Project Logo©2005
Bath Blitz Memorial Project
 Home  Events  Locations  Casualties  Memories  Books etc  Links 

 Welcome  Index  Project  Memorial  Exhibitions  Services  Help us  Labour Exch Guest Book 

The following are the entries (in reverse date order) of the messages that were previously in the automated Guest Book files.
New entries can be emailed to this link.

Guest Book

Date: Thu Dec 13, 2012 - 12:13:40
EMAIL: mattnation@gmail.com
NAME: Matt Nation
COMMENTS: An amazing site - fascinating and very well laid out.


Date: Wed Nov 16, 2011 - 23:20:17
EMAIL: Pilotbloke@gmail.com
NAME: Anthony Morris
COMMENTS: A brilliant record of this under-appreciated aspect of WWII. I lived in Bath or nearby for years and it is only in 2011 that I have found out about the bombing raids. I look forward to reading more. Respect to the victims and their families.


Date: Mon Oct 31, 2011 - 23:05:52
EMAIL: e.feil@bath.ac.uk
NAME: Ed Feil
COMMENTS: A superbly informative site, thank you for all your hard work.


Date:  Mon Jul 4, 2011 - 08:45:41
EMAIL: cjthomas@blueyonder.co.uk
NAME: Carole
COMMENTS: This is an excellent website with some very good research. Well Done.


Date: Wed Apr 20, 2011 - 11:29:02
EMAIL: skeegan1@bigpond.com
NAME: Doreen Keegan
COMMENTS: My Grandfather was killed in the Blitz. I am travelling to Bristol in October to visit the Monument.


Date: Thu Aug 26, 2010 - 21:54:22
EMAIL: winedrinker080150@gmail.com
NAME: Pete Allan
COMMENTS: I just found out tonight after a long time looking my Auntie Marion was killed in Bath on the 27/4/42. I always assumed she died in London.


Date: Tue Apr 27, 2010 - 11:22:31
EMAIL: paulinemorant@yahoo.co.uk
NAME: Pauline Morant
COMMENTS: 1940's Admiralty, Widcombe Hall - now Crowe Hall - do you ever get any memories from staff who worked at Widcombe Hall during the 1940s, S.D,.G, Department - (Superintendent of Degaussing)?
With very best wishes Pauline Morant


Date: Tue Mar 2, 2010 - 16:57:49
EMAIL: tcoone@ibw.com.ni
NAME: Tim Coone
COMMENTS: My mother, Muriel Smith, was a 17-year-old nursing assistant and was on night shift when the bomb hit the Royal Mineral Water hospital. My grandparents Frank and Dorothy Smith were both in the Civil Defence. It would be great if you could put together a Civil Defence page on the website. Unfortunately I do not have anything concrete to offer - only vague memories of conversations.
Congratulations on the site - most informative


Date: Wed Nov 25, 2009 - 00:34:00
EMAIL: kennedyhart716_a@btinternet.com
NAME: Ken Hart
COMMENTS: Had no idea this website existed till November 2009! At the time of the 1942 raids my father was seconded to the Admiralty and we were living in Daniel Street, so I shall be adding my memories to those already listed. Many cities and towns went through traumatic times then, but I had always thought Bath had been forgotten.


Date: Sun Feb 09, 2009 - 16:43:18
EMAIL: 
NAME: Rosemary Taylor
COMMENTS: Wow!  I stumbled upon this website by accident and had a fascinating time reading just some of it. The names etc of those that were killed during the Bath Blitz. So sad to see those who were babies, children and teenagers who had the rest of their lives wrested from them! What a waste of life!

I also enjoyed reading people's memories of that terrible time. I have bookmarked the rest of the site to read at leisure.

I was a baby during the war and lived in Greenford, Middx. I have no memory of it except that once, when discussing the notes of the sirens with my Mum, I was able to correctly imitate the sounds of the air raid siren and the all clear - so something must have stuck in my subconscious mind.

