Swansea's 'fake' air raid of March 1942: Civil defence exercise 'Gower'

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At 10.00 a.m. on Sunday, 8th March 1942, a high explosive bomb landed at St. Helen’s Road, Swansea, between its junctions with Beach Street and Argyle Street, and near Swansea General Hospital. Extensive damage was caused to houses and business premises, while the Civil Defence Wardens’ Post caught fire, and the adjacent First Aid Post and the hospital itself were severely damaged. Close by was a motor garage, where petrol pumps were damaged, resulting in a serious conflagration in the roadway and petrol flowing into an adjoining basement. Debris from the explosion blocked the roadway, and water mains and telephone cables sustained damage. In the incident, four people were killed and eighteen were slightly injured, while a number of persons were rendered homeless and partial evacuation of patients from the hospital was necessary. Immediately responding to the emergency were police officers, Civil Defence wardens, and members of the National Fire Service (N.F.S.), equipped with two water stream appliances and foam apparatus. First Aid parties were also in attendance, with ambulances and a mobile First Aid Post. To deal with urgent repairs to essential services, road repair and water mains repair parties were on the scene, together with telephone engineers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-65
Number of pages12
JournalSwansea History Journal: Minerva
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2023

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