PRESTON
Civilian Ellen Goad Preston (née Ellis) of 60 Fore Street, Brixham. Wife of the late Frank Preston and mother of Ellen and Frank (see below). Born in Brixham in the September Quarter of 1866. Died at 60 Fore Street 19 May 1941 aged 74. 
ELLEN PRESTON
Civilian Ellen Stella Preston ("Stella") of 60 Fore Street, Brixham. Daughter of Frank and Ellen Goad Preston. Born in Brixham in 1891. Died at 60 Fore Street 19 May 1941 aged 50.
FRANK PRESTON
Civilian Frank Preston of 60 Fore Street, Brixham. Son of Frank and Ellen Goad Preston. Born in Brixham in the September Quarter of 1893. Died at 60 Fore Street, Brixham aged 48. 
EWART EDGAR TRANT
Civilian Ewart Edgar Trant of Yew Tree Cottage, Manor St., Dittisham. Son of John and Hilda Trant (née Hutchings); husband of May Trant. Born in Brixham in the September Quarter of 1915. Died at Philip's Noss Works 18 September 1915 aged 27.
NELLA EILEEN TREBILCOCK
Civilian of Lanarth, Indian Queens, Fraddon, Cornwall. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Osborne, of the same address; wife of William Cyril Trebilcock (H.M. Forces). Born in Cornwall in the September Quarter of 1914.  Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works aged 28.
GARNET TUCKER
Civilian fisherman Garnet Tucker of 9 Belle View Terrace, Ranscombe Road, Brixham. Son of John and Sarah Tucker of Brixham; husband of Polly Tucker (née Couch). Born in Brixham in 1880.  Died at Outer Harbour 6 May 1942 aged 62. Killed on his fishing boat near the breakwater.
FREDERICK THOMAS SKINNER VICKERY
Civilian of 5 Belgravia Terrace, Fore Street, Kingswear. Son of Mrs. F. K. Vickery (née Reed), of 3 Curwoods Buildings, West Exe South, Tiverton; husband of Brenda W. Vickery. Born in Tiverton in the June Quarter of 1914. Died 18 September 1942 at Philip's Noss Works aged 28.

 

 
 
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