According to my mother, although the Blitz on London went on night after night after night, only one person was killed in our road (Hicks Avenue, Perivale Park, Greenford). A lady went outside to watch the bombing and was hit by a piece of shrapnel.

We moved to Bath in September 1949 when I was just six. Although not born here, I consider myself a Bathonian because I love my City and its people, and its just wonderful to read these true accounts.

This is an excellent website and congratulations to all those who helped compile it.

Rosemary


Date: Sat Jun 09, 2008 - 13:15:19
EMAIL: jenponting@tiscali.co.uk
NAME: Jenny Ponting
COMMENTS: My mother, Mrs. Janetta Rawlings nee Tonkins, has many memories of Bath during the war especially Norfolk crescent. Cannot seem to find any information on that area although she tells me there was a lot of bombing especially at the top end in which a lot of admiralty people lived. Anyone have any information or can remember Janetta Tonkin?


Date: Fri Jul 13, 2007 - 12:17:57
EMAIL: withheld
NAME: David Mealand
COMMENTS: The information about the bomber that crashed near Cranborne after raiding Bath jogged my memory.

My father was in the RA 554 Searchlight Battery around 1941-1942 and as a child I was taken to Cranborne by my mother to be near where he was stationed. My father's autograph book has names of people in his unit, or rather signatures which are a bit difficult to make out, but which can be read. I don't know the exact dates he was there nor exactly what he did.

I did visit Cranborne last year and someone on the main street there does have memories of the RA Searchlight battery in that period.


Date: Wed Jan 03, 2007 - 17:35:41
EMAIL: jeremyangell@btinternet.com
NAME: Jeremy Angell
COMMENTS: I was born in Bath just after the war, and I remember growing up in the fifties when many bombed out buildings remained. My parents (both now dead) worked at Stotherts at the time of the blitz, and I was always fascinated by their stories. I still live locally and often walk round the city. There are plenty of shrapnel damage marks on buildings if you know where to look.


Date: Sun Sep 22, 2006 - 17:30:20
EMAIL: dbartycov@btinternet.com
NAME: dave bartholomew
COMMENTS: Super site. Very thorough and the material is illuminating.


Date: Sat Sep 09, 2006 - 11:19:23
EMAIL: purple400@hotmail.com
NAME: theresa morgan
COMMENTS: This is a great site, both my mum's parents and grandparents came from Bath Rush Hill, LACEY/HABBERJAM. My great grandfather William Habberjam married a lady called Dora Clements/Habberjam who died in hospital during the bath blitz when a bomb landed on the hospital, but there is no info here yet, but great work. Other info is great. If any one knows of these people or is related I would love to hear from you.


Date: Wed Aug 25, 2006 - 22:34:13
EMAIL: loufinn@bigpond.net.au
NAME: Lou Finn
COMMENTS: Thank you for taking the trouble to do such an informative thing. As one of the bombed out, I found it very interesting.....regards to all Lou.


Date: Wed Aug 16, 2006 - 22:29:04
EMAIL: rosemary.snook@tiscali.co.uk
NAME: Rosemary Snook
COMMENTS: My mother, Rita Doris (nee Cormack), has asked me to let you know that some information on your site on her uncle, Sidney O'Connell Cormack, who was killed in the Bath Blitz,is incorrect. Sidney's father was Daniel Cormack and his mother was Miriam Cormack and both died before the Second World War. The information given on your site gives the names of Sidney's son, Clifford, and his wife as Sidney's mother and father. Also, Clifford's wife's name was in fact Linda Cormack and not Maria as you have written.

Can you kindly confirm that you will amend the record accordingly. Thank you on behalf of my Mum.
Rosemary Snook

(I have corrected this, Rosemary. I have also removed your phone number to protect you from crank calls).


