Monday, 4 January 2016

Clydeside 13th and 14th March 1941: timetable of the attacks

To date I have posted about individual incidents.  In this post, I have used two key books to try to construct a timetable for the air-raids on Clydeside on 13th and 14th March 1941.  I plan to add more detail and also to post on individual incidents

Notes
My referencing system is to use the first letter of my source (J=Jeffrey, for example), then the page number followed by the paragraph on that page e.g. J56.1 refers to Jeffrey’s book, page 56, paragraph 1.  The three source books are as follows:
J = Jeffrey “This Time of Crisis”
M = MacPhail “The Clydebank Blitz”
C = Cromwell “Bankhead: The Story of a Primary School at War”

Plain font indicates what appear to be statements of fact.  Italics show my comments and interpretation.  Bold font shows an event where the CWGC list of civilian war dead indicates people were killed. 

Thursday 13th March 1941
19.30 British military intelligence warning sent to Glasgow/Clydebank based on direction of German air force navigational beam. (M16.2)

20.30 Yellow warning (meaning ‘possible air-raid’) at Bankhead School AFS Watch Room. (C56.4)

20.40 (estimated) Purple warning (meaning ‘probable raid, all CD staff to stand-to’) received at Bankhead (“a few minutes after” the yellow warning at 20.30). (C56.4)

20.55 (estimated) Red warning (meaning ‘sirens to be sounded’) received at Bankhead (“shortly before 9pm”). (C56.4)

21.00 Bombing starts in Liverpool (M17.2).  McPhail suggested this was a diversion but “After the Battle Volume 2” shows the Germans planned to bomb both Clydeside and Merseyside in separate attacks.

21.00 (estimate) sirens in Clydebank (M15.2) based on “9 o’clock news had just started” on radio and teacher had just dismissed evening class at 9pm).  Chief Constable was at John Browns for scheduled test at 21.20 but they went off early. (M34.2)
Planes could be heard at Dalmuir as siren ended “approaching up the river”. (J56.1)

21.05 (estimate) “Almost from the moment the sirens sounded” flares falling in Clydebank (J56.3)
Hugh Campbell kicked incendiary from lean-to where ambulance stored at Singer’s Ground (M18.1, J56.1)
Possibly: fire started at Singer’s timber store (M19.3), possibly also Yoker Distillery

21.10 sirens in Glasgow (J55.6)

21.10 McLintock at Bankhead could hear planes overhead (C56.5)

21.15 (or 21.20) parachute mine at Bankhead School, according to Cromwell using school log, police and fire records, plus McLintock.

21.20 (estimate) bomb on 11 Queen Victoria Drive (J56.5)

21.23 bomb on Beardmore’s Diesel Works (J56.5)

21.25 (estimate) Rescue party and bus ambulance leave Esk Street depot to go to Bankhead School (“in under four minutes”, J57.2)

21.30 first part of main enemy force arrived over Clydebank (M18.2) – assume he is distinguishing between pathfinders dropping incendiaries and main bombing force.

21.30 (estimate) bomb on south side of Second Avenue opposite Albert Road (M18.2 quotes police officer that it was the first) – suggests higher numbers (163, etc) on Second Avenue.  Note that J57.5 implies it was later – but could be referring to a subsequent incident.
M32.2 story of Sergeant John MacLeod of 43 Albert Road on his way to duty when bomb demolished houses on either side of him – rescued people

21.30 (estimate) bomb on 57-59 Whitecrook Road (M18.2 says some people said this was the first bomb)

21.34 first aircraft of Luftflotte 3 over area, 4 He 111 of I/KG27 (nb records of Luftflotte 2 were destroyed, so these were not necessarily the first German aircraft), to 21.50

21.35 (estimate) bomb pub on corner of Beardmore Street and Dumbarton Road, witnessed by Hugh Campbell (J56.5) – timing estimated from time taken to report incident at Beardmore’s at 21.25, and Campbell to set off

21.35 German records say anti-aircraft fire started (M45.2)

21.38 bomb on Sick Children’s Hospital, Garscadden Road (J57.1)

