Town Clerk’s Report

SumittedĀ to the Emergency Committee

 

 

Everybody was just stunned; couldn’t cope. Why had God let it happen?
Then the stories changed. Wicked things had gone on in that shelter. People had taken drink down there; held parties. Music and dancing every night. Immorality, and they didn’t care who saw it…People went there even when there wasn’t a raid going on. Gambling… People said it was a Judgement. God is not mocked! It was like Sodom and Gomorrah.Everybody felt much better after that.
Robert Westall: Children of the Blitz: p110

Report of the Town Clerk to the Emergency Committee
Archive Reference: TWAS TI5/

Local authorities were responsible for ARP and reports of every raid were submitted to the Emergency Committee.

transcript of full report
Report of the Town Clerk to the Emergency Committee:14th May, 1941
Air Raids in Tynemouth on 3/4th May and 5/6th May, 1941


General Information Centre

Immediately after the ‘Raiders Passed’ Signal sounded on the morning of the 4th May, 1941, the Town Clerk’s Office was opened as a General Information Centre, and information was supplied to all enquirers.

At 9 a.m. the Tasker Hall was taken over for this purpose, and kept open until 6 p.m. on each day until Thursday, the 8th May, 1941.

The approximate number of enquiries dealt with during this period amounted to 600.

Lists were prepared of persons requiring repairs to their properties, and these were forwarded to the Borough Surveyor for his attention. Similar lists in respect of furniture which required salving or removal were forwarded to the Salvage and Removal Officer.

Casualty Information Bureau
The Casualty Information Bureau obtained the necessary particulars relating to injured and dead from hospitals and mortuaries, and lists were published outside the Town Clerk’s Office, Tasker Hall and Police Station.

Relatives of dead persons were traced and notified by post or messenger.

The total number of casualties recorded, in respect of the raid on the 3/4th May, was as follows:

Dead 107
Admitted
to Hospital
36
Treated
at First Aid Posts
16

The number of casualties in the raid of the 5/6th instant, was:

Dead 9
Admitted
to Hospital
2
Treated
at First Aid Posts
1
Outpatients
at Hospitals
4

 

Mortuary
Immediately after the raid on the 3/4th instant, the Church Way Mortuary was opened and bodies continued to be admitted throughout the day. 102 bodies were received, and by Thursday, the 8th instant, all had been identified.
After the raid on the 5/6th May, six further bodies were received from Heaton Terrace and Cullercoats.

In many cases the victims were in a terrible condition but the Honorary Mortuary Superintendent (Mr A. Cragg) and his volunteer staff, drawn from Messrs. E. Turnbull & Sons Ltd, worked with amazing energy and endurance from midnight on the 3rd instant, until Thursday, the 8th instant, with very short intervals for sleep only. During that period, almost all the food that the men had was consumed on the Mortuary premises.

The maintenance of the records was carried out by members of my own staff, who also assisted in the identification of the dead, and in the giving of advice to bereaved relatives. This was completely outside the scope of their normal work, and I should like to draw your particular attention to the outstanding work carried out by Messrs. J. Armstrong, R.L. Bradbeer and V.C. Marshall.

All relatives were informed that the Corporation would make arrangements for the burial, but in many cases the persons concerned desired the bodies to be buried privately.

The total number of burials carried out by the Corporation and under private arrangements, was as follows:

Private
Burials
Corporation
Burials
Wednesday
7th May
8 11
Thursday
8th May
16 50
Friday
9th May
9 3
Saturday
10th May
3 11
Monday
12 May
1 7
37 79

Town Clerk’s Report (PDF)