You are here: Home > Glossary of the rest

Glossary of the rest

AA or Anti-Aircraft
    Anti-aircraft gunfire or emplacement - usually refers to guns or fire

Alert or siren
    The standard public warning of an impending air raid by means of a wailing siren.

All clear
    The normal way of telling the public that the raiders has passed by and that there was no longer a threat of an air raid using the same siren as the warning but on a steady note.

     Simple small anti-personnel and anti-transport devices, rather like spiked children's jacks, which when scattered on roadways caused injury and punctures.

Crash warning or alarm
    A private warning system of imminent danger to the industrial and busines centre and the official bodies of the town. With single or multiple aircraft coming in over the sea at low level, under the radar, it meant that often there was not enough time for the standard air raid siren warning to be given. The shipyards maintained a constant aircraft spotting observers who were generally able to give warning to a limited area of the town (see also Destructor Buzzer and the later Cuckoo).

Crisp's Creek
    An inlet on the southern side of Oulton Broad where AJT rented a mooring for his boat Hiawatha. Crisp ran a carting business, owned some land in Beccles Road from which there was a footpath across the railway line to the water frontage. Here there was a landing stage and a storage shed big enough for sails, dinghies, etc.

     A public warning system of imminent air-attack put in place after a public outcry in February, 1942, when the family of a shipyard worker was killed. The industrial area and town centre had already provided their own 'Crash' warning system to give them time to take cover from low-level raiders but this was not extended to the public. After a raid killed the wife and children of one shipyard worker, who had been able to take cover at work, a public 'crash' warning scheme of imminent low-level attack was installed, so named because it sounded like the cry of a cuckoo (see also blog post).

Delayed action bomb (DA)
    The popular description of a bomb that hadn't exploded (UXB), whether by design or by malfunction. Either way they were extremely costly in terms of the effort required to deal with them, both in the lives of those with the task of recovering and defusing them and in the disruption caused to normal activity in the area while this was carried out.

Destructor Buzzer
    The towns derelict waste refuse disposal site, which had been known as the Town Destructor, was at the junction of Denmark Road and Rotterdam Road where it is believed to have generated electricity for the tram system in addition to disposing of the town's rubbish. In a reference in the text the expression 'Destructor Buzzer' seems synonymous with the Crash alarm described above. The furnaces of the old town Destructor must have had a chimney, the top of which would have been an excellent point for an audible warning to the town centre, being very close to Lake Lothing. The editor believes that some form of early warning, referred to by A. J. Turner as the Destructor Buzzer, must have been situated in about this position but despite research he has been unable to confirm it from other sources.

Food Office
    Their main work was issuing ration books but they were also the issuing body for permits for keeping and slaughtering livestock, the supply of animal feedstuffs, etc., and for licensing the sale of excess food which the garden at Walmer produced. Unlicensed sale would have been regarded as 'black market' and illegal.

    AJT's two/four berth sailing cruiser (no auxilliary), usually kept at her mooring out in Crisp's Creek and her tender, a dinghy, at Crisp's landing stage or in Crisp's shed. Hiawatha was slipped for the duration of WW2 and was in storage, lying under tarpaulins in a small yard on the opposite side of Oulton Broad near Leo Robinson's, in Caldecott Road, Oulton Broad. Hiawatha was sold in 1947.

High explosive bomb (HE)
    High Explosive bombs ranging in size from about 70kg to 1800kg.

Incendiary bomb (IB)
     The majority were small bombs, up to about 2kg, dropped hundreds at a time, to cause fires. There were some larger incendiaries, oil bombs up to 500kg and phosphorus bombs at about 50kg.

     Contact, magnetic and acoustic mines were anti-shipping devices laid at sea, by sea and air. Air dropped magnetic and acoustic mines were parachuted and sometimes came down on land, when responsibility for their disposal came under the Rendering Mines Safe officers of the Royal Navy.

Report Centre
    The central clearing centre for all information about Civil Defence matters where reaction to events was organised as required. There were twelve in the County of Suffolk, the northern ones coming under the Lowestoft Sub-Control Centre.

Rest Centre
     A first place of refuge for those needing help for a variety of reasons but usually because of being bombed out. Generally run by the WVS and providing food, shelter and if necessary clothing.

Royal Observer Corps (ROC)
     The human observation system for early warning of the approach of enemy aircraft which supplemented the Chain Home radar. There were ROC posts at the north end of Lowestoft and in Pakefield's old lighthouse in the grounds of PakefieldCamp.

Siren or Alert
    The standard way of warning the public of an imminent air raid with a wailing siren.

Unexploded bomb (UXB)
    The standard description of a bomb that hadn't exploded, whether by design or by malfunction, sometimes popularly known as a delayed action bomb (DA). Either way they were extremely costly in terms of the effort required to deal with them, both in the lives of those with the task of recovering and defusing them and in the disruption caused to normal activity in the area while this was carried out, usually by the Royal Engineers.


Content © 2013-18 G. A. Michael Sims

Powered by CMSimple_XH | Template by CMSimple_XH as modified | (X)html | css | Login