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Bombing of HMS Royal Arthur

Unit/ Formation: Barracks/ Camps


Location: Skegness


Period/ Conflict: World War II


Year: 1942


Date/s: 21 February 1942


HMS Royal Arthur was a shore establishment of the Royal Navy, initially at Ingoldmells near Skegness, and later at Corsham, Wiltshire.


During the Second World War, the former holiday camp at Ingoldmells was used to mainly train 'Hostilities Only' (for the duration of the war only) communications branch ratings and officers (signalmen, telegraphists, coders and wireless operators).



Shortly after the start of the Second World War, the Admiralty requisitioned the Butlins holiday camp at Ingoldmells near Skegness to be the first Royal Arthur stone frigate (land based establishment). It was commissioned as a training establishment on 22 September 1939.


Over 4000 naval personnel were based at Royal Arthur at one time. In 1942 a lowflying German bomber wrecked dozens of the chalets and killed four men including two Royal Marines;


Marine CAMPBELL, WILLIAM FRANCIS

Marine DOWDEN, PETER S.





It served throughout the Second World War as the central reception depot for new naval recruits after HMS Raleigh was transferred to the British Army in February 1944. Royal Arthur continued in service until being paid off in 1946. [1]

On Sat. morning between 10 and 11 o’clock a new Dornier (Ger) bombed Roy. Art. One bomb was 3,000 lb. and brought down about 300 chalets. Fortunately only 4 persons were killed and about 15 injured. It is remarkable as there are thousands of trainees there. Another bomb which did not explode was dropped at Sk[egness] on Vine Rd off Drummond Rd. Father saw the plane and heard bombs. Paul saw the big one drop, said it looked like a man dropping down. There was a snow shower at the time. Plane circled round here before dropping bomb. Jean and I thought it sounded like a Ger. but it was frosty and snowing so thought it might be that. Jean ran out to look but could not see it thro’ the snow. [2]

Two of those killed were Royal Marines. [3]





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