Aftermath of the Fauld Explosion

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Date:1947 - 1948 (c.)

Description:On the morning of November 27, 1944, a huge explosion took place after the accidental ignition of 3,500 tons of explosives stored by the RAF in a disused gypsum mine.

Upper Castle Hayes Farm was completely obliterated, and 70 people were killed. The crater remains today, 90 feet deep and a quarter of a mile across.

Not all the store at 21 MU Fauld was destroyed, and this photograph shows one of the chambers after the remaining explosives had been removed.

The Fauld Explosion November 1944. A Personal Experience:

My name is Christopher Docksey, and I was born on the 28th May 1938 in Stafford Street, Burton.on.Trent. My family consisted of my Father, my Mother and an elder sister Mary, and an elder brother Norman.

At about 10:30 a.m. on the 27th of November 1944, the dining chair that i was sitting on suddenly was lifted upwards a few inches and then dropped back down on the floor, my mother who was in the kitchen standing at the sink asked if i was ok and she said that she herself had been “lifted off her feet”. After about an hour my Father arrived home in a state of some agitation to inform my mother that “the dumps gone up and we’ve got to go there”! [my dad was at that time a Rescue Party Leader in the A.R.P.]
He was then ordered to organise his party from the Guild Street depot in Burton,and proceed immediately to the “dump” .This word was the name given by many local people to the supposedly “secret” ammunition dump at the Fauld alabaster mine near Tutbury.
Well off he went, with all our blessings and fears that the event might produce, particularly my mother because of the torrid time that he had endured in the First World War in France at Ypres.
Nothing was heard from Dad until a knock at our back door at about midnight, and there stood this tall figure literally covered in mud from head to toe with just his teeth and eyes showing, one wellington on one leg, [filled with mud and holding the other wellington in his hand, without a sock on his leg, but with a smile on his face!!
He had been through a torrid time, mainly at the end of a rope, at times dragging bodies and other objects from the muddy remains.
He remained in the A.R.P. for the duration of it’s existence, and was involved in many other episodes in his area of Burton when bombing was taking place. I was and remain very proud of my Father in what he achieved in the service of his country in war and in peacetime.

Christopher Docksey, and on behalf of my brother Norman Docksey.

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Source: Mr John Godwin

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