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IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939

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BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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1 of 61  Wed 22nd Feb 2012 10:40pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:119

http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/articles/content.php?pg=not-forgotten For anyone who is interested, BBC Coventry & Warwickshire have asked me to talk about this on Sunday (26th February) - should be on around 10:10am (certainly between 10 & 11am). If any forum members have any further memories or stories passed down from relatives about this sad day for Coventry & Ireland please reply to this post with them. Thank you.
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 61  Thu 23rd Feb 2012 2:53am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3022

I know that anyone in the city who spoke with an Irish accent went in fear of their lives after the bombing. One of them - a young girl at the time - told me she had to be shielded by the mother of an English family, an act of kindness she never forgot her entire life. It's also odd that the bombing of nearby Milverton railway station around the same time has been completely forgotten. I'd never even heard about it until a few weeks ago.
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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3 of 61  Sun 26th Feb 2012 10:59am  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1124

Excellent piece Simon - well done! Thumbs up It sounded like the presenter was quite touched, too. And thank you also for the kind mention - just looked at the stats, and there have been over 200 extra hits on the site this morning, almost certainly due to your broadcast! Big grin I only wish I had the courage to do what you've done on the radio. Blush Again, nice one Simon.
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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4 of 61  Sun 26th Feb 2012 12:23pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:119

Rob, I had a 'liquid breakfast' before going on air to settle my nerves - have been on the radio a few times but never talking about something of this nature before. They are going to link this website to whatever they put up on the BBC C&W website later. Thumbs up
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
NeilsYard
Coventry
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5 of 61  Sun 26th Feb 2012 8:32pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1634

Not quite 1939 but I was baptised at All Souls by one Father Fell.
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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6 of 61  Sun 26th Feb 2012 9:48pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1124

I forgot to mention earlier, I've recorded and edited down the programme to just include the interview. It's at the bottom of Simon's fabulous article page (follow the link, then press the [End] button on your keyboard). http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/articles/content.php?pg=not-forgotten
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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7 of 61  Thu 5th Mar 2015 8:10pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:119

Rob, I would just like to say a big thank you for hosting the "Not Forgotten" article about the IRA bombing of Broadgate on 25 August 1939. A high level meeting took place today at the Council House and it was agreed that a Memorial is to be erected (subject to final approval by Church HQ ) in the grounds of Coventry Cathedral - hopefully in early September. The Council and the Cathedral are paying for it. I finally got to meet relatives of Rex Gentle and John Corbett Arnott and also Jennifer Harby, the BBC journalist who moved things forward with her article last year and 'pressuring' of the relevant authorities to do something. A lot of tears were shed today. It has been a long journey but we have finally got there. Thumbs up ( And I guess I will have to update the article Smile )
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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8 of 61  Thu 5th Mar 2015 9:09pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1124

Oh Simon, that really is the most wonderful news. It really should be you, and those who have helped you, who deserve the huge thanks and praise, for putting in all the hard work, the research and the constant pressuring of the right people. What an amazing result you have achieved. I'm so proud of you, and extremely pleased that I've been able to play just a small part in this by publishing your super article. Well done, and please keep us informed of any further news.
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
morgana
the secret garden
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9 of 61  Thu 5th Mar 2015 9:18pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2259

Wonderful news Brother Joybert great you achieved your aim. Smile
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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10 of 61  Fri 6th Mar 2015 12:14am  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:877

I am pleased to see that the innocent victims of this atrocity are to be commemorated in a memorial. I cannot help but wonder, however, why this memorial cannot be situated at the site where it happened. I don't see any logic in it being in the grounds of a church some distance away. Was there some objection to it being in Broadgate?
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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11 of 61  Fri 6th Mar 2015 6:15am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:119

That is a good point MisterD-Di. The discussion for memorial sites initially included Broadgate, the flower bed in front of Holy Trinity Church & the Millennium Screen inside the Millennium Chapel inside the new Cathedral. Cllr Townshend explained the Council had no objection to Broadgate but felt with the almost constant changes to the area there would be no way of guaranteeing it would be permanent. There was also more chance of anything located here being 'disrespected' - ie vandalised. On balance, the Coventry folk at the meeting, including myself, backed this view up. Even in my relatively short life-time I have lost track of the changes to Broadgate. The relatives attending accepted this. The Holy Trinity option would have been fairly prominent and closer to the location of the explosion but again it was felt it would be more exposed to vandalism. The Millennium Screen was then suggested by Canon Porter but this was rejected as the relatives want a distinct memorial rather than names being added to others with no context. The Cathedral Ruins were enquired about but no more memorials are being located here. Canon Porter then suggested the Unity Lawn and after a discussion this was accepted as the best location in terms of a nice spot, maintenance and permanence as no development of this area is likely as it is Cathedral land and home to memorials already. I would stress it was the relatives call and the Lord Mayor, Cllrs Townshend and Fletcher and Canon Porter put no barriers in the way and were fully supportive. If the relatives had insisted on Broadgate it would have gone in Broadgate. It is hoped that before September relatives of Elsie Ansell, James Clay and Gwilym Rowlands can be tracked down to get their thoughts and input. Report on BBC website Edited by member, 6th Mar 2015 6:16 am
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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12 of 61  Fri 6th Mar 2015 1:13pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:119

A service at Coventry Cathedral followed by the unveiling of a permanent memorial to the five victims of the no warning IRA 'Bicycle Bomb' attack is being planned for September 2015. Organisers are keen to make contact with the relatives of James Clay, Gwilym Rowlands and Elsie Ansell. Relatives of John Corbett Arnott and Rex Gentle are involved in the decision making process but those concerned are keen to get the thoughts of other affected families. They are also keen to hear from anyone who was injured in the attack or relatives of the injured. Genealogists are on the case too but any help would be appreciated plus any stories about that day. Email me at ginger.simon@hotmail.co.uk Some details of the deceased and a list of the injured: The deceased [notes are by the BBC journalist Jennifer Harby] Mr James Clay, aged 82, 22 Clarendon Road, Kenilworth I believe Mr Clay’s wife, Sarah, died in 1933. The Co-Operative Society described Mr Clay as the “Peter Pan of the Midlands”. It said he was an active member of the Coventry Co-Operative Society since he was a young man. For 20 years he was secretary of the Coventry District Association and the District Hours and Wages Board. He took a new job at the age of 60 and the society says he was returning to his office at the time of the blast. I don’t know many details about Mr Clay’s children, but representatives at his funeral included his daughter, Mrs Leonard Marsh, her husband and their daughter, Dorothy Marsh. That’s as far as I got with James Clay – I assume Dorothy Marsh grew up and possibly married, but having no age for her, it was very difficult to track her down. Mr Gwilym Rowlands, aged 50, 86 Poole Road, Coventry Mr Rowlands married his wife Mary Ann in 1921 – she survived him, as she gave evidence at the murder trial (or evidence from her was at least read out). I don’t know if they had children. He worked for the Coventry Corporation as a road sweeper. Simon’s article contains information about his funeral – he was buried at St Nicholas Church and buried in the graveyard there. There were wreaths from the Radford Social Club and the Cheylesmore branch of the Transport and General Workers’ Union – I didn’t actually think to try the union to see if they have any further records about him or his family. Miss Elsie Ansell, aged 21, 13 Clarendon Street, Coventry Elsie was due to be married to a man named Harry Davies but, sadly, it’s such a common name and we don’t know his age or where he was from, so tracking him or his family down may be difficult (presuming he survived World War Two). Her funeral took place at St Barbara’s Church. Their records say that the funeral took place on 30th August and was followed by the funeral of her mother, Laura Henrietta Ansell (nee Lever) on 8th February 1940, when she was 49 – the church suspects they were not members of the congregation, as they have few other details about them and regulars do not remember them. Elsie’s birth was registered in 1918. Her parents were Frederick A. Ansell and Laura H. Lever and their marriage was registered in 1911 – very quickly afterwards, in 1911, they had a son Frederick C. Ansell. The church believes Elsie’s paternal grandfather may have been a watchmaker living in Chapelfields. I managed to track down a little more information about Elsie’s brother, Frederick C. Ansell – I believe he may have married a woman named Dora Edna Hall in 1935 and he died in Manchester in 1962. He has been the subject of some research on Ancestry.co.uk – a family named McNaught seem to have added him to their family tree, but although I dropped them a message, I haven’t heard anything back. List of the injured (according to the Midlands Daily Telegraph, 1939) [Name, age, address] Mrs Jeannie Wilson, 56, 143 Grangemouth Road Miss Muriel Timms, 14, 16 Gregory Avenue (Miss Timms’ old friend has been traced – the lady herself has now passed away) Mrs Elsie Crane, 24, 124 Blackwatch Road Mrs Ada Gee, 69, 10 Chapel Square, Foleshill Miss E. Baglin, 25, 48 Leicester Causeway Mrs Walters, 73, Nunts Park Avenue Harold Murdock, 43, 17 Duncroft Avenue Alfred Goode, 22, 19 Uplands, Stoke Heath Thomas T Baxter, 19, Glenigla, Stoneleigh Road Norman Algar, 27, 43 Wyley Road Kate Cherrington, 216 Bell Green Road A.E.Hilton, 38, Woodway Lane, Walsgrave Miss M Sunderland, 4 Grayswood Avenue Mrs A. Keegan, 60, Treherne Road Mrs Dean, 44, Steppingstones Road Mrs Harriet Fetchwell, 33, 8 Much Park Street A.E. Flytton, 33, 38 Woodway Lane John Worth, 40, 93 Burnham Road, Whitley A.Jeffcoate, 12, 46 Fisher Road Lucy Prentice, 18, 61 Pearson Avenue H.James, 54, 4 Beaumont Crescent Bernard Barren, 20, 4 Myrtle Grove T.M.Broadbridge, 29, Albert Crescent, Keresley Miss E. Howett, 20, 43 Holyhead Road Joseph Rutherford, 48, Duke Barn Fields Joseph Grave, 94, Addison Road Miss L. Williams, Binley Miss Ida Clarson, 20, Brays Lane Miss L. Ryde, Countess Croft, Cheylesmore Miss Ellen Suttle, 9 Shaftesbury Road, Earlsdon Miss Leech, 22, Woodside Road, Cheylesmore George Wormley, 56, 123 Hollis Road Albert Gilbert, 27, 57 Thomas Lansdown Street K. Kinsella, 30, 12 Handcross Road Albert S. Smith, 63, 19 King Richard Street Raymond J. Eales, 14, 50 Duncroft Avenue William Russell, 29, 310 Bell Green Road Jack Robinson, 22, 15 Welland Road James D. Burton, 30, Shawcroft Crescent Rugby Hugh Barren, 27, 5 Abbey Cottages, Binley Peter Rock, 9, 20 Christchurch Road W.J. Smith, 33, 95 Dugdale Road Albert J. Charnley, 28, 39 Primrose Hill Street Miss Graham, 26, Ungley House Farm, Walsgrave James Doyle, 24, 35 Percy Street, Coventry
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
AD
Allesley Park
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13 of 61  Fri 6th Mar 2015 3:39pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:380

Although it hasn't been stated what this memorial will be, could some form of commemorative plaque etc be etched and placed near the scene (ie currently on Cathedral Lanes would probably be closest at this time). Then if changes were made it could quite easily be removed and relocated afterwards? I do think a reminder near the actual scene would also be fitting
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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14 of 61  Fri 6th Mar 2015 8:03pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:345

I checked Peter Rock, as at age 9 he could well be still alive. I believe he was Peter Adrian, born in Coventry on 2nd Aug 1930 but died Oct 2000 in Bedworth/Nuneaton. His parents were John Rock and Edith E Ward. However I've failed to locate a marriage for Peter. update: John and Edith were married in 1929 and after Peter had John R in 1934, David in 1939 and Mary in 1944. John would be old enough to remember the occasion, so I researched him further. He married Dorothy in 1957 and had 3 children but is not in the current phone book, though 192.com records the couple in the 2002/03 electoral roll. Their son Simon is in the phone book and should have more information about his father, uncle and aunt. Edited by member, 7th Mar 2015 10:12 am
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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15 of 61  Sun 30th Aug 2015 5:19pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1899

There were two bombs, one in the cycle carrier, another dislodged by the explosion from its hiding place on the clock above the jeweller's shop.
IRA Broadgate Bomb 1939

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