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Sub Lieutenant: Walter Charles Lewis-Lavender

His memorial in Lambourne Church was the inspiration for this page.
Sub Lieutenant Walter Charles Lewis-Lavender of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
was called to action in the Parish of Lambourne on Saturday 28th September 1940.
Walter Lewis-Lavender His task that day being to defuse and make safe two German type C magnetic mines which had fallen close to Lambourne Church.

The mines were adapted sea mines each containing about 700 KG of high explosive.
The bomb fuse mechanism on this type was controlled by a clock.
The clock was normally timed to explode the mine about 22 seconds after its fall.
If it failed to do so, it might be restarted by the slightest movement, even a footstep.
The amount of the clock already run off could not be known, and once it was restarted time for escape could not be more than a few seconds.

Magnetic mines were first dropped over London in September 1940,
several bomb disposal officers had been killed whilst attempting to defuse this new type.
Being aware of this fact Lieutenant Lewis-Lavender came forward without hesitation for the perilous work of making them safe.

After successfully defusing the closer of the two mines Lieutenant Lewis-Lavender
retired to take tea with Mr and Mrs Stephen Padfield of Lambourne Hall.

Shortly after begining work on the second mine Lieutenant Lewis-Lavender was killed by its explosion.
He was survived by his Widow Frances and five children.

Church Lane Two Mines fell in the field next to Church Lane

link to RNVR

Lambourne Church Lambourne Hall Clacton raid April 30th 1940 mines were carried outside slung under wings

Lambourne Church                                                    Lambourne Hall                                                  Unexploded type C mine.                                    Heinkel 111 Bomber

Click for link to C.W.G.C.
Memorial in Lambourne Church
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Mentioned in dispatches December 1940
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