21.40 (estimate) 21.38 incident “followed almost immediately” by bombs in Knightswood and Drumchapel: Trinley Road, Cowdenhill Avenue, Friarscourt Avenue, Baldwin Avenue, Fereneze Crescent, Fulwood Avenue
73 Friarscourt Avenue on fire from bomb in Friars Place
21.45 (estimate) Bombs at Eastcote Avenue, corner of Crow Road and Sackville Street and in Barclay Curle Recreation Ground opposite. 
Chronology unclear – assume Jeffrey 57.1 is in order

21.45 Dalmuir telephone, electricity and water had been cut off by now (J58.6)

21.45 (estimate) William Smillie and crew helped prop up shelter on Second Avenue (J58.4)

21.48 12 JU88 of I/KG54 arrive over target, to 22.55

Jeffrey (57.2) would put Bankhead School about here if in chronological order

21.51 600 Squadron Blenheim (Denby and Guest) spotted He-111 of KGr-100 (J61.3)

21.54 12 He 111 of KGr100 arrive over target, to 22.25

21.55 bomb on Boreland Drive, Knightswood, outside 77-79 (J59.2)

Elgin Street School damaged by blast from a parachute mine, equipment useless, electricity and water cut. Supplies and staff moved to shelters, 190 treated there.  (MacPhail 27.4 cf. J62.4)

Radnor Park School, Kilbowie Road, on fire “occurred early on” (M19.4)

22.00 (estimate) Campbell’s ambulance with Beardmore casualties damaged en route by a further bomb, two injured killed by manhole cover blown through roof of ambulance by blast (J 56.5)

22.00 (estimate) Wounded being put on ambulances at Whitecrook Road when another bomb exploded in Stanford Street, fatally injuring stretcher bearer. (J64.2)
Aitchison Blair factory in Stanford Street bombed early on, could be the same incident (M18.2)

22.00 (estimate) Livingstone Street – timing: must come after Second Avenue from Smillie’s evidence (J58.3 and J58.4) MacPhail implies this was an explosion early on and links it to story of number 69 (M18.2).

22.00 raid began on Hull, lasted until 02.25 (M17.2)

22.05 9 He111 of I/KG27 arrive over target, to 22.32

22.13 5 He111 of II/KG27 arrive over the target, to 22.25

22.15 (estimate) Bomb at junction of Kilbowie Road and Montrose Street, cratering road (M21.1, see J59.3 for further detail)

22.15 parachute mine at Lime Street, Victoria Park Drive South (J60.2)

22.15 parachute mine at Blackburn Street / Craigiehall Street (J60.2)

22.15 (estimate) (aircraft in the same wave as those bombing Lime St and Blackburn St) 2 mines into Fairfield’s – one failed to explode and was made safe on the 15th – another into Stephen’s Shipyard at Linthouse, and bombs at Shieldhall Wharf and the sewage works

22.20 (estimate) 148 Earl Street / 1571 Dumbarton Road bomb (J60.6) – no specific timing given.
Also bomb on Clyde Structural Engineering Plant, South Street (J60.6)

22.20 He-111 crashed near Drumshang Farm, Dunure, shot down by Denby & Guest (see 21.51) (J61.3)

22.25 Ju-88 III/KG106 shot down off Amble (J61.3)

‘Early in the raid’ Boquhanran School hit by incendiaries (and HE?), top floor blazing so casualties from FAP moved to playground shelter (J62.4) – I have put it here because casualties must have been there when fire started, well before 00.20 when they had to move again.

22.27 12 He111 of I/KG1 arrive over target, to 23.30

22.30 (estimate) Mary Haldane had just arrived at Livingstone St in ambulance when a bomb blew it on its side.  Another ambulance nearby hit – could be Campbell’s? (M28.2).

22.30 (estimate)  Smillie got a message that 57 Livingstone Street was alight but found more extensive fire and was there until Sunday 16th fighting it (M21.2).

22.35 Main Control (in Glasgow?) receive a message from superintendent of Knightscliffe AFS depot, reporting Bankhead depot wiped out according to runner’s message and asking for all help available (J57.2).

22.37 Glasgow Fire Service HQ received first call from Clydebank asking for assistance (two more before 22.50) (J71.4)

22.42 ‘landmine’ on Govan Road between Moss Road and Burghead Road (J61.4).  Followed by bombs on King George V Dock and Shieldhall Farm

Bombs at 394 Alderman Road, Kestrel Road, Baldric Road about here, if Jeffrey records events in chronological order even when he does not report timings (J62.1).

