George Walter Inwood (22/09/1905 – 16/10/1940) was awarded the George Cross while serving with the Home Guard in Birmingham between 15-16 October 1940.
“He was 34 years old and serving in the Home Guard. After a heavy air raid, Inwood and 6 other men, with the aid of the police, discovered a number of people trapped in a cellar in Bishop Street. Inwood was lowered into the cellar by rope and managed to bring two men out alive. The rescue was particularly difficult as not only was he working in a gas-filled space but those he was trying to save were already unconscious. Although suffering the effects of gas, he insisted on going down again, but collapsed and died.”
He is buried in Yardley Cemetery, Yardley, Birmingham.
© DRW 2016-2018. Created 16/03/2017. Image and information courtesy of Mark Green.
Richard John Hammersley Ryan (23/07/1903-21/09/1940). was awarded the George Cross for his actions on 16-21 September 1940 in Dagenham, Essex.
“He was 37 years old and serving in the Royal Navy when he was one of two officers who dealt with a Type C magnetic mine that fell at Clacton. When the first magnetic mines fell on London, Lt Cmdr Richard Ryan, with Chief Petty Officer Reginald Ellingworth, came forward without hesitation for the perilous work of making them safe, although with their unrivaled knowledge they were well aware of the dangers. The clock of the bomb fuse was normally timed to explode 21 seconds after impact. If it failed to do so, it might be restarted by the slightest movement. Together they dealt with 6 of these mines, one of them in a canal where they worked waist-deep in mud and water, making any escape impossible. The fuse could only be found and removed by groping for it under water. At Hornchurch they made safe a very hazardous mine which threatened the aerodrome and an explosives factory, and then they went to Dagenham to tackle a mine hanging from a parachute in a warehouse. Tragically, it exploded, killing them both.”
He is buried in Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery
DRW © 2014-2018. Created 16/03/2017
The Camberwell Civilian War Dead Memorial may be found in Camberwell new Cemetery (Google Earth co-ordinates: 51.452983° -0.047741°). Unfortunately the day of my visit was a dull and miserable one and the memorial was being restored. There are two sets of name boards on two plinths. The first listing Southwark and Bermondsey
The second listing Camberwell
The memorial was unveiled on 8 May 1995
18291 tons of heavy explosives were dropped on London during 71 major air raids in the period known as “The Blitz” (September 7, 1940 – May 10, 1941) .
Sadly the memorials often list the same surnames, indicating that in many cases a household was obliterated. The memorials are for those who are interred in the cemetery and who have no marked graves.
© DRW 2013-2018. Created 21/12/2016
I found this memorial in Kingston cemetery, in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. It commemorates the civilians who were buried in the cemetery who were killed in the bombing of Cowes.
When I was visiting Cowes, I went through to Kingston and Northwood Cemeteries, and there is still bomb damage visible in Northwood Cemetery.
The most memorable incident happened on the night of May 4–5, 1942, when the Polish destroyer, ORP Błyskawica was instrumental in defending Cowes from an air raid by 160 German bombers. The ship was undergoing an emergency refit at the J. Samuel White yard where she was built, and on the night of the raid, fired at the German bombers from outside the harbour, her guns becoming so hot they had to be cooled down with water. The gunnery from the ship forced the bombers to stay high, making it hard for them to target properly, and the ship laid a smokescreen hiding Cowes from the high flying bombers. However, the town and shipyard were badly damaged, and it is generally thought that without the destroyer it would have been far worse, although there are those say that the destroyer may have been the reason that the Germans targeted the shipyards.
There are other bombing casualties buried in this cemetery, and it is often forgotten that Cowes, like Portsmouth and Southampton were targeted by the Luftwaffe during the Second Wold War. 63 People were killed in air raids on East Cowes, and 56 are listed on this particular memorial.
On the opposite bank of the Medina River is Northwood Cemetery, and a similiar memorial exists there.
© DRW 2013-2018. Created 23/03/2015, added Northwood image 22/11/2017