Verdict and summary


On the back inside cover of the inquest document is this statement;

“I have the honour to report having made enquires relative to the circumstance surrounding the presumed death of George Webb, believed to have taken place at 5 Abbey End, Kenilworth, at 2.45 a.m. 21st November 1940, when the address of Webb was blown to pieces by an enemy land mine which fell within a few feet of the house”.

“In the house so far as I am able to ascertain, there were 8 persons, one H. W. Snape was rescued alive, five other persons were killed and accounted for by identification. Certificates of death having been issued. George Webb and Nellie Webb, his wife, were missing and never accounted for. In all the landmine caused the death of 22 persons whose bodies were recovered. 21 were identified, 1 was unidentified, and there were parts of other bodies which were too small to identify as belonging to any particular person. In addition others died in hospital as a result of injuries”.

“From my knowledge of the incident I am satisfied that the two missing persons were in fact in the house at the time of the explosion and I cannot see any reasons to doubt that they were in fact killed and blown to pieces. The house was only a few feet from where the land mine actually exploded”.

It is unsigned but under it is typed “Sergeant 225” and “Registrar. Eugene Huffer Thornett. Waverley Road, Kenilworth”.

The verdict was “That George Webb age 62 years and Nellie Webb aged 58 years, of 5 Abbey End, Kenilworth, were killed at 2.45 a.m. on 21st November 1941 (sic) at 5 Abbey End, Kenilworth, as a result of an explosion caused by an enemy land mine dropped from a hostile aircraft.”


Note:   The summary records that 22 bodies were recovered and that “others died in hospital as a result of their injuries”. By the use of the term “others”, it insinuates two at least; so 22 bodies, plus two that died later, plus George and Nellie who were not found gives a total of 26 (at least). The number of victims is discussed in my conclusions.