Date: Wed Aug 16, 2006 - 22:34:13
EMAIL: rosemary.snook@tiscali.co.uk
NAME: Rosemary Snook
COMMENTS: I hope you have received my message via another form on this site. I wish to make an amendment to the details of one of the victims of the Blitz. My mother, Rita Doris Snook (nee Cormack) has asked me to let you know that her uncle, Sidney O'Connell Cormack's (he lived at Beechen Cliffe Road), parents were Daniel and Miriam Cormack, both of whom died before the 2nd World War. Your site wrongly gives his parents names as Clifford and Maria. His son's name was Clifford. Clifford's wife was called Linda and not Maria Cormack.

I hope it is possible to amend the records.
Thank you on behalf of my Mum.
Rosemary Snook

(This entry in the Casualties list was corrected).


Date: Sun Apr 30, 2006 - 14:17:33
EMAIL: 
NAME: Sami
COMMENTS: I am doing a report on England and Bath is in it. I am sorry about the bombing.
BATH IS PRETTY
(Thank you for your messages in this visitor's book Sami. I have tidied them up for you).


Date: Thu Feb 16, 2006 - 05:57:25
EMAIL: theozzards@shaw.ca
NAME: Mike Ozzard
COMMENTS: I was born in the RUH in Feb 46 and remember growing up with all the destruction, it took a long time to clear it all up. We picked fruit from trees in the gardens of bombed out houses, we thought about the previous occupants, but nobody talked about it.

50 years later I brought my wife over from Canada and was still able to show her shrapnel marks on the old Labour Exchange building.


Date: Sun Feb 12, 2006 - 19:45:36
EMAIL: kilminster@aol.com
NAME: Chris Kilminster
COMMENTS: my name is Chris Kilminster. Many of my family were killed in Roseberry Road, East Twerton, during the 2nd raid. I have studied the Bath blitz for over 30 yrs now and being a local historian I give lectures to schools about the suffering the residents and people of Bath endured during the weekend of 25th April 1942. I have lots of blitz items which I take to the schools for the pupils to look at. I can safely say I may be one of the only Bath residents with so much knowledge on this subject.

GOD BLESS ALL WHO DIED IN THE BATH BLITZ


Date: Tue Sep 20, 2005 - 21:36:56
EMAIL: 
NAME: Sara
COMMENTS: I was a Bath resident for 3 years, while at school, in the mid 1990s. I learned a great deal about Bath's history and architecture. I remember overhearing two older people talking about the Bath Blitz while we were waiting for a bus in Twerton. I started chatting to these nice folks and I remember that they were surprised and pleased to see that a young person had learned so much about Bath.


Date: Sun Jul 31, 2005 - 15:37:27
EMAIL: crowenick@yahoo.com
NAME: Nick Crowe
COMMENTS: A most worthwhile and interesting project.


Date: Sat Jun 18, 2005 - 06:10:08
EMAIL: colwil@ozemail.com.au
NAME: colleen w.
COMMENTS: If any person reading this knows any detail of south hill cottage, Entry Hill, as it was in 1850 could they let me know, I live in Australia. Had an ancestor die there in December 1850.


Date: Tue May 24, 2005 - 11:19:53
EMAIL: guy.williamson@jigsaw7.com
NAME: Guy Williamson
COMMENTS: Hi, I am a resident of Bath fascinated by Baths unique origins and Architecture. Do you have any DVD's of the Bombings?


Date: Tue May 24, 2005 - 07:52:56
EMAIL: ralphallen.bathnes.org.uk
NAME: Esme Bristow
COMMENTS: An excellent resource- the pupils loved looking at the maps to see where bombs dropped near their homes. The accounts inspired them to carry out their own research and interview people that they know.

