Blitz Story Archive, part 8

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.

Harry Clarke

Information and photos kindly provided by Mr J Ashfield.

Harry Clarke and Cicely Mary Magdalen Humphrey

Photo of Harry Clarke and Cicely Mary Magdalen Humphrey

My mother was married to Harry Clarke in 1939 he was killed on April 11 1941. They lived at 31 Humber Road Stoke Coventry. He was an Air Raid Warden. My mother recalled the story, she told me that during the attack Harry was getting my mother and his daughter Mary to the air raid shelter when a landmine exploded. He was killed out right taking the full blast. My mother with babe in arms was propelled into the air raid shelter and survived.

There being no body to bury there is a plaque and a memorial tree, something that now puzzles me is a death notice in the local paper as my mother told me he had no brothers and his family had all died.

Blitz Memorial plaque for Harry Clarke

Photo of Harry Clarke's memorial tree plaque

Harry Clarke Memorial Service

Memorial Service

Cicely outside 31 Humber Road Coventry

Cicely ouside 31 Humber Road, Coventry

Harry Clarke newspaper notice

Newspaper notice


Clarke – On April 11, 1941, Harry, beloved husband of Cicely and daddy of baby Mary; aged 28. Sadly missed. "Duty called; well done. God's will."

Clarke – On April 11, 1941, harry, aged 28. – Sadly missed by Dad, Mam, brother, and sisters. "Duty well done. Lest we forget."

We Remember the Blitz by Frank and Joan Shaw

We Remember the Blitz is packed with vivid recollections from this important time in British history. Waking up in a damp shelter to the sound of bombing. Coming out of a cinema to discover that fires made night as bright as day. And, worst of all, the shock of seeing individuals and whole families killed in an instant. We hear from many who were there to pick up the pieces: ARP wardens, firemen - even the bakers, who would return to work under tarpaulin to ensure their neighbours had their daily loaf.

Filled with moving but often funny memories, We Remember the Blitz is a celebration of the British spirit, and clearly shows that the battle for Britain was won by 'the many'.

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