22.47 9 He111 of II/KG55 arrive over target, to 23.40

22.49 German records say anti-aircraft fire over Clydebank ended (M45.2)

22.50 7 Ju88 of III/KG1 arrive over target, to 23.17

22.55 28 Ju88 of KG77 start to arrive, to 02.54

23.00 (estimate) At Govan Road landmine site Ann Campbell goes into wreckage to comfort trapped neighbours (J61.4).

23.00 (estimate) Following appeals from Clydebank, 32 fire appliances despatched from Kirkintilloch, Coatbridge, Motherwell and Helensburgh.  Arrival delayed by unexploded bombs and not being familiar with area. (J71.4)

23.05 (“shortly after 2300 hours”) Yorkhill: HE and incendiaries at junction of Radnor Street, Overnewton Street and Argyle Street. Miss Cook’s dairy, 13 Radnor Street, damaged. Two explosions in Kelvingrove Park, one 30 yards west of bridge at Kelvin Way. (J62.2).
Stick of bombs on Finnieston, extensively damaged Lowrie’s bonded store in Hydepark Street (J62.2).

23.15 Clydebank Control Centre sent message to County Control Centre in Dumbarton for 8 rescue parties, quickly sent (M42.3)

23.15 (estimate) Messenger Neil Leitch arrives at Partick Fire Station (122 Beith Street) to report destruction of Bankhead Depot.  Sets off for return journey to Bankhead.

23.20 Great Western Road: mine at junction of Turret Road and Blairdardie Road.  Cloberhill Public School and adjacent United Free Church suffer damage (J62.3)
Incendiaries start fire at 66 Glanderston Drive
Railway cottages at Drumchapel nearly demolished

23.27 Partick: mine and 5 bombs at Peel Road, Dumbarton Road, Hayburn Street, Sandy Road near the fire station, Crow Road (J64.3).  Messenger Neil Leitch probably fatally injured at this time, CWGC records this happened at Sandy Road.

Bomb on Langholm Street about here, assuming Jeffrey lists events in chronological order (J64.4).
Also incendiaries on Dumbarton Road and bomb on Yoker Distillery (J64.4).  Jeffrey says this started huge fire, but other accounts suggest it was earlier, I think.

23.30 12 He111 of III/KG26 arrive over target, to 23.55

23.30 Hyndland: bomb at Queens Gardens (J64.5)
Mines at Turnbury Road (J64.5) and Dudley Drive / Airlie Street (J64.5)

23.30 Kennedy Street: mine lands without exploding (J66.1)

23.30 Anon nurse arrives at Radnor Park Church Hall which was Sector E ARP post – before midnight, after casualties start getting redirected there from Boquhanran School FAP.  There were about 60 casualties, no medical care (MacPhail 29.2, cf J62.5 who says this was at 02.00)

23.30 Pedro Hanbury (602 Squadron) disobeys orders and gets in short burst at bomber (J61.3)

23.35 Glen Crescent, Yoker, partly demolished (J66.1)

23.35 Yoker, bomb on 144 Earl Street (J66.2)

23.40 (estimate) “moments later” after 23.35, parachute mine on offices at Yarrow’s, collapses onto shelter underneath trapping 200 (J66.2)

23.45 (estimate) mobile unit from Knightswood Hospital despatched to Yarrows (J66.2), arrive about 10 minutes later

23.59 bomb on Florence Street off Ballater Street (McLure and MacIntosh’s factory) (J66.6)
Bomb on Chapel Lane in Gorbals (J66.6)

00.00 mine on Nelson Street in between tram and corner of Centre Street, causing building to collapse at 90 Nelson Street onto a shelter. (J66.6)
Mine on SCWS warehouse, Morrison Street (J66.6)

Windmillcroft Quay and West Street (Wordie’s Stables) about now, assuming Jeffrey lists events in chronological order (J68.4)

00.06 Report that Logan Street / Kilbride Street bombed, MacLachlan’s Cold Storage Warehouse (J68.3)

00.10 PC Archie Walker begins rescue at Logan Street

00.10 (“just after midnight”) Pattison Street number 12 (J59.1)

00.15 (estimate) Clydebank telephones to Control Centre fail “soon after midnight” (M35.2).  Electricity supply failed as well but not clear it was at this time. (M36.2)

00.25 (estimate based on “A few minutes later” after “just after midnight”) Pattison Street 5 (J59.1)
M26.1 confirms this sequence of events but might suggest a longer gap than “a few minutes” as the survivors had to recover from the initial shock, push beams apart that blocked their escape and then get across the road – maybe 15 minutes?

