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BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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1 of 148  Wed 17th Nov 2010 5:26pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:129

Trevor Harkin's latest book came out just before the 70th Anniversary of the devastating air raid of 14/15 November 1940. This is a review from an Earlsdon perspective. It should also be available at Waterstones and W H Smith in the city centre ... The Blitz of 14/15 November 1940 is very well documented. Some excellent books have been published such as Moonlight Sonata by Tim Lewis but up until now none has focused mainly on the victims. Local author Trevor Harkin has put this right. This book details the casualties of the Blitz and equally importantly details are given of the victims who died in air raids prior to the Blitz - people who are often overlooked. Add to this eyewitness accounts from over 40 survivors and it all adds up to a very welcome addition to the collection of Coventry Blitz literature. The book opens with a small section on air raid precautions and details the procedures for burials and mass burials. The instructions for burials / mass burials came from the government - Circular 1779 - issued in February 1939. Amendments were made and it was sent to the Coventry Corporation (Council) in April 1940. So although people think the Corporation came up with the idea of mass burials in communal graves at London Road cemetery it seems they were following instructions laid down by the government. This is something I wasn't aware of and Trevor has done well to highlight this. The next section lists the casualties of air raids prior to the 14/15 November. The street / location is provided followed by brief details of the victims. For example, four people died at 3 Dalton Road on 21 October 1940 and on 28 October 1940, Albert Baldock died at his home - 97 Broomfield Road. The last entry for this section is dated 5 November 1940 and remembers Violet Grensill who died aged 22 at Foleshill Road. We then come to the main part of the book detailing the victims of the infamous air raid which began at 7:10pm on 14 November 1940. Trevor has split the accounts into the different areas of the city affected - City Centre, Coventry North East, Coventry South East, Coventry South West, Coventry North West and Coventry North. The descriptions are more detailed and accompanied where possible with photographs. This section also contains the survivors accounts of that terrible night. Of particular interest to Earlsdon residents is the section on Coventry North West. Here we read about Frederick Yeomans who died at 8 Palmerston Road. Ann Yardley who died at 25 Bristol Road. Sarah Ann Toney who died at 26 Kensington Road. Harold Harrison who died at 8 Kenilworth Road. Albert & Ada Lockett who died at 224 Earlsdon Avenue. Herbert Marley and his daughters Iris and Olive Lily perished at 111 Broomfield Road. Five members of the Witcomb family were killed at 111 Beechwood Avenue. Simon William Heynes, aged just 3, died at 167 Beechwood Avenue. Sergeant Lionel Scott of the Home Guard was injured at Albany Road and died in hospital two days later. At 147 Albany Road, Anne Elizabeth Wright was injured and died the next day. Beatrice Mansfield and John Jones died at 158 Albany Road. At 53 Mickleton Road Frances and Peter Robinson lost their lives. A number of eye witness accounts are included. Richard Aldridge (who was 9) and Tony Duffy (who was 8) both lived in Coniston Road and share their memories of that night. The sections on each district conclude with details of the number of injuries recorded and where they were treated. For example, one person from 89 Berkeley Road and one from 10 Stoneleigh Avenue were detained in Warwick Hospital. Four people from 2 Newcombe Road were treated at a first aid post. Next comes a section called 'Citations and Awards' which gives a good insight into the bravery and courage shown that night. This is followed by a few pages concerning newspaper headlines about the raid, minutes from a Council meeting, some reports from newspapers after the raid and a reproduction and translation of a German propaganda booklet called "Bombs on Coventry". The book runs to 266 pages and easily succeeds in its main objective - humanising the cold statistics of almost 600 killed and nearly 1000 injured. One of the people Trevor thanks in the acknowledgements is Jane Hewitt. Her website includes The Coventry Blitz Resource Centre which no doubt provided Trevor with a lot of information. We should be grateful to both of them for all the hard work and research they have put into ensuring the victims are not forgotten. Antiques of Earlsdon are selling the book for £12.95. It is also available from a number of City Centre outlets including the Tourist Information Centre in the old Cathedral tower. It should also be available via Trevor's War Memorial Park website.
Books on Coventry
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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2 of 148  Sun 28th Nov 2010 7:14pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:174

