Ramsgate Tunnels volunteer and local historian Isaac Naylor will be giving a series of winter talks over the course of the next few months on a series of topics covering Ramsgate’s wartime story.
The first talk will be on October 15.
‘The bomber will always get through…’ – Saturday 15th October – 7pm – 8:30pm
Between 1939 and 1945, Ramsgate was subject to the full horrors of total war, from the anticipation of poison gas attacks; to aerial bombing, and even shelling from the coast of France! With Stanley Baldwin’s grim 1932 prophecy that the ‘bomber will always get through’, brought into a stark reality. It is little wonder why the east Kent coast became known as Hellfire Corner. Isaac will describe the preparations for and the impact of, the bombardment of a small coastal resort town, discussing the various facets of life, under the ever-present threat of attack, and exploring what it was like to be a member of the town’s Air Raid Precautions, later Civil Defence Services, to the physical effects of bombs falling and the damage caused.
‘Defending Albion’ – Saturday 12th November – 7pm – 8:30pm
Ramsgate’s wartime story would not be complete without an examination of the involvement of the armed forces. In this remembrance weekend special, Isaac explores the stories of the regular, territorial, and Home Guard units who were raised and served within the town. From the crews of the local anti-aircraft batteries and Ramsgate’s own territorials to the RAF Search and Rescue unit who risk life and limb rescuing downed pilots, and shipwrecked sailors, from the jaws of German aircraft!
‘Keep the Home Fires burning’ – Saturday 3rd December – 7pm – 8:30pm
Owing to the shortages caused by German activity in the Atlantic, Britain found itself critically short on food, equipment, and raw materials necessary for waging war. Consequently, perhaps nothing on the Home Front is so recognisable, aside from bombs and wailing sirens, as the ration book.
In the final talk of the series, Isaac will investigate the consequence of the so-called Battle of the Atlantic on the people of Ramsgate. He will explore the stories of the Dig for Victory Campaign, which caused acres of the towns open spaces to be dug up for food production, the British Restaurants, where a meal could be obtained for just a few pence to the National Salvage Campaign and the various Warship Weeks and Spitfire Drives, during which residents dug deep into their waste and wallets to play their part in keeping the home fires burning!
Booking page at: https://www.ramsgatetunnels.org/home-front-ramsgate/