Bomb hero’s life work on display

the bomb detective: John Comben in front of a copy of a map in The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester

the bomb detective: John Comben in front of a copy of a map in The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A PENSIONER who plotted the location of every bomb which fell in Dorset in the Second World War is celebrating now his work is on display in Dorchester.

He successfully charted each explosive dropped by the Luftwaffe between 1939 and 1945.

And now he wants to thank everyone in the county who helped him with his work, which is now available for all to see at The Keep Military Museum.

In 2010, Mr Comben, of Poundbury, appealed for witnesses and anyone who knows where devices landed during the Second World War to get in touch.

He said: “Most people think Dorset got away lightly during the war – that it was a safe place.

“It’s important to know that this wasn’t the case.

“I think it is important that the bombs are recorded.

“I wanted to know about all the bombs which landed, exploded and left a crater.

“We needed to do this before the older generations which witnessed it go off to the pearly gates.”

Mr Comben added: “They think that Dorset escaped the bombs because evacuees were sent here.

“But Dorset had its fair share of bombs.

“Many were never recorded or photographed.

“A bomb would drop in a field and a farmer would just fill the crater in and plough over it.”

Widower Mr Comben, who has one son, plotted the location of the bombs on an Ordnance Survey map.

He said: “I want to thank everyone who helped me with this. The only way I could have contacted them was by people contacting me.

“And we had to do it while there is still people living who would have witnessed the bombs falling.”

Mr Comben was born in Bovington and later moved to Holton Heath where his father worked in the cordite factory for shells.

He was 13 at the outbreak of war and remembers an unexploded bomb landing outside his home a year later.

Mr Comben, who has worked as a coppersmith, panel beater, welder and car sprayer, said: “I have a good clear memory of the war and the bombings.

“You never had the time to think so it wasn’t frightening as such.”

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree