Blitz Story Archive, part 3

This is an archive of true stories about life in Coventry during the Blitz, as told by survivors and by the friends and families of victims. I would like to add as many Blitz memories as possible to this archive, in order to preserve history for future education, and to honour the memories of those who were killed by the bombing raids.

If you have any interesting memories or family stories of wartime Coventry or the Blitz please email them to met and I shall be happy to add them to my site. Any wartime snapshots would also be much appreciated.

Memories of Maud Smith

Photo of Blitz victims Annie Audrey Roberts and her daughter Annie Patricia

Photo of Annie Audrey Roberts (nee Woodward) and her daughter Annie Patricia who were killed on 14 November 1940 during the Moonlight Sonata raid

Annie and her husband Bill Roberts were publicans. They ran the West End Club in Spon Street. Bill was an Air Raid Precaution Warden (or similar) and was out on duty that night. Annie and her daughter, along with some customers, 12 in all, were sheltering in the cellar of the club when it took a direct hit. Bill survived. From the following letter my Granddad received a few weeks later, was serving pints again within a week of the attack! Tom Roberts eventually signed up for active service but was invalided out with TB.

Letter and photo reproduced with the kind permission of M Smith

Proffit Ave
Bell Green
Coventry

Thursday 5th

Dear Mary and Tom,

Received your letter last week but I didn’t reply straight away because I wanted to get positive news of Tom Roberts. Well he is OK. I went to see Aunt Betty at the Angel, that was yesterday, with a letter from his brother-in-law Glyn Grant in Treherbert that was given to us by a woman who went down there to see her children who are billeted with Maud’s sister Doll. I took it in my dinner hour and Aunt Betty said she doesn’t know what’s wrong with Roberts. He is still carrying on at the club ‘midst the ruins’ because it appears the club is still serving.

She said to me that she had told Roberts he must be mad and why don’t he go home to his own people for a while, maybe start afresh away from here. Anyway I asked her to tell him to write to his mother, she said she would.

Well our little town is beginning to function again, the light gas and water are on but we are having to boil our drinking water. The syrons (sic) have gone and Nasty is up, so I may have to leave this letter and gather our tackle to get to the shelter. As you may guess we get out our things ready, Jerry is right over head now, I am listening and writing. He’s passed, the guns have opened up at Birmingham, poor devils their turn tonight, and last night. This is a little unnerving every night, because whenever he’s at the Midlands he must come over Coventry. But, let me whisper “touching wood” he hasn’t dropped anything here for over a week.

I have seen Joe once rushing by in his juggernaught(sic) There must be hundreds of Welsh people gone back down there for we hear on all sides of people we know that’s gone, not only Welsh people have gone, only one third of Coventry’s population are here now. Did you know that Jerry knocked down 31,000 dwelling houses in Coventry in that one night and the city is one mass of rubble..but don’t pass that on to the enemy, not much material damage.

There’s another Jerry over, he’s started some fires at Birmingham. Well, this isn’t a very nice letter, better next time.

Love

Maud and George

The story archive continues with the Frost family recalling the loss of loved ones when their home was destroyed by German bombers trying to destroy a nearby factory, and how the survivors maintained a lifetime bond across the globe.

The German War Files - Bombers And Bombing Raids 1939-1942 [DVD]inkHERE

This informative DVD shows very rare footage of German planes preparing for their first air raid upon Coventry.

A comprehensive documentary about the Luftwaffe's bomber fleet during World War II including the HE 111 and the Junkers 88.