Norwich boy, nine, who died after throwing bomb on bonfire is to be remembered 74 years after his death

A service was held at Earlham Cemetery in April 2017 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Baedeker ra

A service was held at Earlham Cemetery in April 2017 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Baedeker raids in Norwich. Pictured are the Mayor of Norwich Marion Maxwell and Stephen Freeman. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A nine-year-old Norwich boy who died when he picked up an incendiary bomb and threw it on a bonfire is to be remembered at a special ceremony in London 74 years after his death.

Cyril Cranmer's inquest was reported in the Thetford & Watton Times on May 22 1943. Credit: Archant.

Cyril Cranmer's inquest was reported in the Thetford & Watton Times on May 22 1943. Credit: Archant. - Credit: Archant

Cyril Cranmer, of Bowers Avenue, Mile Cross, suffered extensive burns to his face, arms and legs after putting a bomb on a bonfire in the garden and died at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on May 18 1943.

Cyril is one of many children who died while handling munitions during the Second World War and has been included in one of two new volumes of civilian war dead.

The new volumes will be presented to Westminster Abbey on Tuesday (May 23) by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) during a ceremony to mark its centenary.

Cyril, the son of Arthur and Hester Cranmer, has just this week been accepted for commemoration in the rolls with his details added to the CWGC's casualty database.

Picture from 2012 of police at the scene where a bomb disposal team detonated one of the two WWII hi

Picture from 2012 of police at the scene where a bomb disposal team detonated one of the two WWII high explosive shells at Eustace Road near Bowers Avenue, Mile Cross. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012


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A report of Cyril's inquest was published in the Thetford and Watton Times on May 22 1943 and stated city coroner Mr L.G. Hill recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

The inquest heard evidence from Cyril's mother who said her son brought home 'two partly-burnt out' incendiary bombs but she had told him to take them back to where he had found them.

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She was later told by her daughter that he had a bomb on the bonfire but as they went to the back door it exploded.

Cyril was treated by members of the Home Guard and taken to hospital where he died from secondary shock relating to the burns.

The coroner told Cyril's parents 'I am bound to say you were not quite careful enough with these things' adding they should have seen that the bombs went back to police or the wardens.

Norwich was changed forever by German bombing raids during the Second World War, most notably the so called Baedeker raids of April 1942 which claimed the lives of more than 200 people and saw many streets reduced to rubble.

A ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the raids was held at Earlham Cemetery last month and attended by Lord Mayor Marion Maxwell.

In February 2012 more than 50 homes in the Bowers Avenue area were evacuated following the discovery of an unexploded war-time bomb.

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