A rumble of airplanes can be heard in the night sky, but it is paid no heed because it is now almost constant. Loud bangs approach and recede again, recorded only in the subconscious. Flashes of light occur, ignored through the black out curtains. And then silence. Death approaches, but you are unaware. And then….. it is here. And you are gone.
At 2:00 a.m. on 29 May 1941 a parachute mine landed in Morehall Avenue, Folkestone, Kent. The mine landed in the centre of the Avenue, between numbers 28 and 29, killing 13 (including an 18 month old infant – see burial register below) and injuring 43.
George Albert Gurr, born 25 Mar 1881 was married to Kate Matilda Jane Willis, my 4th cousin 3x removed, early in 1906. Kate was born to George Robert Willis, a bricklayer, and Jane Anne Page in the spring of 1881 in Folkestone. She was the 4th of 10 children. They both perished that night and were buried at Hawkinge Cemetery on 31 May 1941.
The page of the burial register from the cemetery at Hawkinge listing George and Kate shows a few of the other victims from Morehall Avenue.
A similar mine dropped on Randolph Road, Dover, 12 June 1941.
A photo of the damage to Morehall Avenue can be seen here
The Mayor thought it best to stay in bed at home
Dover Express 18 October 1940
The 13 Who Died That Night
|Wife of Herbert Benjamin Archard. Died at 22 Morehall Avenue.|
|Husband of Edith Archard. Died at 22 Morehall Avenue.|
|of 28 Morehall Avenue. Daughter of Mr. G. Crump. Died at 28 Morehall Avenue.|
|J.P.; Mayor of Folkestone; of 30 Morehall Avenue. Husband of Kate Matilda Jane Gurr. Died at 30 Morehall Avenue.|
|GURR||KATE MATILDA JANE||
|Mayoress of Folkestone; of 30 Morehall Avenue. Wife of George Albert Gurr. Died at 30 Morehall Avenue.|
|JONES||CHARLES JOHN AUSTEN||
|Special Constable; of 31 Morehall Avenue. Husband of Ivy Jones. Died at 31 Morehall Avenue.|
|of 28 Morehall Avenue. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neves, of Heathdene, South Road, Horsell, Woking, Surrey; wife of A.B. Frederick John Knott, R.N. Died at 28 Morehall Avenue.|
|KNOTT||COLIN JOHN||Aged 18 months; of 28 Morehall Avenue. Son of A.B. Frederick John Knott, R.N., and of Betsy May Knott. Died at 28 Morehall Avenue.|
|of 33 Morehall Avenue. Daughter of Mrs. N. J. Brooman; wife of Ldg. Sto. Walter Thomas Marsh, R.N. Died at 33 Morehall Avenue.|
|of 25 Morehall Avenue. Wife of Harry Pitcher. Died at 25 Morehall Avenue.|
|of 25 Morehall Avenue. Husband of Alice Pitcher. Injured at 25 Morehall Avenue; died same day at Royal Victoria Hospital.|
|of 26 Morehall Avenue. Son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Sinstadt, of 5 Bradstone Avenue; husband of Winifred Harriett Sinstadt. Died at 26 Morehall Avenue.|
|of 26 Morehall Avenue. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Pitman, of 130A High Street, Stevenage, Hertfordshire; wife of James William Sinstadt. Died at 26 Morehall Avenue.|