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Sapper James Orr

Incident Report

Hazeldene Road, Welling, Kent

  • September 24, 1940
  • Hazeldene Road, Welling, Kent



On the 24th September 1940 work started to recover a 250kg that had been dropped ten days previously. The bomb was found was found three feet under the staircase of 34 Hazeldene Road, Welling, Kent. The bomb was found to be laying nose upwards and was fitted with a clockwork delayed action fuse with an anti-handling device. One course of action available was to place sandbags around it and blow it up in situ. However, the other option which was taken was to use the new steam sterilising equipment to remove the explosive filling, this would give the section valuable experience. On the 2nd October the bomb was carefully moved to a horizontal position. By know it was thought that the electric charge held in the fuse would have drained away. A hole was then drilled in the bomb casing between the fuse pockets and steaming commenced. Lieutenant Jinks regularly checked how much explosive fill was being removed. He could visually see the explosive fill around the bomb that had been removed by steaming and used a dipstick to check what was remaining inside the casing. Once confident enough explosive fill had been removed he had the steaming equipment removed and allowed the bomb casing to cool down. He went and got some of the section to help remove the bomb casing as they returned to the house there was an explosion. Lieutenant Jinks, Sappers G. Lewis and W. Williams were killed. On later examination the bomb casing was found to still contain some explosive fill. It is thought the clockwork fuse had restarted without being heard. Details taken from Bomb Disposal Casualties in World War 11. Chris Ranstead.

Personal Details

  • 2198668 Sapper
  • James Orr
  • 6 Bomb Disposal Company
  • Royal Engineers
Son of Francis and Elizabeth Orr: Husband of Margaret Rebecca Orr of Belfast: His son Robert John Dillon Orr also died on Service. Died on the 3rd October 1940. Aged 43. Buried at Belfast City Cemetery. Glenalina Extension Section I.I Grave 218.


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