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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd March 1933 Born today: Geoffrey Leigh, CEO (Allied London Properties)
23rd March 1905 Born today: Ralph Perring, Lord Mayor (London)
23rd March 1889 The free Woolwich ferry service was launched by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.
23rd March 1861 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating
23rd March 1743 George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah premieres in London
23rd March 1729 Celebrated satirical painter William Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.
The SS Montgomery Wreck
The site of the visible wreck of the SS Montgomery.
Location: Thames off Sheerness
Description: This is where the American Liberty ship, the SS Richard Montgomery lies after being sunk in 1944. It was built during World War II to be one of the Allied Forces 2,710 cargo vessels.
It remains here because it went down with over 1,400 tonnes (1,500 short tons) of explosives on board:
- 286 2,000 lb (910 kg) high explosive Blockbuster bombs
- 4,439 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs of various types
- 1,925 500 lb (230 kg) bombs
2,815 fragmentation bombs and bomb clusters
- Various explosive booster charges
- Various smoke bombs, including white phosphorus bombs
- Various pyrotechnic signals
In 1973 it became the first wreck in the UK designated as dangerous under section 2 of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, and as such it has an exclusion zone around it monitored visually and by radar.
It is thought that if the cargo exploded that it would cause sever destruction to the surrounding area and flooding from a resulting wave.