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Whitstable at War - World War II

Bomb Strikes: The Oil Bomb


One particular strike may have been somewhat different from those described above and it seems to have involved a weapon of a rather different construction. John Harman describes the attack as follows....


"Probably, not many will remember the Northwood Road Garage. This was located just around the corner from Tower Parade. At the start of the war, this garage was taken over by The Army. There were lorries and bren gun carriers - all parked down the side lane behind Tower Parade. 

One fine evening late in the war whilst still occupied by the military, the large "rounded roof" building burned to the ground. It was a sensational fire, fed by stored fuel and large drums of oil. This all burned to the sound of exploding ammunition" 

John Harman
British Columbia


The intensity of the fire brings back memories for Peter Elvy....


I remember the Northwood Road bombing because we lived 150 yards up the road. I seem to remember very hot weather but perhaps that was the fire! 

Peter Elvy


Now, thanks to Mark Foreman and his dad, we can actually rewind the clock on that incident by a few seconds.....


I was speaking to me ole Dad again, keeping him up to date on the site when I mentioned that you were cataloguing bombs that had fallen around Whitstable during the War.

He was stood out on the Harbour one day, when he was living in Harbour House (not Harbour Cottage which was across the road when a bomb went over the top of him so close that he was able to see the coloured band around it!  

Apparently, it was travelling nearly horizontally having been dropped low and fast. Needless to say my Dad thought his days were numbered right there and then!

The bomb carried on far enough to drop on the site of the old Northwood Garage near the Castle.  Dad was told it was actually a type of large incendiary that the troops stationed on the harbour called an "oil bomb".

Mark Foreman


The trajectory and nature of that bomb combined with the fact that it hit a specific military target makes one suspect that this may have been an opportunist but specifically targetted attack.


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