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Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 #848509
7th Jan 2014 4:24pm
7th Jan 2014 4:24pm
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 53
Birkenhead
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NettyMc Offline OP

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NettyMc  Offline OP

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Birkenhead
Hi all.
Just looking into a family connection and a story I heard about the 12th March bombing of Birkenhead Docks and the Cathcart St/Price St/Cleveland St/ St Anne St areas.

I am looking for any info at all, anyone recall any stories surrounding the 12th March 1941?
There was a story I remember being told about some of the Cavanagh family.
I think they lived in St Anne St or Beckwith St, they saw a group of parachutes raining down on the night of 12th March and ran out to see if they were German Soldiers, they ran into an entry and sadly came face to face with some bombs.

Michael Cavanagh was killed and his son William has serious injury and later died.

Does anyone know anything about this story of the family?
Would so grateful for any info at all.
I have checked the local papers at the library and found nothing relating to this.

Thank you in advance.



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Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #848527
7th Jan 2014 5:04pm
7th Jan 2014 5:04pm
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 524
Cheshire
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yoller Online content
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yoller  Online Content
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Cheshire
In the book Birkenhead At War, by Ian and Marilyn Boumphrey, the air raid on 12/13 March 1941 is recorded as the worst inflicted on Birkenhead, with 288 people killed and 275 seriously injured. A large area of the town and its suburbs were blitzed.

The Civilian Roll of Honour in the book includes -
Michael Cavanagh, age 41, of 70 Beckwith Street, husband of Elizabeth Cavanagh. Killed March 12 at Beckwith Street.
Their son William Thomas Cavanagh, same address, age 15. Injured March 12, died at General Hospital.

It's worth noting when researching the Blitz that wartime newspapers were heavily censored and details of casualties and locations would probably not be given at the time.

It may instead be useful to check newspapers from subsequent anniversaries, when they may have published retrospective stories with more details. For instance, in 1971, the Birkenhead News did a series of features marking the 30th anniversary of the Blitz, with lots of interviews of those who had lived through it and stories of the destruction.

Last edited by yoller; 7th Jan 2014 5:07pm.
Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: yoller] #848531
7th Jan 2014 5:25pm
7th Jan 2014 5:25pm
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tranmere
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bert1 Offline

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bert1  Offline

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tranmere
To confirm Yoller's info, a couple of images from the GWGC site, civilian deaths. Also a parachute mine which the lads likely mistook for paratroopers.

Attached Files
mc.JPG (332 downloads)
w.JPG (333 downloads)

God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.
Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #848646
8th Jan 2014 12:16am
8th Jan 2014 12:16am
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 53
Birkenhead
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NettyMc Offline OP

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NettyMc  Offline OP

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Birkenhead
Thank you so much Yoller and Bert 1 , this info is much appreciated.

I will do as you advise and see if I can find anything out from the 1971 newspapers, worth a try.

Thank you again.
xxx

Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #848647
8th Jan 2014 12:29am
8th Jan 2014 12:29am
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Posts: 475
Wirral
Candlyfloss Offline
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Candlyfloss  Offline
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Wow love that pic.Its a big bomb i bet there are still alot underground on the wirral ,Tramere did come into my mind.Anyone got into it?

Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #848660
8th Jan 2014 9:19am
8th Jan 2014 9:19am
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 162
france
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joney Online content
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france
Doubt if there where a group of parachutes, as I remember it land mines were dropped by parachute singly. for instance I remember one dropped in Patten st where my mates Father was killed name of Davenport. Another dropped in the park where their used to be a bandstand.

Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: joney] #848668
8th Jan 2014 10:20am
8th Jan 2014 10:20am
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tranmere
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bert1 Offline

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bert1  Offline

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tranmere
Originally Posted by joney
Doubt if there where a group of parachutes, as I remember it land mines were dropped by parachute singly. for instance I remember one dropped in Patten st where my mates Father was killed name of Davenport. Another dropped in the park where their used to be a bandstand.


Spot on Joney.

Attached Files
dav.JPG (249 downloads)

God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.
Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #848677
8th Jan 2014 11:03am
8th Jan 2014 11:03am
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 524
Cheshire
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yoller Online content
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A parachute mine caused the worst loss of life in a single incident during the Merseyside Blitz.

On November 29, 1940, a direct hit on an underground air raid shelter in Edge Hill, Liverpool, killed 166 people. See ...

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/exhibitions/blitz/blitz.aspx


Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #848736
8th Jan 2014 4:19pm
8th Jan 2014 4:19pm
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 100
bebington
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europa1 Offline
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bebington
Parachute mines were indeed dropped singly. More than one parachutes could have been flares falling.

Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #848984
9th Jan 2014 8:15pm
9th Jan 2014 8:15pm
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 25
Prenton
K
kenisherwood Offline
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kenisherwood  Offline
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Posts: 25
Prenton
I remember a land mine being dropped in Well Lane close to Old Chester Road just down from the police station. There was a great loss of life and you can see the newer houses that were built on the site after the war!

Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #849003
9th Jan 2014 9:03pm
9th Jan 2014 9:03pm
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Posts: 25
Prenton
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kenisherwood Offline
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Prenton
Sorry I should have said that this was in Tranmere!

Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: kenisherwood] #849072
10th Jan 2014 6:48am
10th Jan 2014 6:48am
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tranmere
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bert1 Offline

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tranmere
Looking at the google image, the parachute mine that hit that part of Well Lane damaged or destroyed quite a few properties. The aim of a mine is to cause a shock wave explosion, hence the parachute to slow its decent allowing it to explode on contact with the ground and not burying its self into the ground and diminishing the shock wave effect.
Below, the 15 people who were killed in Well Lane, Tranmere, 12 March, 1941, my apologises if I've left any out.

Attached Files
well lane.JPG (148 downloads)
12w.JPG (151 downloads)
14w.JPG (156 downloads)
14we.JPG (153 downloads)
16.JPG (152 downloads)
20w.JPG (153 downloads)
20we.JPG (150 downloads)
22 w.JPG (146 downloads)

God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.
Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: bert1] #849074
10th Jan 2014 7:24am
10th Jan 2014 7:24am
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 213
Cambridgeshire
billy_anorak59 Offline

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Cambridgeshire
You're right about the shock wave explosion thing Bert - a land mine dropped at Port Rainbow at the top of Port Causeway in Bromborough in about 1941, and the blast was channelled down the Levers' railway cutting and blew the roof off my grandparents house in Magazine Village, about a third of a mile away.

Sad seeing all those names, seems all the more poignant somehow when they're shown as whole families...


Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: NettyMc] #849104
10th Jan 2014 10:22am
10th Jan 2014 10:22am
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,413
Birkenhead
BandyCoot Offline

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Birkenhead
Mentioned it before on another thread. Think it was a landmine that hit the flour mills causing a huge dust explosion and a paving slab shot through a window in Livingstone Street, just by Massey Street, and landed in bed besides one of the women who slept downstairs as her hubby was away in the army. She escaped unscathed. Used to remember her name years ago but can't now.


Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.
Re: Bombing around Cathcart St area12th March 1941 [Re: BandyCoot] #849150
10th Jan 2014 3:52pm
10th Jan 2014 3:52pm
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 696
Hell Knows
YinYang Offline
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YinYang  Offline
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Hell Knows
The Flour Mills link is here, Bandy...

https://www.wikiwirral.co.uk/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/358302/The_Great_Float_Flour_Mills.html

You might also find some other useful info about bombed Birkenhead on this one...

https://www.wikiwirral.co.uk/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/488756/1.html

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