Many thanks for the hard work that went into producing this.
Esme Bristow


Date: Sun May 15, 2005 - 16:51:59
EMAIL: ian@halsall-fox.com
NAME: Ian Halsall
COMMENTS: Having heard about the Bath Blitz exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery, I hurried over there yesterday. I have had a fascination and interest in the bombing of Bath since moving here over two years ago and previously having lived in Bristol for 12 years and being aware of the impact of the Blitz around the Castle Park area in particular that left me in awe. I have also just borrowed Niall Rothnie's 'The Bombing of Bath' from the library and have been unable to put it down since. Seeing the carnage from the film on show at the Gallery, seeing the images and reading the descriptions, the citizens of Bath must have thought that this was Armageddon. To imagine being in that situation today is just unbelievable, yet believable when you find the evidence of the war around you. Living in Oldfield Park, if you look closely enough you can see which houses in Second Avenue, King Edward Road and Stanley Road West were hit and since rebuilt in an ever so slightly different style; and the bomb shelter site in Shaftsbury Road which was attacked and now lives on in the form of a public garden providing a fitting tribute to those people who died. Even as a busy career minded thirtysomething living in the 21st Century, when buying my first house here in the city, I am astonished that the survey put the cracked ceiling and slight subsidence down to the effects of bomb damage! I always feel a sense of bewilderment even sorrow when I walk past the WRVS building in James St West; see the discontinuation in the pattern of stonework along what were longer terraces in Holloway, New King Street and St James' Parade (and see the mess the post war town planners made of the bomb site around Kingsmead in the 1950s and 60s - I am a planner!) It is imperative that you get your museum - preferably at the WRVS building, how fitting that would be and it is essential that the Council recognise the importance of setting up a permanent memorial in the most appropriate location so that future generations do not forget how Bath suffered only two to three generations ago.


Date: Thu Apr 7, 2005 - 19:42:25
EMAIL: f.stewart@presscom.co.uk
NAME: F.Stewart
COMMENTS: A quietly impressive documentary site bringing home the reality of how the ordinary population suffered and bore the brunt of both one country's totalitarian expansionism and the tactical response by the UK. My 'tourist' vision of Bath suddenly took on a human dimension helped not in a small way by the photographic comparisons and individual accounts. Please continue.


Date: Sat Nov 20, 2004 - 11:08:28
EMAIL: diana@poolecottage.freeserve.co.uk
NAME: Diana Jeater
COMMENTS: I have always been interested by the evidence of bomb damage on buildings around Green Park and the Tech College. So I was very pleased to find your site, which is full of illuminating information. I particularly like the map showing where bombs fell. There must have been huge amounts of research involved in this research. So I just wanted to say Congratulations for doing such a good job.


Date: Mon Oct 25, 2004 - 16:28:50
EMAIL: g.oneill4@ntlworld.com
NAME: Margaret O'Neill
COMMENTS: My Uncle and Aunt,Jack and Margaret Foody were buried under the rubble of 36 Cheltenham Street on that fateful weekend. Their remains (unrecognizable) were disinterred five weeks later. We have received a great deal of help from the Archives and the Bath Chronicle and others in piecing together their story which beforehand we knew very little about. We intend to visit the memorial and the grave of that young Teeside man and his Irish bride soon.
Margaret O'Neill


Date: Mon Oct 11, 2004 - 16:37:55
EMAIL: goneill4@ntlworld.com
NAME: Margaret Valeria O'Neill
COMMENTS: My family and I are very grateful for the tremendous work that has been put into the Memorial Project by all of those dedicated Bath citizens. We have just finished our own research into the deaths of my Uncle and Aunt in Cheltenham Street in that Blitz. They were Jack and Margaret Foody and were emigrants from Teesside and married in Bath a short time before. We have only in recent years uncovered their story and intend visiting the city as soon as possible.
Margaret O'Neill


Date: Tue Sep 7, 2004 - 20:46:20
EMAIL: j.v.beaverstock@lboro.ac.uk
NAME: Jonathan Beaverstock
COMMENTS: My daughter aged 10 is doing a school project on the Second World War. She decided to talk to my father who was evacuated from Twerton to Timsbury, at the age of 7, during the Spring of 1942. He lived near Springfield Close/Innox Close, Twerton. I used to live at Kelston View and as a boy I remember playing in the bomb crater on the hillside! The site is very informative and a tribute to you all. Many thanks.