I have just bought a copy of this book and it's worth every penny. I have a personal interest in this publication because my great uncle and his wife lost their lives in the bomb that destroyed the West End Club in Spon Street. The book also solves the mystery of why there was a gap in the row of houses near my grand-parents home in Stoke Aldermoor. It turns out that five houses were destroyed resulting in the death of one person.
Books on Coventry
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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Thread starter
3 of 148  Fri 8th Apr 2011 2:14pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:129

Following on from his "Coventry 14th/15th November 1940 Casualties, Awards and Accounts" book, local Author Trevor Harkin has just published this new book to mark the 70th anniversary of the ferocious air raids on Coventry during 'Holy Week' of 1941. The book provides details of all those who died in the raids and also includes details of all those who died in raids after 15 November 1940 until the end of the war. So combined with the first book he has managed to record all known victims of air raids on Coventry in print. If you can't find it in a shop it is available direct from the author at: http://www.warmemorialpark.co.uk/
Books on Coventry
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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4 of 148  Fri 15th Apr 2011 4:36pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:174

I have now received a copy of the book and one thing that strikes me in the casualty lists is the number of people who were not originally from Coventry. I suppose this reflects the fact that during the great depression of the 1930's Coventry got off fairly lightly compared to the North of England and Wales. So people flocked to Coventry to work in the new "high-tech" industries such as the motor industry, electronics and aviation.
Books on Coventry
InnisRoad
Hessle
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5 of 148  Fri 8th Jul 2011 8:27am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:135

If you haven't already seen one, I suggest you try to get hold of a copy of "Coventry Past and Passing" compiled by A E Feltham. It was published by Caldicote and Feltham in 1927. My dad had just started his apprenticeship there as a book binder and he bound at least some of them. I lost touch with his original copy, but I managed to buy one on ebay for a reasonable sum. There aren't too many copies about because it was issued to subscribers only.
Regards Innis Road

Books on Coventry
InnisRoad
Hessle
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6 of 148  Sat 9th Jul 2011 7:15am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:135

Hi Dutchman I don't think I've seen any before. There are lots of line drawings from before the days of photography, including the (Samuel) Lines collection. A lot of the Photos are by Joseph Wingrove and some are from Poole's History of Coventry. Other pictures were lent privately and one or two from the (1927) City Library Collection. I am familiar with it since my early childhood.
Regards Innis Road

Books on Coventry
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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7 of 148  Tue 2nd Aug 2011 4:56am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3088

I have had a signed Alton Douglas book given to me titled COVENTRY A Century of News. I suppose I should have gone into the book reviews but I am sure not everyone goes into that very often. However, it is well worth a look for those who have not yet read it. No doubt some of you may have. Some of the pictures are mind boggling. A real keepsake.
Books on Coventry
dutchman
Spon End
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8 of 148  Tue 2nd Aug 2011 12:58pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3188

Agreed. The best feature is the photos of the 'new' Coventry being built alongside the 'old' one.
Books on Coventry
Midland Red

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9 of 148  Fri 25th Nov 2011 2:31pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4265

As Christmas approaches, no doubt many are like me - been there, done it, got it or don't want it - but really look forward to receiving a book token or a book on one of their favourite subjects For those looking for good book on Coventry, may I recommend the latest publication from that doyen of Coventry book producers, David McGrory It's entitled "Coventry Then and Now" and is part of the Britain in Old Photographs series published by The History Press Ltd And what makes it even more attractive than some of David's previous books is that it comes illustrated with photographs by none other than our own Forum-meister himself, Rob Orland, and also by his son and heir, Steve It comes highly recommended - by me! And also by this reviewer on Amazon : "Even most of the old photographs are new! Dave's second then and now book (the first produced for WHSmith several years ago) works really well for those people less familiar with the city and is a great way to introduce people to the history that is around them - particularly in the city centre. With the changes that have taken place over the years thanks to a number of factors (including both town planners and the Luftwaffe), it is not always easy to work out what you are looking at when studying old photographs. Having the new equivalent on the same page is a big help. One or two of the photos have featured in his books before, but not with the modern one alongside. Definitely one for the Christmas wish list for anyone interested in Coventry history, or tracing family who used to live here" Spot on, reviewer! There are many good books out there about Coventry, with hundreds of photographs and lots of information to enjoy Just a word of warning - avoid at all costs one called "Coventry through time" - have a look at these reviews on Amazon if you need to be convinced : LINK Cheers Cheers
Books on Coventry
dutchman
Spon End
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10 of 148  Fri 25th Nov 2011 2:47pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3188

