On the night of 2 December 1940, the Luftwaffe returned to bomb Bristol with a second major raid. The city had been bombed on 24 November and although there was heavy cloud cover, the city was again badly bombed.
Between 18.20 and 22.30 hrs, 121 German aircraft dropped over 120 tonnes of high explosive blast bombs, one tonne of flammenbombe (250kg incendiary oil bombs containing 30% petrol and 70% crude oil) and over 22,000 1kg incendiary bombs. To assist the German pilots 'X-Beams' were laid over the city plus the Knickebein transmitter at Dieppe also targeted Bristol.
The heavy cloud cover meant the Germans relied on dead reckoning navigation and the use of the Knickebein beam. One German pilot descended through the cloud to ascertain whether the target indicators were accurate.
The German attackers suffered no losses over the target; just a single aircraft was lost during take-off from their French airfield. The result of the bombing was more widespread than the attack on 24 November; 156 people were killed and a further 270 injured.
Over 340 individual incidents were logged by Bristol’s ARP service. However, although stretched they were able to manage the incidents without outside assistance. The pressure on the fire services though was extreme and Bristol’s fire brigades were overwhelmed. Additional men and equipment were called in from the surrounding counties and south Wales.
Civil Defence rescue parties attended over 60 incidents, saving 135 people and recovering 117 bodies. At 7 Dean Street (St. Paul’s) a high explosive bomb had collapsed several Georgian townhouses. In one was situated a Wardens’ Post where a number of wardens were killed. Most were buried together in Greenbank Cemetery.
DAVIES, Rowland Homfray (40) Air Raid Warden.
ETTY, Minnie Deborah (41) Air Raid Warden.
ETTY, Reginald Sydney George (45) Air Raid Warden.
FARRALL, John (66) Air Raid Warden.
HOGAN, Dennis (35) Air Raid Warden.
HOLMES, Sidney Charles (42) Air Raid Warden.
JANES, Ellen (62) Air Raid Warden.
JEFFERIES, Joseph William (70) Air Raid Warden.
MOORE, Gladys Mary (48) Air Raid Warden
PINNEY, William John (57) Air Raid Warden.
SAPSED, Albert (16) ARP Messenger.
SMITH, Herbert (47) Air Raid Warden.
STEPHENS, Ivor John (20) Air Raid Warden.
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