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Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII

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Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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1 of 166  Sat 14th Aug 2010 3:16pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1391

This will be a general thread about Coventry (including Warwickshire) in the Second World War. If you'd like to specifically discuss the big 14th November raid, "The Blitz", please use this thread: The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
alpine
United Kingdom
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2 of 166  Sat 14th Aug 2010 9:29pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2

Can anyone tell me if there is a list of names of people known to have been killed in the bombing of Coventry in 1940, please?
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
dutchman
Spon End
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3 of 166  Sat 14th Aug 2010 10:39pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

Please note this index does not distinguish between victims of the 1940 blitz and the 1941 blitz although the individual entries do.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
alpine
United Kingdom
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4 of 166  Sun 15th Aug 2010 7:37pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2

Thank you very much for that link. It gives me a lot of names to investigate as I don't know the name of the person I am looking for. He married my grandfather's sister, whose name I do know, but can't find a marriage for, so will trawl through the names until I find the right person.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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5 of 166  Fri 8th Apr 2011 2:14pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:118

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.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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6 of 166  Sat 9th Apr 2011 11:34am  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:169

My mother always maintained that the April raids were more terrifying to her then the November 11 blitz. I am about to order a copy of the book.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
dutchman
Spon End
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7 of 166  Sun 10th Apr 2011 6:43pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

You can view some of the aftermath of the raid as recorded by a Life magazine photographer at the time here.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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8 of 166  Fri 15th Apr 2011 4:36pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:169

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.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
dutchman
Spon End
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9 of 166  Fri 15th Apr 2011 9:52pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

They weren't necessarily given a choice. It was common practice for someone unemployed in the North or Wales to turn-up to collect their dole money on a Friday only to be given a one-way rail ticket instead and be told that they "...begin work in Coventry on Monday". Many of them probably didn't even know where Coventry was? It was left up to the individual to find suitable accommodation for themself and make arrangements for their family to join them later. The work wasn't always that well-paid either and many families left a life of poverty in the provinces only to find a new life of poverty in the Midlands.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
InnisRoad
Hessle
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10 of 166  Tue 26th Jul 2011 8:44am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:126

Could this be the origin of the phrase "Sent to Coventry"?
Regards Innis Road

Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
Midland Red
Cherwell
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11 of 166  Tue 26th Jul 2011 9:19am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5110

Not according to this from the website of St John the Baptist Church, Coventry St. John's Church owes its existence to the desire of the medieval religious guild of St. John the Baptist to have its own place of worship, rather than a small chapel in either Holy Trinity or St. Michael's, the two parish churches of Coventry at that time. In the City Archives at St. Mary's Hall, there is a document which is dated May 1344. In it Queen Isabella, widow of King Edward II, granted an area of land, called 'Babbelak', to the Guild of St. John the Baptist, to be used for building a chapel, in honour of St. John the Baptist. The chapel was dedicated on the 2nd of May 1350. In the year between 1375 and the end of the 14th century, the tower and the north side were constructed. The picture below, left shows the tower, while the photograph to the right shows one of the stone carved, gothic-style statues, which feature in abundance on the exterior of the church. The guild of St. John was later joined by the guilds of St. Catherine and The Holy Trinity, and the chapel became a collegiate church with up to 10 secular priests, 12 singing men and a warden. At the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, the church was closed and given to the Mayor and Corporation of Coventry. During the Commonwealth, the Church was loaned to an Independent Minister, Samuel Basnett. The Church was used to imprison Scottish Royalist soldiers after the Battle of Preston in 1648, during the Civil War. The saying 'sent to Coventry' stems from the hostile reception given to the soldiers by the local people, meaning that someone is being treated coldly or ignored. Following the restoration in 1660 of the monarchy, the building fell into a state of neglect and a local textile manufacturer is said to have used it as a 'Stretch Yard'. On 24th June (St. John the Baptist's Day) 1734, the Church became a Parish Church, with Spon Ward as its Parish. The Church was no longer a Guild Chapel, but officially styled 'St. John the Baptist'. The name 'Bablake Church' was also used until recently. The first Rector was the Reverend Edward Jackson, who remained there for 24 years. He was also the headmaster of Bablake School, founded by Thomas Wheatley, the original building of which can be seen in the quadrangle behind the church and the Bond's Hospital almshouses.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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12 of 166  Tue 26th Jul 2011 1:44pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4109

