V1 Flying Bomb crater on Black Edge (north of Buxton)

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V1 Flying Bomb crater, nr Buxton

This crater was made by one of the V1 flying bombs launched against Manchester on the morning of Christmas Eve, 1944.

Please see this photo for an overview of the attack.

In 2006 Pat Cunningham interviewed several local people who insisted this missile did not come down on Christmas Eve and can’t have been launched during that attack, stating it must have been earlier in 1944.

However, while it is certainly a V1 site (Peter J C Smith, the authority on this air attack having found one of the bomb’s gyroscopes here in 1987) there is historical evidence to show that an attack earlier than Christmas 1944 can be ruled out.

The first V1 to fall on England was June 13th 1944. That – and all other V1s whether launched from ramps or air launched from beneath Heinkel 1-11s until the Christmas Eve attack – were aimed at London and the south coast.

However in the north of England, air raids were so rare at that time that ARP posts were often unmanned. There was only one air raid alert in 1943 (on the night of August 18th) and none at all throughout 1944. By August 1944 the Ministry of Home Security instructed an easing of all civil defence arrangements outside London and the South-East and by November 1944 the Manchester War Emergency Committee noted the rise in people wanting to return their Anderson and Morrison air raid shelters.

Smith further notes that Christmas 1944 saw the last surge of the Wehrmacht in the Ardennes with an attempt to push back the invading Allies; their initial successes had the Nazi Propaganda Ministry link Ardennes with the V1 attack, referring to “extending our long range weapon bombardment to Manchester in conjunction with our west front attack.”

Peakland Air Crashes – The Central Area, Pat Cunningham, 2006
Luftwaffe over Manchester, Peter J C Smith, 2003
Flying Bombs over the Pennines, Peter J C Smith, 1988

18 comments on “V1 Flying Bomb crater on Black Edge (north of Buxton)
  1. stopherjones says:

    It just looks like an idyllic wild pond. I like your mock-up. Very Star Trek 😉

  2. Ang Wickham says:

    I really really like the presentation here. The shots are great, those grass seeds add a soft touch to a sad scene. Great to see nature looking after the place. Your image of the V1 – wow! did you create that? freaking heck, that’s a work of art. If i was a WWII nightfighter i’d near on pack myself if that was coming my way. Very Star Trek with the night sky.

  3. Ros Hurn says:

    I was told that a ‘doodlebug’ landed, but did not explode, in a field near the Plex Farm, Burbage, Buxton, Derbyshire in April 1945. Can anyone confirm this please?

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Ros, a V1 did land close to Plex Farm but it did explode – the only casualty reported was one sheep. It came down just the other side of the ridge near where the tunnel emerges. There are differing locations about the precise spot. I have scouted round some of the likely looking craters using a metal detector but without success. Of course all traces of the V1 may have been completely removed so any amount of metal detecting won’t identify it. This is a photo of the spot I thought most likely going off descriptions of the crater but there are one or two other places I need to check before adding a page about this particular missile.

  4. Ros Hurn says:

    Huge apologies for not replying to your message & photo before now! Black mark! That is really interestng re the Plex Farm. I have grown up with a tale that I was “nudged into this world” in April 1945 when either a V1 or some orher kind of bomb fell & exploded about a mile from our house in Buxton. I assumed this to be the Plex Farm. Everyone laughs when I tell them this & says it just can’t be true! Is there ANY chance there is SOME truth in it?? I should be sooooo happy if you could find out more, especially if you could confirm there is some truth in my story.

  5. Ros Hurn says:

    I am trying to contact Ian D B re a comment he left me n May 2015. Are you still researching V1 & V2 rockets that fell n Derbyshire? Ros Hurn

  6. Ros Hurn says:

    So pleased to hear from you. Did any kind of bomb land near Buxton April 1945? All the best – Ros

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Ros, I don’t think any German bombs fell on the north of England that late in the war, though it could have been an unexploded bomb which went off at that time. Best way to check would be to look at the microfilm copies of the local newspapers at Buxton library. They should have copies from April 1945. Reporting censorship was relaxed late in the war so it would probably be mentioned if it happened.

      • Ros Hurn says:

        Hi Ian – thank you for your latest comments. Unfortunately I don’t live anywhere near Buxton these days so cannot get to the Library. However, I am really, really desperate to either confirm (or otherwise) this story of mine. Where to go from here?

        I was told it was a UXB.

        Best wishes & thank you for your patience! Ros

        • Ian D B says:

          Hi Ros, this is the only information I have. I suspect there are a couple of stories getting mixed up or the dates are getting mixed up.

          The V1 exploded December 1944. I don’t know of anything which exploded April 1945. It is possible that an old bomb from the early part of the war when the Luftwaffe were bombing the north of England exploded some years later in April 1945, but certainly no bombs fell then, it must have been an old bomb. But it is possible that over the years, the story of the V1 got mixed up, it was just 4 months before after all.

          The information you require will almost certainly be found at Buxton library, it will be recorded in the local newspapers of the time. That late in the war, censorship in reporting these things was very lax, so a bomb going off in the area in April 1945 will almost certainly have been recorded. It would be a simple thing for someone to view the old microfilm files of the newspapers (the library will have every copy) and go through the copies in the 2 weeks or so after your birth.

          If you cannot access the library yourself, is there anyone in Buxton who could go and take a look for you? Maybe even post your query on a Buxton history group on facebook? I did this the other day, within a few hours someone provided the info I needed, a copy of the newspaper report. If you do go on facebook, you may even get someone who recalls the incident if it happened, though as I say, these memories do get mixed up over time.

          Hope you find what you are looking for!


          • Ros Hurn says:

            Hi Ian – The story my mother told me was that she was alone in the house when what she thought (because of the unmistakable sound) was a V1 came over & cut out. She said she was so frightened that she just sat down where she was, at the top of the stairs, & waited for the explosion. There wasn’t one. There was no explosion. However the fright was sufficient to persuade me to enter this world!!

            The “bomb” was said to have gone into the ground at or near the Plex Farm.

            I will try & get some further info from the Buxton Library. All the best – Ros

  7. John Robbins says:

    I saw the well-recorded “Beighton Doodlebug” on the morning of Dec24 1944. It was flying with a distinct stutter in a south-easterly direction presumably having been “tipped” by an RAF fighter. It crashed about 2 miles away.

    The previous evening c. 9 pm I saw a westward
    flying V1 accompanied by a fighter. It would have flown over Sheffield but could have well been headed for Manchester. I can find no record of a crash-site on Dec 23. Could it have been one of the sites which are regarded as dubious for inclusion in the 24 Dec cluster ?

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi John, interesting recollection of the Beighton bomb. I don’t know anything about one the night before however?

  8. Colin Wright says:

    Hello – I have matched the locations for the Teggs Nose and Plex Farm ‘landings’ but I am struggling to track down the Black Edge spot. Do you have coordinates or ‘Whatthreewords’?

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Colin,

      The Black Edge crater is at SK 06176 77903
      What3words = pound.funky.lengthen

      What grid ref have you got for the Plex Farm bomb please? I looked and had a sweep round a few spots with a metal detector but found nothing?


  9. Colin Wright says:

    Matched Plex Farm from your description, via google images.

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