Date: Tue Jul 6, 2004 - 17:24:22
EMAIL: f.sumsion@btinternet.com
NAME: F Sumsion
COMMENTS: Well done, a well constructed and informative site. As a 16 year old living at Bath during the blitz I can relate to almost every picture on the site: the stick of bombs that are shown landing nr Frome Road then on The Limes and Ballantyne and Rudds Garage in Upper Wellsway with the final one landing in Colborne Road nr the Wansdyke public house have special significance for me as I lived in Bloomfield Road just 100 yards away. The Memorial is a credit to you all and deserves its place in the city's history. Thanks Again
Frank Sumsion


Date: Thu Jun 24, 2004 - 21:00:49
EMAIL: reb296@hotmail.com
NAME: Rebecca
COMMENTS: I'm 13 and I'm very interested in the bath blitz. We have been learning about it in school. Its amazing how accurate the maps are and seeing how much our city was hit.


Date: Sun May 2, 2004 - 19:24:23
EMAIL: tim.jane.towers@ntlworld.com
NAME: Jane Towers
COMMENTS: I am trying to trace anyone who may remember my father Leslie Frank Phillips who was in the Home Guard in Bath. He often told us of the bombing raids on Bath and I am sure that he was there when 1 Bennett Street and the Regina Hotel were bombed, as he used to tell us stories about it.


Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 - 17:13:13
EMAIL: williamsfamilly@msn.com
NAME: Graham Williams
COMMENTS: What a truely memorable site of which the founders and people of The Beautiful City of Bath can be PROUD.

I write this message on behalf of my wife Margaret Linda Williams (nee Preece) who although blown out of bed during the Blitz when living at No.1 Bennett Street at the tender age of 9, is still by the Grace of God still alive and well to relate her memories, (to be added soon to the memories page).

She would like to thank the The Bath Blitz Memorial Project for their great contribution in memory of all who lost their lives. LEST WE FORGET
Graham Williams pp. Margaret Linda Williams.


Date: Thu Mar 25, 2004 - 16:30:49
EMAIL: guy.williamson@jigsaw7.com
NAME: GUY WILLIAMSON
COMMENTS: Very informative site. Thanks to all who put it together. Any hint of a simillar site to reflect 'The Sack of Bath' and the controversial building of all the 60's rubbish which litters the streets?
It has already been written. The book "The Sack Of Bath" by Adam Fergusson is available from Bath Library.


Date: Sat Mar 20, 2004 - 13:45:14
EMAIL: frank@frankwestall.fsnet.co.uk
NAME: frank sidney sell westall
COMMENTS: just come across the site, it's good. found my Mother's name, "Queenie Sell" on the memorial, now looking for others of the family, and further information.


Date: Mon Feb 23, 2004 - 07:11:42
EMAIL: pyleaj@aol.com
NAME: Alan Pyle
COMMENTS: I came across your site through an interest in family history. You are doing a fine service. Forebears of mine were living in Moorland Road in 1901. I had been browsing early OS maps and picked up some of the names as the area was developed. I suggest that some of the 'errors' in location you are ascribing to the census are through name changes from one census to the next. Moorfield into Moorland for example. You ask about a boys school. Was there not an Industrial School for boys in the Parish?


Date: Tue Jan 6, 2004 - 14:01:50
EMAIL: rex.hobbs@tesco.net
NAME: rex hobbs
COMMENTS: 16 years old.  Odd Down and Bear Flat. Was in the home guard and on duty on second night. Have interesting memory if wanted: willing to send


Date: Tue Nov 18, 2003 - 09:11:34
EMAIL: Heather.Slocombe@north-bristol.swest.nhs.uk
NAME: Heather Slocombe
COMMENTS: It is nice to see this site. My husband's great grandfather is one of the names listed on the memorial. We do not know much about him as my husband's father was an only child and he died over 10 years ago, also my husband mother died 10 years ago.


