Newark-On-Trent Ransome and Marles Ball Bearings Bombing, Factory Workers Remembered 7th March 1941


Commemorate and Remember the sacrifices and contributions made by all those that worked at Newark Ransome and Marles during the 2nd world war.








A change a proposed street name, which would honour a victim of the second world war Ransome and Marles air raid in Newark 75 years ago, to avoid confusion with a 1970s sitcom star.

Esther Varney, 19, was one of 41 people killed in the attacks on the ball bearings factory in 1941 while running towards an air raid shelter.

She was the only victim whose remains were never found.

Varney Place was the name initially chosen by town councillors for a new development of 50 houses and 20 flats off Sleaford Road, Newark.

However, concerns have been raised that the name could lead people to believe it was intended to honour On The Buses actor Reg Varney, who would have been 100 this year.

At a meeting of Newark Town Council, councillor Mr Laurence Goff suggested the naming should be made clear.

“Esther Varney was a great lady who served her town,” he said.

Esther Varney

“The street naming is a great way to commemorate her as one of the 41 killed.

“She deserves to be properly remembered without confusion as this was one of the most significant attacks in Newark.

“Reg Varney would have been 100 this year and if you search for Varney on Google he comes up.

“When I spoke to the developers they thought the street was for Reg Varney, so if they make the mistake anyone could.”

He suggested that they change the name to Esther Varney Place.


Barnby Road and Holy Trinity Academy Newark with their tribute

 More Photos Click on the Link


Fowler R&M

Sybil R&M DSC05251


John Henry Green photoJohn Henry Green








Reginald Senior Son is holding his Dad’s ID card one of 41 that died







100_3243Bert Emerson with Laurence Goff helped rescue other survivors of the bombing at Ransome and Marles Newark-On-Trent on 7th March 1941. The factory was targeted because it made ball bearings for the defence in our country.



Newark Ransome and Marles’ Factory was Bombed, Friday 7th March 1941 Friends of Newark Cemetery will mark The Anniversary our Annual Tribute commemoration Newark On-Trent





Newark Ransome and Marles’ Factory was Bombed, Friday 7th March 1941 Friends of Newark Cemetery marked The 75th Anniversary Annual Tribute commemoration Newark On-Trent. SAM_2882
Newark Cemetery 7th March

Newark Ransome and Marles’ Factory was Bombed, Friday 7th March 1941




Tribute with a roll call of the 41 names that died.
Roll Call
1, George Harold Henry Adams, aged 45 *
2, Wilfred Evelyn Andrew, aged 39 *
3, Olive Ash, aged 31 * O
4, Bertie Augustus Ball, aged 18 * O
5, Ernest Patrick Beale, aged 27, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment (Private) *
6, Edward Beaver, aged 26 (Buried in Mansfield) with no Tombstone
7, Harold Vincent Brown, aged 44 *
8, Vivian Maud Castle, aged 18
9, Enid Winifred Hall Cooper, aged 30 ( Buried in Balderton in St Giles Church Yard)
10, Edna May Cottam, aged 19 *
11, Gladys Cummings, aged 21 *
12, William Joseph Dixey, aged 62 *
13, Frederick Fowler, aged 39 – Lived on Long Street Great Gonerby, Grantham, Lincolnshire. He is buried in the Churchyard of St Sebastians C of E Church, Great Gonerby, Grantham, Lincolnshire
14, George William Godridge, aged 29 * O
15, Robert Barnsdale Grant, aged 47, his son Chris was only five when his Father died, he became Newark town mayor 50 years later in 1991-1992 *
16, John Henry Green, aged 55, Volunteer Home Guard, 11th Nottinghamshire (Newark) *
17, Horace Grocock, aged 47 ( Buried in Barnby in the Willow)
18, Albert Robert Gyde, aged 42*
19, Rose Ellen Hall, aged 30 * O
20, James Hazelby Hanger, aged 29 *
21, Thomas McHallam Hardie, aged 26 *
22, Sybil Harriet Hayden, aged 34
of Ivy Farm Cottage Kirklington Newark Notts buried at Hatfield Hyde Cemetery Hollybush Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7 4JU
23, Joyce May Kirton, aged 18
24, Lily Lambert, aged 22 * O
25, George Felix Lambley, aged 39 *
26, Edith Makins, aged 21 ( Buried in South Collingham)
27, Frederick William Mann, aged 46 * O
28, Frederick Markwell, aged 50 ( St Giles Church yard Balderton )
29, Claude Ware Hannah Martin, aged 36 *
30, Edward E. Martin, aged 46 * O
31, Richard Naylor, aged 25 *
32, Frederick William Packwood, aged 52 *
33, William Thomas Pepper, aged 18
34, Frederick Richards, aged 32 * O
35, Alfred Mayfield Ridge, aged 68 * O
36, Reginald William Senior, aged 35, died on the 8th March 1941 *
37, George Swanwick, aged 38 * O
38, Norah Trueblood, aged 34, *
39, Esther Evelyn Varney, aged 19, (her body was never found)
40, William Warner, aged 51 *
41 Arthur Worrell, aged 31 *

Our tribute, we will Remember the people that died during Ransome and Marles Bombing. 41 were killed 30 are buried in Newark Cemetery Nottinghamshire. A * star mark they are buried in Newark Cemetery 21 in total have a tombstone. O is put after names that do not have a tombstone.A retired journalist is appealing for help with his latest book that will tell the untold stories of those whose lives were affected by the bombing of a Newark factory during the second world war.