00.30 (estimate) Anon nurse gets to Western with injured baby

00.30 onwards (estimate) rescue at Yarrows by Joan Anderson, May Stanley (J66.3)

00.30 (estimate) Thomas Denholm rescues two women at Morrison Street (J68.3)

00.43 Mine on Queen Margaret Road, junction with Queen Margaret Drive (J69.5)
Second mine on 84 Kelvin Drive did not explode.

01.15 Bomb on Cleveden Road.  Same aircraft dropped mine on 16 Chelmsford Drive / Leicester Avenue and bomb in Dorchester Avenue(J69.7)

01.15 (estimate) Anon nurse and medical students leave Western

01.31 second landmine on Yarrows (J66.4)

Bombs in Dumbarton, Renfrew, Paisley, Barrhead, Millerston, Riddrie, Dalmarnock but no timings (J69.3 and 69.4)

02.00 Lull in the bombing (J70.2)

02.00 Head of FAP at Boquhanran School decides to evacuate to Janetta Street School (M28.1, note J62.4 says this was at 00.20)

02.15 (estimate) Anon nurse and medical students get back to Radnor Park Church Hall

02.15 (estimate) Men from Maryhill Barracks join rescue effort at Chelmsford Drive (J70.1)

02.22 15 Ju88 of II/KG76 start to arrive over target, to 03.10

02.30 (estimate) David McLintock left Bankhead School to go home to Kelso Street (C57.4)

Two delayed action bombs exploded in Turner’s works, Clydebank (J71.2) – MacPhail says a 1000kg bomb fell here (20.2)

02.45 Dr John MacKenzie joined rescue effort at Logan Street (MacLachlan’s cold storage) (J68.7)

02.45 Clydebank Firemaster sent message to UCBS for tea and rolls for 150 men (M22.2)

02.50 4 Ju88 of III/KG1 arrive over target.

03.00 Bomb on Clydebank Library above control centre (M36.2)

03.00 (estimate) At some point after 02.00 Blawarthill and Canniesburn Hospitals were full of casualties and ambulances were diverted to Robroyston and Killearn Hospitals. (J62.4)

03.14 incendiaries on Dudley Drive (J65.1)

03.25 End of lull which began at 02.00.  Incendiaries and bombs on existing fires at Yoker Distillery, Blythswood Shipyard, Halley’s tweed factory (J70.2)

03.30 Clydebank Control Centre asked District HQ in Glasgow for 8 more rescue parties, which were sent from Stirlingshire without delay (M43.1)

04.00 By this point 65 fire engines (“major units”) from outside forces were in Clydebank (M21.3)
Problems with teams from outside Clydebank arriving at fire station on Hall Street but unable to find a senior officer to direct them. (J73.2)
Decision to concentrate on Singer’s timber yard, Rothesay Dock, Radnor Park-Kilbowie district (M21.3)
Martin Chadwick, Glasgow Firemaster, decided to concentrate on oil tanks at Dalnottar. (J72.2)

05.30 last bomb on Clydebank (M26.2)

05.35 Bomb on Glenburn Street, Maryhill dropped by a lone, low-flying aircraft (J70.2).

06.25 ‘all clear’ sounds in Clydebank (M26.2)

06.30 dawn of Friday 14th March 1941
64 serious and potentially serious fires in Glasgow under control, but fires unchecked in Clydebank (J72.5)

“By dawn” all casualties had been cleared from Radnor Park Church Hall, a mobile surgical unit had been set up in Hardgate, a large convoy of ambulances from Airdrie had arrived at Dalmuir. (J63.2)

07.00 (estimate) 19-year old girl located at 69 Livingstone Street and rescue effort begins (based on M18.2, assuming bomb exploded at 22.00 and M says she was under the rubble for 14 hours)

07.30 Man rescued from Logan Street (Maclachlan’s cold storage) (J68.7)

07.50 meeting at Water Trust Office in Clydebank, engineer James MacWilliam and foreman George Aitkenhead had been trying to maintain water pressure all night. MacWilliam found to be injured.

