Most air raids took place overnight, though sometimes bombings may have continued into the following day. Interestingly, no council houses in the area were destroyed during any air raids.
War records show that in 1940 there were six bombing raids on Monkseaton Village, between 22nd June and 30th August. The worst of these was the last, when 11 high explosive and 20 incendiary bombs fell in Monkseaton Village in the Fold area, plus one unexploded device fell at No. 8 Lyndhurst Road. Five houses and four shops were completely demolished, with No. 17 Roseberry Terrace receiving a direct hit causing two fatalities: Robert Brunton, aged 23, and his brother Richard aged 19. Other occupants of the house had sheltered in a cupboard under stairs and suffered only shock but had to be extracted from the wreckage. The old stone chapel on Chapel Lane also received a direct hit and was totally destroyed. Another bomb fell in Ivanhoe, followed by four high explosive bombs which fell in fields to the west of Red House Farm.
1941 saw eight raids, with the first on 10th April when a widespread cluster of over 360 incendiary bombs was dropped, most of which fell in the area of the Hillheads Estate between Sycamore and Kingsley Avenue. Some fires were caused to trains in sidings at Monkseaton Station and an ambulance travelling nearby was hit.
In the penultimate raid of that year on 8th December, four fatalities occurred when a bomb hit No. 12 Swinbourne Gardens, completely destroying it. The occupants of the premises were William Hughes-Jones, aged 59; his wife, Margaret aged 55; son William aged 27 and daughter Brenda aged 15. Houses in nearby Kings Road and Tynedale Avenue also suffered damage.
In 1942, the final year the village was a target, there were only two raids, on 11th October and 14th December. The October bombing occurred next to Woodleigh Road and Eastfield Avenue, and a 1,000lb device destroyed ten houses and caused severe damage to a further 70 properties (20 irreparably). One person was killed and two were seriously injured. Another bomb fell on Cauldwell Close and more landed in fields to the rear of Newsteads Farm.
The official End of War Report compiled by Sir Arthur Lambert (North Regional Commissioner) recorded the following casualties in the Whitley Bay and Monkseaton UDC area: 34 deaths; 43 injuries / hospitalised; 18 slight / minor injuries.
by Charlie Steel © 2013
His published books include ‘Monkseaton Village’ Vols 1 & 2, and ‘North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns Part 1’, all of which are available from most local booksellers.