Date: Thu Jul 17, 2003 - 18:30:27
EMAIL: www.clanrattray.org
NAME: The Clan Rattray Society
COMMENTS: Remembering the Rattray family that died. An entire family fallen victim to the blitz. Rest in Peace from your Rattray kin around the world.


Date: Wed Jul 2, 2003 - 12:21:47
EMAIL: kirsten@akemanpress.com
NAME: Kirsten Elliott
COMMENTS: I am surprised to see that Niall Rothnie's book about the Bath Blitz is not included in your recommended books. This remains the best book written about the blitz. It was written by a Bathonian and is a collection of memories of Bath people who lived through that period. Could I also suggest that you list some books written about other blitzed cities for comparison. As a starter, how about the book published after the war by Portsmouth Evening News - Smitten City. I'm sure other visitors to your site can suggest others.
Kirsten Elliott.
[Website Author's comment: I have e-mailed a reply to Kirsten Elliott. Niall Rothnie's book is very good, and I have added it to the book list.]


Date: Sat Jun 21, 2003 - 00:04:46
EMAIL: bath-bb@lineone.net
NAME: Peter Fitch
COMMENTS: I had an email from 2 "college students" from the USA asking for "memories of Bath in WW2" last week. I was a bit suspicious about this and asked for details of their college and how this relates to a "USA History Project". I got no reply and suspect it was a spoof. They said they contacted you and other email addressees on your guest book!

Best wishes again from 2nd Bath BB. I shall soon have some more WW2 History to add to our site and some photographs. Have you any photo's of Trams in Bath during WW2?

[Website Author's comments: I have had no e-mail from "college students" so I doubt that they were serious. I have not seen any pictures of bomb damage in Bath that show tram lines. I believe that the trams had been replaced by buses in 1936, so they would not have been running by the time the war started.]


Date: Sat May 31, 2003 - 16:45:45
EMAIL: pebpar@yahoo.co.uk
NAME: Paul Parsons
COMMENTS: I wish that I had found this site sooner. My family moved from near Bath in 1943. I am now in Scotland. I am pleased to see my aunt, Bertha Young and my two cousins remembered. R.I.P. If I had known, I would have visited Bath for the dedication ceremony.


Date: Mon Mar 3, 2003 - 22:35:44
EMAIL: 
NAME: Wayne and Darren Wilkins
COMMENTS: Thank you for a splendid site remembering those who experienced the Bath Blitz - it is hard to imagine what it was really like. If you are interested we have a website about the British Home Front during World War 2 (http://www.homesweethomefront.co.uk). This commemorates all British civilians during the second world war. Thanks again.
(I have put the site on the Links page) .


Date: Sun Mar 2, 2003 - 15:33:36
EMAIL: p_fitch@lineone.net
NAME: Peter Fitch
COMMENTS: What a great site in dedication of those who lost their lives in Bath during the last world war. We have added your website as our "Favourite Site of the Week" at http://bathbb.globalredirect.com/ Best wishes from all in Bath Boys' Brigade, who did a great deal of hard work providing first aid cover, buglers and looking after many London Boys who relocated to Bath during the last war and formed Percy Boys Club and Garroway Boys Club. Please visit our "History" page on our website!
(I have put the site on the Links page) .


Date: Thu Feb 27, 2003 - 21:07:55
EMAIL: john_belcher@lineone.net
NAME: John Belcher
COMMENTS: What a great site to act as a source of information about the Bath Blitz. There is a fantastic amount of research in this site. I am looking forward to seeing the update showing bombs plotted on the street maps.

I remember being taken to Bath by my grandparents on weekly shopping trips in the early 1970's and my grandfather pointing out bomb sites and damage to buildings caused by the bombs. To the list of dead should be added the names of Ada Elizabeth (aged 69)and Frederick (71) Bowden of Firlands, The Folly, Chippenham. They were killed on the 25 April 1942 when a bomb was dropped on their house by a German bomber which mistakenly bombed Chippenham. Their daughter who was in the house at them time was blown into the street and survived.