08.00 Sir Steven Bilsland, District Civil Defence Commissioner, arrived in Clydebank (J71.7)
Lord Rosebery, Scottish Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence also arrived, unclear if he was with Bilsland (M22.2)

08.00 Mrs Hastie from Boreland Drive gives birth to son in Stobhill Hospital (J60.1)

08.15 Luftwaffe reconnaissance plane detected over Glasgow (J74.4)

08.30 Medical students from Radnor Park Church Hall get back to Western (M31.3)

08.30 (estimate) Rosebery toured town including Rothesay Docks where there were two fires, one unattended, and decided control was lacking (M22.2).  Decision to suspend fire chief in Clydebank in the early evening when it was clear the Germans were coming back (M23.1). Note J72.2 says Bilsland replaced senior fireman in Clydebank as “one of his first actions” suggesting this was earlier.

Delayed action bomb exploded near crater in Kilbowie Road / Montrose Street as repair squads from Glasgow and Dumbarton are working. (J73.5)

10.30 (estimate) Fire engines in Clydebank running out of petrol (“mid-morning”) (J72.4))

12.00 (estimate) 19-year old girl from 69 Livingstone Street rescued – see 07.00, M says rescue took 5 hours.

12.30 (estimate) Deputy Town Clerk arrived at Board of Trade in Bothwell Street seeking petrol (“at lunchtime”) (J72.4).  Eventually gets petrol from depot at Port Dundas, possibly around 13.30.

13.00 by this time 4000 meals sent into Clydebank by van (J73.5)

14.30 some semblance of order beginning to return to Clydebank according to Jeffrey – roads, rest centres, social services (J74.4)

Afternoon: 2 tons of candles, 6,000 matches, 70,000 cigarettes, 15lbs of tobacco sent to Clydebank (J73.6)

Afternoon: decision taken to evacuate Clydebank rest centres in case of further raids – 2500 to Vale of Leven, 1000 to Helensburgh, 1000 to Kirkintilloch (M49.2)

15.30 Clydebank 23 pumps still engaged in fire-fighting (M22.2)

18.00 Bilsland warned to prepare, second night of bombing likely (M40.3)

18.20 sunset.  At Dudley Drive rescue workers stopped work for the night, despite claims a boy’s voice had been heard from the rubble.  They restart work the following morning. (J65.5)

18.20 “by night”: 11 bodies recovered from Centre Street, 9 from 101 Nelson Street, 4 from 92 Nelson Street, and 4 from the back court of 146 Nelson Street. (J67.3)

20.40 sirens sounded in Clydebank (M40.4)
One tank at Old Kilpatrick still burning (M40.2)

20.55 (estimate) first bombs exploded in Drumchapel (based on “just before 21.00”) (J74.5)
Drumchapel Post Office hit (J74.6)

21.05 (estimate) bombs on Radnor Park, Kilbowie, Dalmuir (“ten minutes later” than “just before 21.00”). Dalmuir School hit. Steamer ‘Trevarrack’ sunk in Dalmuir Basin.  (J74.5)

21.45 delayed action bomb exploded at Firdon Crescent next to Drumchapel Station (J74.6)
Mines exploded at Kaystone Road, Waldemar Road at Chaplet Avenue, and Lincoln Avenue at junction with Archerhill Road. (J74.6)

22.45 Mine destroyed tenement in Allan Street.  Also destroys Methylating Company’s spirit works causing intense blaze (J75.3)

22.50 oil tanks at Old Kilpatrick bombed again (still on fire from previous night), German observer says flames 3000 metres high (J75.2)
Ten tanks at Dalnottar and Old Kilpatrick set alight (M41.1)

23.00 (estimate) Celia McGinty’s rescue efforts in Allan Street begin.

