Blitz Story Archive, part 2

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.

Cheylesmore during the Blitz

My family had settled into their lovely new house in Meschines St.,Cheylesmore. Our house was almost at the end of the estate as unfortunately, the war put a stop to further building and more houses weren't finished until after the war.

Some time during the bombing, 17 incendiary bombs landed in the field across the road. I don't know what kind of bombs landed apart from these but some great bomb craters appeared which slowly filled with elderberry bushes. Wonderful for dens, pretend picnics and dressing up. We thought we looked lovely with elder flowers in our hair.

One night, all our windows and the front door were shattered and we were put in lorries and taken off to Coton End, Warwick where I'm told my mother had to knock on doors asking people to take us in. Eventually a kind lady did and we were there for 6 weeks.

My father stayed at home, working over in Ryton and doing fire watch duties at night. Much later, German prisoners of war appeared in a lorry and started to build prefabs in place of the new houses which weren't built until years later. The prisoners’ episode is another interesting story.

- Thanks to Megan for sharing her recollections.

Wartime Memories of K Hill

During the Second World War we lived for a time in Burlington Road I think the number was 37. Our neighbours were my Aunt Annie and her family. Most of my family were living in the same street as they were a very close. The house we were living in didn't have a proper separate kitchen just a parlour kitchen so my father built a conservatory to give us more room.

Dad brought back as a souvenir from the First World War, a gun that he took from a German Officer who surrendered to him. My mother was very worried about it as he still had ammunition so when they were working on the floor he placed the gun into the wet cement.

Some time after that my Gran decided to move back to Lower Ford Street, so we moved to be near her. Unfortunately sometime later the house where we had been living was bombed, I think in the April raid and the old man and his daughter who were living there were killed. They did have an Anderson shelter in the garden but for some reason didn't use it.

My Aunt and her family were still living next door but they were unhurt as they had gone to a local shelter. Sometime later they had a visit from the local police as the gun had been found in the clear up, but they said they didn't know anything about it so what the police did with it is a mystery.

Blitz Letter

Nov 15th 1940

Dear All

Since posting the letter I wrote you last night I heard in the news dinner time that Coventry was badly bombed last night.

I feel so worried about you all. Hope you are all alright and did not get injured, so please do drop us a line to let us know how you are, it must have been terrible. I hope Kathleen is alright, our kiddies are very concerned about her. Their first thoughts when they heard the news were of you and Alf. I the same. I shall be looking for a letter or card so please do write if you can.

I do think bombing of civilians terrible. Poor people left homeless, it is a wicked war.

Will close now with love from us all. Pray you are all safe,

from your loving sister and brother.
Clara and Alf

The story archive continues where Maud Smith tries to find positive news, and recounts how only one third of the population remained after the destruction of 31000 dwellings in one city in a single night.

Goodnight Sweetheart: The Complete BBC Box Set Collection

This complete eleven disc collection starring Nicholas Lyndhurst is set largely in war torn London during the height of the Blitz. The gentle humour of this comedy is interwoven with moving and tragic stories of the everyday suffering of the British people during the Blitz, and of their daily struggle to survive. This DVD collection contains all six series of the show and is both entertaining and occasionally moving. It helps bring home the fear and bravery of those involved in fire-watching, air raid precautions, and the panicked flight of everyday citizens when the air raid siren's begin to wail. Recommended.

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