Wartime Memorabilia – an ashtray!

The Old Fire Station in Broad Street has various examples of the equipment used in Alresford over the last 100 years, and some examples of the results of their fire-fighting work. One exhibit looks like a rather heavy metal ashtray – but it is slightly more interesting than that!

Back in the Battle of Britain in WW2, to be exact on 15 August 1940, Flight Lieutenant C R Davis of 601 Squadron intercepted a Junkers Ju88A of the Luftwaffe trying to attack Worthy Down. As a result of his attacks the JU88A crashed and exploded by Ashen Wood, near The Jumps, at West Tisted, at 6.05pm in the evening. The aircraft was totally destroyed in the fire that followed the crash, and the crew were all reported as missing, believed killed: they were FF Fw Herbert Pauck, BO Uffz Kurt Glitzner, BF Fw Dieter Rogge and BS Uffz Erich Woldt.

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A Revell model of the Ju88A

Excavation in 1972

Some years later, in November 1972, the Southern Area Wartime Aircraft Preservation Society examined the crash site to collect any remaining identifiable bits. In fact they removed the remains of both engines, the propeller blades, and the undercarriage, plus a gravity knife and scraps of uniform. Plus an unexploded bomb!

Hampshire Fire Service received a request to attend the UXB with a water tender, during the operation by the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) to make the bomb safe, and dispose of the contents. Alresford were asked to undertake this duty, and despatched a water tender and crew, with Mick Atterton in charge. After the successful operation the Officer in charge of the BDU gave Mick Atterton the large screwed cover from the bomb fuse container, as a memento.

For many years Mick used the cover as an ashtray, but now he has put it on display in the Old Fire Station, as an unusual example of the Alresford fire service activities!

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