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Wartime and the Blitz

The Blitz - 14th November 1940

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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406 of 417  Wed 20th Nov 2019 8:49am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3785

A miss is as good as a mile the saying goes, but I wonder. as you head south out of Shilton railway station the train crossed a small valley on a large embankment, a huge bomb struck the base of the embankment luckily not damaging the rail, had it have done so many troop trains guns, tanks etc would have rolled down that embankment causing one of the biggest disasters of the war, just a few inches more would have done it, I and my brother stood on the edge of the crater less than eight hours after it struck, no photo's, not in print anywhere, just memories, part of the war that got lost in time.
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Midland Red
Cherwell
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407 of 417  Wed 18th Mar 2020 3:40pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5604

Interesting series of photos by George Rodger here, all purported to be in Coventry - some have appeared before on the forum
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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408 of 417  Thu 19th Mar 2020 1:50am  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:473

Of those images labelled as London, the one of mangled bus stops is obviously Coventry.
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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409 of 417  Sun 5th Apr 2020 11:03am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3785

J B Shelton. A Night in Little Park Street. The way I saw it. The last horse coaches in Coventry were about 1877, and Shelton was born about that time. He grew up in a class system, a time of tradition and roots, and spiritual upbringing, and everyone knew their place in the system. He gained education and wealth, and he bought an old coaching house, with stables and outhouses. He started a haulage business and prospered, became a voice in the city, and council. But his coach house was right in the heart of the city, a cluster of 19th century buildings mainly of wood beams, wooden stairs cupboards and stables, hay barns etc. Close to was a cardboard factory, part of his business. The area was a virtual tinder box, just waiting for one spark. Late 1930s he was an old man for those days, most of his business and horses now gone, but a big noise in the city. Then came war, a ring of 14 or so huge guns were thrown around the city - deafening, the earth trembled when all in action, and this man had a number of horses in this shattering mind-blowing powder keg, despite government leaflets warning people of the painful distress of animals, and to board them out or cull them. Hundreds of people in the city did so, heartbreaking. We had many raids, the noise you cannot imagine. Debris rang down on the stables, one can imagine the terrified horses, but still he kept the horses in the city. The blitz came, and the spark hit this powder keg, and all hell let loose. Because he was so high in city dealings, they gave him a medal. Still the old boy network, and you people cannot picture it. Two or three days after the blitz, Coventry heard about these horses dying - many pet owners wanted to know why, farmers were incensed.
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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410 of 417  Fri 9th Oct 2020 9:19am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3785

The Coventry City Fire Brigade was an all male affair until the war, then they employed the first of three young women - that made a difference to the talk. Quite soon the phones went dead, and we could only reach the crews with young boy messengers. One boy, son of Bill Kimberley, station officer, who had been killed in the raid, was not told till next morning but he kept taking messages. Just below Owen Owen’s, firemen fighting a fire near Sylvester's jewellers, a bomb blew glass all over them, then the building collapsed - six or seven trapped and killed. The rest of the crew were called to the Gaumont cinema - a bomb backstage killed 2-3 people, blowing arms and legs off. Taking people to the hospital, a bomb dropped in front of them on the tram lines, overhead cables came down on the ambulances, and rails came up - punctures galore, so they worked on foot. Walking through Coventry today, is there anything to remind us of these gallant men?
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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411 of 417  Sun 8th Nov 2020 11:57am  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:473

The Daily Mail today carries an article that claims the blitzed cities such as Coventry are still deprived areas today. But to emphasize that you shouldn't believe everything you read, the photo that it captions as an example of the devastation in Coventry is in fact a view of Plymouth.
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Wearethemods
Aberdeenshire
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412 of 417  Sat 14th Nov 2020 6:29pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:475

Father Forgive. Sad Sad
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
NeilsYard
Coventry
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413 of 417  Sat 14th Nov 2020 11:32pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2863

I have to share this from Peter Knight at Coventry Rebuilt. Thinking of all affected by the events that night on this anniversary 😢 The Blitzed City Edited by member, 14th Nov 2020 11:33 pm
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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Thread starter
414 of 417  Sun 15th Nov 2020 7:56pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1653

Yesterday David McGrory was interviewed about the Blitz on Coventry by Dan Snow, via Zoom. If anyone would like to hear the 22 minute recording, it is available as a Podcast on Dan's website, History Hits. Thumbs up
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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415 of 417  Sun 22nd Nov 2020 9:30am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3785

Rob. That’s like two schoolboys planning to go to the moon - they’ve heard of it, read of it, seen photos of it, and that's as far as they can go. End of story. The blitz - incendiary bombs are dropping all around, Coventry Fire Brigade have only two ladders of a hundred feet. The Hippodrome, the Opera House, the Gaumont and possibly Owens, full of people, require one each, if not more. What does your friend say happens next? Two days later the King comes all the way from London to Coventry - for what? When he leaves, has his journey been successful? Is he pleased he made the journey? Why did the King ignore the Prime Minister’s and Government’s advice?
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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Thread starter
416 of 417  Sun 22nd Nov 2020 10:08am  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1653

A little harsh Kaga, but I do understand what you mean about it seeming like a modern-day, distant take on the blitz. They only had 20 minutes though, and in that time could really only convey a few salient points to try and explain to relative youngsters of today what happened that night. Of course, what they really needed was a programme of many hours in length, with you there, explaining in multicoloured detail what it was really like to live through those dark terrifying 11 hours - and then the reality of the days and years to come for those deeply affected by it. The changing of human lives and way of thinking, as well as the changes to the fabric of Coventry itself. 20 minutes could never achieve that. Many longer programmes have been made in the past, interviewing those who lived then, but it's still important to remind today's generation what happened - and then perhaps programmes like this will inspire some to explore further, read more, watch more. Let's hope they at least managed that.
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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Thread starter
417 of 417  Tue 8th Dec 2020 9:30am  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1653

Recently, Peter Garbett photographed many of the air-raid casualty records available at Coventry's Archives at The Herbert, and passed them to me. I've compiled these into a searchable database, along with the ability to click and view the original documents, and you can now see this here.... https://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/blitz/victims.php At the moment they only go up to the big 14th/15th November raid, but hopefully later raids can also be incorporated, if available. For whatever reasons, there are many names not on this list, but wartime made many things difficult, so we have to work with the information available today.
Wartime and the Blitz - The Blitz - 14th November 1940

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