Me­mo­rial to men killed in blast

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Family Announcements -

A me­mo­rial ser­vice to three men from Chil­ham who lost their lives in the Great Ex­plo­sion of 1916 will be held on Sun­day.

Held at Old Wives Lees Vil­lage Hall, the event will com­mem­o­rate the 101st an­niver­sary of the tragic blast, which killed 116 men in Uplees, near Faver­sham.

The ser­vice will be hosted by the Chil­ham Re­mem­brance Group, which will present plaques to the res­i­dents of the last homes where the three men from the vil­lage lived.

The dis­as­ter is the big­gest catas­tro­phe in the Bri­tish ex­plo­sives in­dus­try.

Len Budd, chair­man of the group, said: “This is not a very well known event and has been shrouded in mys­tery since the day it hap­pened.

“Only af­ter 100 years has the of­fi­cial re­port into the cause of the ex­plo­sion been pub­lished.

“Ba­si­cally the cause of the ex­plo­sion was a com­bi­na­tion of un­safe stor­age of TNT next to am­mo­nium ni­trate and loose sparks from an ad­ja­cent boiler house. The sparks set fire to some sacks left out­side a wooden shed hous­ing the ex­plo­sives, and the fire even­tu­ally reached the ex­plo­sives, with the dev­as­tat­ing re­sult.”

Fif­teen tonnes of TNT and 150 tonnes of am­mo­nium ni­trate ex­ploded. It was so pow­er­ful that win­dows shat­tered 15 miles away across the Thames es­tu­ary in Southend.

The ser­vice will start at the vil­lage hall at 2pm.

FM4711387

Teneka Wal­ford be­fore the char­ity hair­cut

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