Crane lifting Portsmouth bomb skidded before toppling into crater

CAREFUL LADS The unexploded bomb being extracted from Torrington Road, North End, Portsmouth in 1946
CAREFUL LADS The unexploded bomb being extracted from Torrington Road, North End, Portsmouth in 1946
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This picture of an unexploded bomb being extracted from Torrington Road, North End, Portsmouth, in 1946 brought memories flooding back for Sheila Sherris who witnessed the operation.

Although she didn’t see the bomb fall in 1941 she says it demolished two houses without exploding.

But, she adds: ‘I do remember when the picture was taken as my garden backed on to the site.

‘As the bomb did not explode the site was concreted over and made into a large water tank for the rest of the Second World War.

‘In 1946 all nearby residents had to evacuate their houses while the spindle was removed by bomb disposal personnel.

‘Then German POWs were set to work to remove the bomb from the crater.’

Sheila adds: ‘The road was covered in snow and ice and the crane lifting the bomb skidded and fell forward partially into the crater.

‘An army vehicle was then attached to the crane and the driver managed to pull the crane upright again and kept on accelerating until crane and bomb were safely out of the crater.’