23.30 mine exploded on number 5 berth at Denny’s Shipyard, Dumbarton, damaging two navy ships under construction. (J75.7)

23.30 (estimate) Clydebank Control Centre asked Glasgow for 18 rescue parties, which were sent (“before midnight”) (M43.1)

23.48 pair of mines on Maryhill, first in a field, second on Kilmun Street (J76.1)

00.00 Mine explodes on Dumbarton Road, ARP depot on one side and number 131 on the other (M41.4)

00.10 (estimate) two unexploded mines at Cambuslang, either side of Clydebridge Iron Works (“just after midnight”) (J77.2)

00.15 bombs on Shieldhall Wharf and Stephen’s Shipyard (“a few minutes later” than “just after midnight”) (J77.2)

Bombs on Knightswood including one in Broadlie Drive, and another unexploded in Fereneze Crescent (J77.2) – placed here based on assumed chronology in Jeffrey.

Janetta Street Wardens’ Post hit at some point after midnight (M42.1)

01.15 bombs on Lochlibo Avenue and Fulwood Avenue in Knightswood (J77.2)

00.25 100 people from Kilmun Street had gathered at tramway depot in Celtic Street (J76.3)

02.10 Observer Corps reported table clear of enemy aircraft – suggesting bombing stopped before then? (J77.3)

02.24 McLintock says raid ended (Cromwell 58.3)

03.00 five more bombers (J77.3)

04.00 mine exploded in Clyde by mouth of River Cart when tug ‘Warrior’ was towing steamer ‘Ferncourt’.  Tug had to be beached (J77.4)

06.15 ‘all clear’ sounded in Clydebank (M47.1)

Saturday 15th March
Delayed action bomb exploded further down Kilbowie Road (from Montrose Street) damaging water main (J73.4)

Afternoon: German reconnaissance flight (M47.1)

Large scale evacuation by bus: 7000 to Vale of Leven, 3000 to Coatbridge / Airdrie / Hamilton, 1500 to Paisley/Bearsden/Milngavie, 2500 elsewhere. By evening, estimated that 40,000 had left Clydebank out of 50,000 population. (M49.3)

Sunday 16th March
07.15 Mine exploded in Princes Dock seriously damaging steam lighter ‘Pibroch’ and bringing down a crane (J60.4) – said to be same aircraft as dropped mine in Princes Dock (see 16th March)

Relief for Clydebank Sanitary Commissioner (J78.6)

Fire-fighting in Clydebank still continuing (J80.1) e.g. Livingstone Street (M21.2)

Afternoon Scottish Home and Health Dept official arrives to oversee burial of the dead – found around 220 bodies laid out in church hall, school and shed at cemetery. (J80.2)

Monday 17th March
Morning: police photograph bodies of Clydebank dead (J80.4)

Afternoon: bulldozer arrived in Clydebank from Inverrary and roads being cleared (J81.2)

Royal Engineers had begun dynamiting dangerous buildings (J81.2)

17.00 mass burial at Dalnottar (J81.2)

Tuesday 18th March
Craigiehall Street: moans heard from wreckage (“five days after the raid”) (J60.3)

Wednesday 19th March
08.10 Mrs McGeachan rescued from Craigiehall Street, died in hospital same day (J60.3)

Corpses at Nelson Street starting to decompose (J67.3)

11.00 demolition squad arrive at Peel Street, 20-30 people still missing (J65.2)

18.00 (estimate) four bodies recovered from Peel Street “by the evening” (J65.2)

Thursday 20th March
Morning: bodies of Jean Spence and her parents recovered at Peel St (J65.3)

Friday 21st March
Morning: groans from ruins of 31-39 Peel St (J65.4)
13.30 Fred Clarke brought out alive (J65.4)
18.30 Fred Clarke died in hospital (Western) (J65.4)
19.15 John Cormack brought out alive (J65.4)

120 Nelson Street: two severed female feet recovered (J68.1)

Friday 28th March
Last two bodies recovered from Kilmun Street (J76.7)

April
Mr Sutherland of 101 Nelson Street reports wife and children missing; two-day search finds nothing. (J68.2)

8th: incident post at Nelson Street closes. (J68.1)

10th: Nelson Street re-opens to traffic. (J68.1)

May

Middle of month: (estimate, based on “two months later”) Final body found at Logan Street (J69.2)

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