I understand that an accounting error on a deal, between Thomas Wheatley and a Spanish merchant, was used for the benefit of the Bablake school by Thomas Wheatley. It was a small fortune. Mistakes still occur in foreign currency transactions. Lol I once saw an illustration of the lake 'Bablake' which stretched from Hill St to the present Swanswell Pool, but I have no idea if it was accurate. Cheers On the subject of the 'Forgotten Air Raids'. it was the April blitz that took my mum's house, 18 Grangemouth Rd. My mum & dad were married 1938, and only three pieces of furniture survived the blast. They are now restored & in my home. I have never forgotten the April raids, even being born seven years later.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
K
Somewhere
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13 of 166  Sat 12th Nov 2011 4:38pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:566

I notice some discussions about the air raids on Coventry of November 1940 and March 1941. They weren't the only ones though, and I wondered whether there had been any information posted or discussed about others. Whilst the big one of 1940 is always the one remembered, there were a number before that. My mother went to town on the bus one day when the sirens sounded, and a raid started. The bus driver stopped the bus in Maudslay Rd, and he and the conductor (conductress?) fled, leaving the passengers to sort themselves out. My mother walked home along Whoberley Avenue and Glendower Ave during the raid, much to my father's consternation. One target of the raid was the Standard. My brother wasn't evacuated until after the 1940 raid (he was 14 in 1940) but afterwards my parents sent him to Lancaster. He was somewhat neglected by the family there, and they brought him home after only a few months - whether before or after the 1941 raid, I don't know; but he started his apprenticeship at Rootes in 1942, so must have been some time previous to that. At one point in 1941, a lone bomber got lost, saw houses and dropped his bomb load. Those bombs landed near my parents' house, and one going off over the road blew my father through the hallway - it blew the front door off its hinges (and all the front windows in, and two ceilings down), picked my father up, and he landed on the tea wagon that was stored in the hall. It chopped off about 9 inches of the legs of the tea wagon, so he was very fortunate. The bomber I believe was shot down over the Cotswolds (boy, was he lost! Big grin ) There were quite a number of hit and run raids early in the war, and on some towns throughout the war; Hull is an example: there were apparently over 800 raids on Hull over the duration of the war. I wondered how many there were on Coventry in total, but I imagine there were quite a few.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
morgana
the secret garden
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14 of 166  Sat 12th Nov 2011 11:47pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2216

I have already on this forum spoke about the same plane Smile going to the Standard to bomb it, as my mother and her boyfriend at the time chased it by car, from Radford over to the Standard, I looked after my mum for nearly 30 years and listen to her tales of the war, another one was where one came down the middle of Catesby Road, Radford shooting all the way down the road, also while working in the Daimler in the shadow factory Radford she was blown off her feet across the factory floor, another one was in Bell Green where one started to shoot at the bus she was on from visiting my aunty. To think these are the people who now are classed as dirty scroungers if asking the social for any kind of help towards their illness bedding, as this is what they called my mum. Wonder how many people know where there are still air raid shelters, there is still some on the green of Jubilee Crescent underneath, also one in Bulkington back of the park on the way down to the stream.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
dutchman
Spon End
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15 of 166  Sun 13th Nov 2011 2:08am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

I think I've mentioned here before that German bombers routinely machine-gunned kiddies playing in Craven Street whilst headed towards the Standard factory. This has recently been confirmed by the release of transcripts of secret recordings made by British intelligence of conversations by captured German airman. They even bragged about the good feelings it gave them. My half-German mother would have been one their victims too but for my great grandfather's foresight in borrowing his engineering company's armoured payroll van to transport her family to the Dutch coast for eventual evacuation to England. I am told the aircraft's bullets simply bounced off the van.
Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII

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