B.M. Cole


Manuscript Pencil Bomb Disposal Notes

Manuscript notebook of a British bomb disposal unit member   WW2 Didsbury, Manchester, area.

£95, plus postage (details at the end of this listing)

A manuscript notebook containing pencilled notes and sketches by a member of the Royal Engineers No 10 Bomb Disposal Unit operating during WW2 in the Manchester area.

A manuscript notebook containing pencilled notes and sketches by a J. Hull, a member of the Royal Engineers No 10 Bomb Disposal Unit, formed in 1940 and operating during WW2 in the Manchester area. This location is known as the notebook contains a reference to the necessity to report any UXBs (unexploded bombs) to the No. 10 BD Unit HQ at Didsbury (telephone DID 5025).

The notes and sketches refer to different types of German bombs and fuzes likely to be encountered.

A feint lined stapled notebook, 8 x 5 inches, 21 x 13 cms of some 100 leaves (200 pages), 33 leaves of which contain neat manuscript pencil notes and sketches of bomb and fuze details, written one side of the page only, i.e. 33 completed pages (note that this is a personal working manual of how to disarm different types of UXBs, not a diary).

The remainder of the book is blank, with the exception of about 6 pages at the end containing much later notes written in a different hand in ink on recipes and French grammar.

In nice overall condition although lacking its top cover, as shown, and would benefit from whatever preservation measures are considered suitable for its intended long-term inspection or use.

This is not the place to attempt to give a history of wartime bomb disposal teams beyond mentioning that throughout the war there was a long drawn out battle between the ingenuity of German bomb designers to continually devise new methods of booby-trapping their unexploded bombs and the everyday bravery of British bomb disposal teams to attempt to defuse UXBs in situ, buried beneath streets or buildings, and countermand those new methods. During the war, these units successfully defused around 40,000 German UXBs across Britain.

It is right, therefore, that due acknowledgement is made here of the very special personal courage which would have been shown by the compiler of this notebook and by his colleagues in similar wartime bomb disposal units, some 580 of whom were killed while working, often alone, in British towns and cities to save civilian lives and property.

Item reference RS-2088.

Price: £95 (GB pounds sterling) plus postage and insurance as below
- First class postage, fully insured, within the UK: £7
- Airmail postage, fully insured, outside the UK: £15

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