13 December 1940

 

Manor Park, London.

 

Lieutenant R James --- Captain M F Blaney --- Driver J Lauchlan --- Sapper Maycock

 

Sapper E Mclaren --- Lance Corporal D Mills --- Driver J C Pickering

 

Staff Sergeant C Roberts --- Sapper S V White

 

and an un-named Police Superintendent.

  


 

Incident details.

 

On the 13 December 1940, at 590 Romford Road, Manor Park, London.  Captain Blaney attended an unexploded bomb. The bomb was fitted with an anti disturbance fuse and a clockwork fuse. On assessing the situation Captain Blaney and Lieutenant Richard James decided to steam out the explosives and called for the steam sterilising equipment. The lorry carrying it broke down on route. At the site they had a magnetic clock-stopper and an electric stethoscope. It was thought best to fit the clock-stopper and then hoist it out. This would then be transported to Wanstead flats where it could be dealt with away from property. As they lifted it was found that the lifting strop fouled the clock-stopper. Therefore it would have to be removed till the bomb was clear of the hole. A rope was threaded through a pulley suspended from a joist in the house and members of the team pulled to lift the bomb. As it was lifted slowly it began to swing, Capt Blaney stepped forward to steady it. The bomb detonated it was positioned above the ground. Captain Blaney, Lieutenant R. James, Staff Sergeant C. Roberts, Lance Corporal D. Mills, Sappers S. White, E. McLaren, J. Maycock and Drivers J. Lauchlan, J, Pickering and a police Superintendent who was watching from across the road died. Staff Sergeant Fox had a close escape, Staff Sergeant Roberts who was on listening watch on the stethoscope at safe distance, asked to change places as he was get cramped and cold. A few minute later the bomb exploded, the clockwork fuse was not heard ticking so it is believed that the anti disturbance-fuse detonated the bomb. An eight year old local resident, Terrance Trimmer was walking home from school when it exploded, with his mother and sister. His mother was injured by shrapnel in the leg and was taken to Aldersbrook Hospital. Terrance the next day found one of the soldier’s metal buttons embedded in the Off Licence door frame. A road in the Borough of East Ham was named after him Blaney Crescent.

 

Captain Blaney was awarded the George Cross posthumously for his actions.

Details taken from Unexploded Bomb. Major A. B. Hartley. MBE. RE

 


 

141081 Lieutenant

 

Richard James.

 

Bomb Disposal

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo by Karen Watchman.

 

Son of John and Emily James of Penarth: Husband of Joan James of Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire.

 

Died on the 13th December 1940. Aged 40.

 

Buried at Penarth Cemetery.

 

Section P Grave 317.

 

 


 

 

119978 Captain

 

Michael Flood Blaney.

 

George Cross.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

 

Son of Charles and Alyce C. Blaney of Newry. B.E. National University of Ireland.

 

Died on the 13th December 1940. Aged 30.

 

Buried at Newry Old Chapel Roman Catholic Cemetery.

 

Old Ground.

 

 


 

 

2010665 Driver

 

John Lauchlan.

 

5 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

 

Died on the 13th December 1940. Aged 20.

 

Buried at Kilmarnock Cemetery.

 

Section P. Grave 68.

 

 


 

 

6078928 Sapper

 

Joseph Thomas Maycock.

 

5 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo taken by Janet McBride.

 

Died on the 13 December 1940.

 

Buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey.

 

Grave 5 E 4.

 

 


 

 

2198847 Sapper

 

Edward McLaren.

 

5 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo taken by Jim McBeth.

 

Son of Edward and Helen West McLaren: Husband of Eileen Macinally McLaren of Beechwood.

 

Died on the 13th December 1940. Aged 22.

 

Buried at Balgay Cemetery, Dundee.

 

Section G.G Grave 233.

 

 


 

 

2198703 Lance Corporal

 

Douglas Mills.

 

5 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

 

Died on the 13th December 1940. Aged 20.

 

Buried at West Bromwich Cemetery.

 

Section H. Grave 6051.

 

 


 

 

179408 Driver

 

John Charles Pickering.

 

5 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

 

Son of Laura Jane Pickering of West Kensington, London.

 

Died on the 13 December 1940. Aged 26.

 

Buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey.

 

Grave 5. E. 5.

 

 


 

 

2971038 Staff Sergeant

 

Charles Roberts.

 

1 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

 

Photo taken by Stephen Hogg. 

 

Son of George T. Roberts and Mary Roberts of Kilsyth: Husband of Janet Provan of Kilsyth.

 

Died on the 13th December 1940. Aged 36.

 

Buried at Kilysth Cemetery, Stirlingshire.

 

Extension 3 Grave 879.

 


 

2198846 Sapper

 

Stanley Victor White.

 

5 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo taken by Steve Venus.

 

Son of Albert Victor and Gertrude Alice White of Pinner.

 

Died on the 13th December 1940.

 

Buried at Harrow New Cemetery, Pinner.

 

Section G.4. Grave 18.