My personal favourite: LINK Not to be confused with another book with almost the same title but a completely different author.
Books on Coventry
K
Somewhere
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11 of 148  Fri 25th Nov 2011 2:59pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:604

On 25th Nov 2011 2:31pm, Midland Red said: Just a word of warning - avoid at all costs one called "Coventry through time" - have a look at these reviews on Amazon if you need to be convinced : LINK Cheers Cheers
I just love those two reviews of Coventry through time, MR - hilarious!!! Best laugh I've had for a while! Lol Lol Cheers
Books on Coventry
NeilsYard
Coventry
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12 of 148  Sat 26th Nov 2011 10:54am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1533

Sorry Midland Red - missed that thread - Geoff Barwick was the author of the other excellent books...
Books on Coventry
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
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13 of 148  Sat 26th Nov 2011 1:30pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:206

A bit scary, and I haven't finished reading it yet, but the "Book of the Week" in a Washington DC hotel I just stayed in was called "To say nothing of the Dog", (author Connie Willis, Bantam Books). The basic premise is that in the year 2077, with time travel a routine but tiresome activity of the bureaucracy, someone is sent back to 1940 Coventry to recover something from the ruins of the cathedral, so that a faithful replica of the original can be built - in Oxford, for some reason. Oddly, the spire - covered in blue plastic sheeting (which wasn't yet invented in 1940) - can be seen from the sports field of Balliol College Oxford, and the "hero" is sent off to a health centre in "Lucy Hampton", which all suggests that the author did her basic research a long way from Coventry, and couldn't even read the place names in Google Earth properly. But at least it's fun to know that you can pick up a book about your home town in a place as far away as Washington!
True Blue Coventry Kid

Books on Coventry
K
Somewhere
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14 of 148  Sat 26th Nov 2011 1:43pm  
Off-topic / chat  

Midland Red

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15 of 148  Sat 26th Nov 2011 2:55pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4265

To Say Nothing of the Dog is a science-fiction fantasy in the guise of an old-fashioned Victorian novel, complete with epigraphs, brief outlines, and a rather ugly boxer in three-quarters profile at the start of each chapter. Or is it a Victorian novel in the guise of a time-travelling tale, or a highly comic romp, or a great, allusive literary game, complete with spry references to Dorothy L. Sayers, Wilkie Collins, and Arthur Conan Doyle? Its title is the subtitle of Jerome K. Jerome's singular, and hilarious, Three Men in a Boat. In one scene the hero, Ned Henry, and his friends come upon Jerome, two men, and the dog Montmorency in--you guessed it--a boat. Jerome will later immortalise Ned's fumbling. (Or, more accurately, Jerome will earlier immortalise Ned's fumbling, because Ned is from the 21st century and Jerome from the 19th.) What Connie Willis soon makes clear is that genre can go to the dogs. To Say Nothing of the Dog is a fine, and fun, romance--an amused examination of conceptions and misconceptions about other eras, other people. When we first meet Ned, in 1940, he and five other time jumpers are searching bombed-out Coventry Cathedral for the bishop's bird stump, an object about which neither he nor the reader will be clear for hundreds of pages. All he knows is that if they don't find it, the powerful Lady Schrapnell will keep sending them back in time, again and again and again. Once he's been whisked through the rather quaint Net back to the Oxford future, Ned is in a state of super time-lag. The only way Ned can get the necessary two weeks' R and R is to perform one more drop and recuperate in the past, away from Lady Schrapnell. Once he returns something to someone (he's too exhausted to understand what or to whom) on June 7, 1888, he's free. Willis is concerned, however, as is her confused character, with getting Victoriana right, and Ned makes a good amateur anthropologist--entering one crowded room, he realises that "the reason Victorian society was so restricted and repressed was that it was impossible to move without knocking something over." Though he's still not sure what he's supposed to bring back, various of his confederates keep popping back to set him to rights. To Say Nothing of the Dog is a shaggy-dog tale complete with a preternaturally quiet, time-travelling cat, Princess Arjumand, who might well be the cause of some serious temporal incongruities--for even a mouser might change the course of European history. In the end, readers might well be more interested in Ned's romance with a fellow historian than in the bishop's bird stump, and who will not rejoice in their first Net kiss, which lasts 169 years! Ned Henry shuttles between the 1940s and the twenty-first century while researching Coventry Cathedral for a patron interested in rebuilding it until the time continuum is disrupted. Oh my
Books on Coventry

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