The Coventry Blitz - News

This page from the British Thomson-Houston Company works newspaper from November 1940 was kindly donated by J Gough. Transcribed by Jane Hewitt, Family Tree Researcher.

British Thomson-Huston Company



November the 14th.

We feel sure that it is scarcely needful to point out to our readers that it is impossible for us to record here and now any details of the events of that memorable night of November 14th during the devastation of Coventry city by wave after wave of enemy air raiders.

British Thomson-Huston Company Works Newspaper from 1940

The BTH fire brigade was able to send air to the fire services in the city centre, in the form of a trailer pump and crew. The ambulance section also rendered valuable aid to members of the public suing the BTH works shelters. The night shift workers, too, joined in and rendered help in every possible way, and not least among the test of nerves was that called for from the "spotters" who stuck to their exposed positions.

We deeply regret that a number of BTH works employees lost their lives at their homes or in shelters in various parts of the city during the raid. We have been so far notified of the following BTH employees who lost their lives:-

Mr. Walter Phillips .. Machine Shop Foreman.
Mr. J. Eaves .. Winding department and member of the Auxiliary Fire Service.
Mr. and Mrs. E. Walford Machining department (Ford St.). (Mr. and Mrs. Walford’s family of 5 small children and 2 grandparents, were with them at the time and were also killed.)
Mrs. L. Glenny .. Read St.
Mr. J. Needle (boy) .. Machining department ? St.
Mr T. R. Lowery .. Alma St., also Police Messenger.
Miss Stephanie Kinzett Estimating department.
Apprentice L. L. Matthews.
We are afraid that this list is not complete.

Jack Eaves

Mr. J. Eaves, who received fatal injuries during the air raid, was the only member of the various services on duty that night at the works to be killed. He had been one of a trailer pump crew which had been assisting the city fire service, and was on his way back to the works during the raid, to procure some further piece of equipment, when the bomb which caused his death fell nearby.

Mr. Eaves, who leaves a widow and two children, had been an employee of the firm for fourteen years, and was a cheerful and competent worker; he was very popular among his colleagues in the fire brigade, and fearless in carrying out his duty.

The British Thomson-Houston Company were represented at this funeral by a party of twelve firemen in charge of 3rd Officer Kendrick.

Walter Phillips

Mr. Walter Phillips had been with the BTH Co. for eighteen years, having started in the Experimental Model Room in Ford Street when the Radio department was just being developed. From here he passed to Moulding Machining department in Alma Street as a charge-hand; from there to the Vacuum Cleaner Machine Shop as foreman, and when later the new plant for production of fractional horse-power motors was laid down he was placed in charge of it. On the opening of the new factory in Read Street, Mr. Phillips was made a Machine Shop Superintendent.

He was an A.R.P. warden, and was killed while on duty. He was assisting in the release of five people who had been trapped in a bombed house, four of whom had been taken out alive, while he remained behind to administer first aid to the fifth, who was a cripple, and it was while in this house that a land mine dropped in the garden, completing the destruction and causing the death of the two remaining people.

Mr. Phillips leaves a widow and two children. In a previous raid, on November 5th, his own house had been damaged, and during the raid on the 14th the damage was very considerably extended.


The following is a list of very gratifying successes in the ambulance and first aid examinations held in October by the St. John Ambulance Association. In the women’s section the number of passes was 100 per cent, and in the men’s section, 75 per cent.


Passed for First Aid Certificates.
? ? W. Aizlewood
Mrs ? R. Ames.
Miss L. E. Anderson.
Miss M. L. Ashford.
Miss R. Bennington.
Miss V. Boneham.
Miss E. M. Breakwell.
Miss L. M. Cutler.
Miss E. M. Davis.
Miss M. Disley.
Miss W. M. Edwards.
Miss P.M F?
Miss L. D. Felton.
Miss K Hammersley.
Miss E. W. Harvey
Miss H. F. Harvey.
Miss N. Hussey.
Miss J. B. James.
Miss L. Jones.
Miss R. A. Kenny.
Miss C. E. Nicholson.
Miss B. Parkam?
Miss D. L. Randle.
Miss K. V. Smith.
Miss M. S. R. Smith.
Miss E. M. Steer.
Miss N. Titford.
Miss E. Tully.
Miss N. Turrell.
Miss M. Walker.

Passed for Voucher. Miss J. Haskey.


Passed for Certificates:

H. W. Addleton, A. A. Cowle, W. T. Edwards, A. J. Lee, T. McKenna, N. A. Youett., R. T. Essex, W. Legon.


Probationers: J. W. Fairbrother and P. B. Young (Electrical Engineering).

Indentured: M. E. Johnson, D. H. Wallace, J. Folliard, J. T. M. Hawes, D. A. Hobbins (Electrical Engineering); B. J. Griffin (Tool Making).

Left: Apprentices C. L. Chappell and J. M. Oliver have left at their own request.


For useful suggestions, awards have been made to J. G. Busst, K. Carter, D. A. Chapman, R. Hignett, and J. Mitchell.

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