18 October 1940.

 

Sapper W Gibson --- Sergeant M Gibson GC --- Sapper R Gilchrest ---

 

Lieutenant A F Campbell ---  GC Sapper J Plumb 

 

Sapper R W Skelton --- Driver E F G Taylor.

 


 

Incident details.

 

On the 14th October 1940 at Chapel Street, Coventry, 2nd Lieutenant A.F. Campbell, Sergeant M. Gibson, Sappers W. Gibson, R. Gilchrest, A. Plumb, R.W. Skelton and Driver E.F.G. Taylor were tasked to deal with a 250 kg unexploded bomb.

 

After nearly four days it was uncovered, it was fitted with standard fuses, these were so badly damaged that they could not be removed. The electrical charge was thought to be dissipated by now, however Campbell applied a discharge tool just in case.

 

On the 18th October 1940, 2nd Lieutenant Campbell believed the bomb was inert and could be moved. It was loaded onto a lorry and taken to a safe open space outside Coventry, possibly Whitley Common. As it was being unloaded it exploded killing all.

 

Both 2nd Lieutenant A.F. Campbell and Sergeant M. Gibson were awarded posthumous George Cross’s for Bomb Disposal tasks.

Details taken from Bomb Disposal, British Casualties of WWII. Chris Ranstead.

 


 

135004 2nd Lieutenant

 

Alexander Fraser Campbell.

 

George Cross.

 

9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo taken by Colin Norburn.

 

Son of Archibald and Mary Campbell of Dalmellington, Ayrshire: Husband of Agnes

 

Sharp Campbell of Dalmellington. M.I.Mar.E.

 

Died on the 18th October 1940. Aged 42.

 

Buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry.

 

Square 348 Collective Grave 46.

 

George Cross Citation.

 

The following details have been taken from the London Gazette, 22nd January 1941.

 

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to 2nd Lieutenant A.F. Campbell, R.E. (since deceased). 2nd Lieutenant Campbell was called upon to deal with an unexploded bomb in the Triumph Engineering Company’s works in Coventry. The bomb had halted war production in two factories involving over 1,000 workers and evacuation of local residents. He found it to be fitted with a delayed action fuse which was impossible to remove. He decided to remove the bomb to a safe place. This was done with by lorry with 2nd Lieutenant Campbell lying alongside the bomb to enable him to hear if it started ticking so he could warn the driver to escape. Having got it to a safe place he successfully disposed of it.

Unfortunately, he was killed the next day whilst dealing with another unexploded bomb.

 


 

1890139 Sapper

 

William Gibson.

 

9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo taken by Colin Norburn.

 

Son of William and Eleanor Gibson of Bumage, Lancashire.

 

Died on the 18th October 1940. Aged 22.

 

Buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry.

 

Square 348 Collective Grave 46.

 

 


 

 

4445289 Sergeant

 

Michael Gibson.

 

George Cross.

 

9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo taken by Colin Norburn.

 

Died on the 18th October 1940. Aged 34.

 

Buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry.

 

Square 348 Collective Grave 46.

 

George Cross Citation.

 

The following details have been taken from the London Gazette, 22nd January 1941:

 

“The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to Sgt M. Gibson, R.E. (since deceased).” Sgt Gibson supervised the excavation of a large unexploded bomb which fell upon a factory on 14th September 1940. Whilst working on this, another nearby bomb exploded. Gibson continued to work on his bomb and eventually it was uncovered. It was then that an unusual hissing noise was heard to be coming from the bomb. Gibson sent his men away and defused the bomb alone. His actions saved a dangerous situation.

Details extracted from the London Gazette, Archives on Line.

 

 


 

 

2000532 Sapper

 

Richard Gilchrest.

 

9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo taken by Colin Norburn.

 

Son of James and Annie Hilda Gilchrest of Gorton, Manchester.

 

Died on the 18th October 1940. Aged 23.

 

Buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry.

 

Square 348 Collective Grave 46.

 


 

1942443 Sapper

 

Arthur Plumb.

 

9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo by Colin Norburn.

 

Died on the 18th October 1940. Aged 25.

 

Buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry.

 

Square 348 Collective Grave 46.

 

 


 

 

2073635 Sapper

 

Ronald William Skelton.

 

9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

 

Photo by Colin Norburn.

 

Son of James and Edith Emma Skelton of Grange Town, Cardiff.

 

Died on the 18th October 1940. Aged 20.

 

Buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry.

 

Square 348 Collective Grave 46.

 


 

2126436 Lance Corporal

 

Gordon Taylor.

 

17 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Royal Engineers.

 

Photo taken by Margaret Woodridge.

 

Son of Annie Moore of Thornby-On-Tees.

 

Died on the 4th June 1942. Aged 27.

 

Buried at Thornby-On-Tees-Cemetery.

 

Plot L Row E Grave 29.