Tag Archives: explosions

The Big Bang

n Sunday 2nd April 1916, just as most Ramsgate folk were sitting around the table enjoying their Sunday roast, they were suddenly jolted by a tremor, which to some felt like an earthquake. In fact what they were experiencing was the aftershock from the explosion at the Explosives Loading Company factory at Uplees, near Faversham in which 108 men died. Many local women worked there too but luckily did not work on Sundays. Fifteen tons of TNT and 150 tons of ammonium nitrate blew up when some empty sacks caught fire.

So great was the explosion that windows across the Thames estuary in Southend were shattered and the tremor was felt in Norwich and in France as well as Thanet.

Continue reading The Big Bang

HM Auxiliary Ship Princess Irene

In May 1915 the loss through an explosion of HM Auxiliary Ship Princess Irene in Sheerness Harbour on Thursday brought grief, sudden and overwhelming, into many Ramsgate homes. Several shipwrights from the port who had left Ramsgate recently to undertake Government work were on board the vessel, which was undergoing re-fitting.
Telegrams received at their homes on Thursday prepared the families for the terrible news, advising them to travel to Sheerness at once, and the list of dead posted outside the dockyard gates at night confirmed the tragic facts. Continue reading HM Auxiliary Ship Princess Irene