Ramsgate Tunnels siren sounding marks 81st anniversary of ‘blitz’ on the town

Ramsgate Tunnels siren Photo Brian Whitehead

On August 24, 1940, Ramsgate suffered the first war-time ‘blitz’ on a British town when, without warning, 500 bombs were dropped in 5 minutes.

German aircraft had meant the bombs to be dropped on Manston and Ramsgate airfields but they were thwarted by British fighter aircraft and ground defences. The leader of the raid was then shot down by an armed trawler just outside Ramsgate Harbour, after which the remaining aircraft flew over the town dropping their bombs.

Fortunately the sirens had sounded as the enemy aircraft were seen heading for Manston and several thousand of the town’s population made their way into the Ramsgate deep level shelters. Considering the devastation on the surface this action proved nothing short of a miracle with only 31 people being killed. Still 31 too many, but without the shelters it could have been so many more.

To commemorate the 81st anniversary of this event today (August 24) Ramsgate Tunnels is sounding the air raid siren at key times of the day.

Details with thanks to Derek Smith

11 Comments

    • Oh. Was it an Airport that nobody wants now, and Ramsgate Airport was at Pysons road.
      I wonder why no one objected to an airport between 1939 and 1945.
      Just saying. Thanks for biting Lesley. 😁😁

      • your welcome Paul If the Luftwaffe had met no opposition from the planes based at Manston Ramsgate would have been history need I say more?and the airport you are talking about in Pysons road was Ramsgate municipal airport not Manston

        • Er, sorry to point of the facts (I know how you pro-mantson supporters don’t like the truth), but the Luftwaffe wouldn’t have been near Ramsgate if it wasn’t for the Manston RAF base, that is what they were here for, to bomb Manston. Even states this in the article.

          So if Manston had no RAF base, Ramsgate would not have been bombed as the Luftwaffe wouldn’t have been here, it’s a real mind bender I know.

  1. Was nice to hear the siren, kind of panicked a few passers by !

    Can only imagine the horrors back in the day when warning siren was sounding, respect to all.

  2. I was there this morning and afternoon to hear and witness this anniversary. That siren is unbelievably loud, the video not doing it justice at all on that score.
    Well done the Thanet Tunnels team.

  3. I wish these these anti airporters would just shut up .this airport was here way before they where even born.thanet needs some investment and this project is crucial to its future. All these anti airporters are just delusional if they think it will not go ahead.just look in the retail sector about the lack of goods in our shops and order something on line and see how long it takes to receive.manston has helped this nation through 2 world wars.manston has been there 100 years and if these idiots don’t like it Move?I’m 72yrs old and the younger generation need jobs and a future for there family’s and a future.get manston open and stop opposing what is obvious.you will not win.

    • Good idea, tell anyone that can see through the lies of RSP and the airport supporters to “shut up” that will show them.

      Brexit has caused all the issues we have with the supply chain, it’s to do with all the new import rules. You know the one that Boris and his mates all lied to us about saying there would be no issues with trade and conned people into voting to make themselves worse off, but him and his mates would end up better off. Sound familiar……..

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