- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Alfred Taylor
- Location of story:
- Portsmouth Dockyard
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 March 2004
On the 24th August 1940 at 2pm, Portsmouth experienced its heaviest daylight air raid of the War. More than 500 German bombers dropped many tons of high explosive bombs on the City. A few were incendiary bombs, more of these were used later in the night-time raids.
The bombers were mainly Heinkel 111's and Dornier heavy bombers.
The Dockyard area was of course the primary target, but quite a number of stray bombs landed on homes in the City; one in Kingston Crescent leveling a large public house.
One of the high explosive bombs dropped on a place called the Block Mills in the Naval Dockyard. This establishment was famous in Victorian times, for making wooden pulley blocks for sailing ships of the Royal Navy.
One bomb penetrated a metal ventilator plate and exploded in the catacoombs underneath the building where many people were sheltering from the raid. Twenty eight people were killed, including my father, and four of his chargemen. The following day I retrieved his bicycle from the site, it did not have a scratch on it!
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.