 Trevor Frecknall of North Muskham, has written ten books, including Newark In The Great War and Lionel’s War.
His next will deal with the bombing of Ransome and Marles bearings factory on March 7, 1941.

100_3087Chris Grant
A total of 41 people died and 165 more were injured when Luftwaffe bombers targeted the R&M





Chris Grant Did the roll Call for a number of years and read out the history of the bombing



Ball Bearings Factory, Trevor Frecknall has received help with his research from local studies librarian Mr Tim Warner
“He wanted to include every angle of this story and make it a thorough tribute to all those involved” he said.
“Many families who lost their loved ones and from the families of those who were injured.

Mr Frecknall said the day was known as Newark’s Black Friday.
“It must have been horrendous,” he said. “But 75 years later there are still many untold stories and I want to tell them for the first time.”
The raid began when many workers were returning from lunch at about 1.40pm.
A low-flying Heinkel bomber approached the factory from the south along the railway line.
Two bombs landed in the factory, another on the street and a fourth on an air raid shelter next to nearby Stanley Street.
The plane then passed over again and dropped a further bomb, which did not explode.
There was another attack at 2.25pm, when five bombs were dropped. One exploded and wounded many of the rescue workers.  75th anniversary of the bombing, which we commemorated.
The Friends of Newark Cemetery will lead tributes over three days of events and is inviting survivors, witnesses and descendants of those affected to take part.
The planned events include roll calls on the steps of Newark Town Hall and Newark Cemetery of those killed, and a church service.
Anyone with information for Mr Frecknall Author and former journalist should contact him at oracle 01636 702200.



The Stanley Works visit on the evening of the 75th Anniversary (Sunday 6th March 2016.


In the parking lot of NSK




Old fire engine at the former R&M Ball Bearings Works



At the Garden of Rememberance R&M – RHP – NSK


Wonderful to see Chris Grant plaque at NSK which as Newark Town Mayor placed it at RHP Garden of Remembrance March 1992


Newark in the Second World War records the events surrounding the bombing of the Ransome and Marles bearing factory at Newark-on-Trent. On Friday 7th March 1941 the most well known of all the raids on [Newark-On-Trent] took place when Ransome and Marles factory was bombed. The type of work carried out at the factory made it an obvious target for the Germans. The raid commenced at about 1.40pm. Many workers were returning from their lunch break when the alert sounded at 1.35pm. A few minutes later a single Heinkel III bomber – flying so low that those on the ground could see its markings – approached from the south, following the railway line. As it neared Ransome and Marles it was fired on from several different points but still managed to drop four high explosive bombs. Two of these landed in the works, one on the road at the side of the factory and the other on an air raid shelter adjacent to Stanley Street. The plane also machine-gunned the site before circling, passing over the factory again and dropping another bomb. Fortunately this one did not explode. According to German reports the aircraft flew over for a third time in order to take photographs. The Raiders Passed siren was sounded and rescue parties went immediately into action. Various ambulances transported casualties to hospital and the Home Guard helped to close the roads around the works. The First Aid posts and the Womens Voluntary Service canteen were also kept busy. At 2.24pm the alert sounded again. Another enemy aircraft approached and dropped five more bombs but only one exploded. This was near the road and caused more damage and casualties, many of those hurt being rescue workers. Raiders Passed was sounded again at 2.51pm. As a result of the raid 29 men and 12 women were killed. One young woman was never found and presumed dead. Amongst those killed, were a young woman who had planned to get married the following weekend and a man who had recently been discharged from the army. Sixty-five people were admitted to Newark Hospital and 100 more were treated at the works own underground hospital. The official German communiqué of the raid stated that A daring low level attack took place on an armament factory at Newark causing heavy damage in the workshops. The bombers were under the command of Lietenant Knaut and Lieutenant Randolf. Local papers were severely restricted in what they could report. The day after the raid the Newark Herald reported that A single German plane came out of the low-lying clouds yesterday and dropped a number of bombs on an East Midlands town. An hour later the same or another raider dropped more bombs in the same locality. There were a number of casualties, some being fatal. The official report from which much of this information comes was not made public until the end of the war. The day became known locally as Black Friday. After the raid the two paired Lewis guns which were mounted in sand-bagged positions on Clay Lane Bridge were replaced by a Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun mounted on a proper gun platform. Fortunately the factory was not attacked again. We will Remember them

To The Works That Died At Ransome and Marles Bombing Air Raid of 1941

This article is about the Luftwaffe’s air-raid on the Beacon Hill factory of Ransome & Marles, as witnessed. There is also a link to a list of the names of the people killed as a result of that raid.

Ransome and Marles Stanley factory (later RHP and now owned by NSK),
During WWI women replaced many factory workers – in Newark women worked in Ransome & Marles and Wothington & Simpsons factories making munitions, Mumby & Sons doing uniforms and Coopers parachutes.




John Henry Green photoJohn Henry Green








Fowler R&MFrederick Fowler aged 39 Lived on Long Street Great Gonerby, Grantham, Lincolnshire. He is buried in the Churchyard of St Sebastians C of E Church, Great Gonerby, Grantham, Lincolnshire

Sybil R&M DSC05251

Sybil Harriet Hayden, aged 34
of Ivy Farm Cottage Kirklington Newark Notts buried at Hatfield Hyde Cemetery Hollybush Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7 4JU








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