Good luck with the memorial. It is long overdue. John Belcher, Chippenham
Chippenham War Memorials Web Site http://www.chippenham- war-memorial.fsnet.co.uk


Date: Thu Feb 6, 2003 - 15:14:19
EMAIL: kmccart@binghamton.edu
NAME: Karen
COMMENTS: My husband and I are planning a trip to England in the coming year, and Bath will be our first stop. I had no idea of the Bath Blitz until I stumbled across a mention of it on another web site. We had planned to gawk at all the gorgeous old buildings (basic American tourists), but after reading this web site I will be certain that we take the time to really look at Bath and discover more of her history. Thank you for providing such a comprehensive web site.


Date: Mon Dec 9, 2002 - 23:25:28
EMAIL: sacredmagic@btopenworld.com
NAME: Francis Joy
COMMENTS: Thankyou everyone for visiting the site and especially to those who have signed the guest book. We have been campaigning relentlessley since March 2001 for a fitting and lasting memorial to be built in the city, which pays respect and remembrance to those people who lost their lives during the enemy air raids over the weekend of 25-27th of April 1942. Many of the men who were killed were veterans from the First World War, a lot of the women were young mothers and there were sixty children who lost their lives. A fitting memorial is long overdue in the city.
Yours Sincerely Francis Joy


Date: Mon Nov 25, 2002 - 22:31:32
EMAIL: graham@fruitgums.nrt
NAME: Graham Rawlings
COMMENTS: Growing up in Bath in the 1950s, the evidence of the blitz was all around me - from gaunt shells of the big houses in Green Park to the bomb sites I played on in Twerton. In a very deep way, the bombing of the city still unites successive generations of those whose roots are still Bathonian. There has to be a focal point for this real history.


Date: Sun Nov 24, 2002 - 17:31:39
EMAIL: linpx200@hotmail.com
NAME: Linda Drew
COMMENTS: I have just seen the video on the Bath Blitz and I found it very moving. Although I was born in '67 I am very much aware of the devastation that the raids caused on this beautiful city and my family still talk about it to this day. On that basis it is imperative that the city has a proper memorial


Date: Mon Jul 29, 2002 - 18:57:51
EMAIL: hennymac@snap.net.nz
NAME: Helen McNamara
COMMENTS: Good luck with your project. I am in New Zealand. My ancestors came from Bath so I am very interested in your project.


Date: Tue Jul 2, 2002 - 11:17:59
EMAIL: sacredmagic@btopenworld.com
NAME: Francis Joy
COMMENTS: Thanks to everyone who has signed in pledging their support for what we are doing.
Francis Joy
Co-ordinator, The Bath Blitz Memorial Project
PS. Keep an eye on the website as in August we are making a video about the blitz.


Date: Mon May 13, 2002 - 01:07:16
EMAIL: mrjones@netspace.com.au
NAME: Marilyn Jones
COMMENTS: I am now in Melbourne, Australia but I was born in Bath in 1947 and lived there until I was 25, and have visited many times in the last 30 years. My parents emigrated to Australia 15yrs ago. My father Jim Howell died 18mths ago aged 87, but sixty years ago he was in Burma. My mother Lillie who is now also 87 lived in Locksbroock Rd during the blitz: their home was one of the unlucky ones, bombed.


Date: Thu May 9, 2002 - 19:30:13
EMAIL: wendy.miller@asympatico.ca
NAME: ADRIAN BROWN
COMMENTS: I have a lot of family in Bath and area. I am now in Canada and I lived in Bath 1971-1973 and would like to hear from any old friends. I am related to the Mitchell family.


Date: Thu Apr 25, 2002 - 19:34:24
EMAIL: henrietta_forsyth@hotmail.com
NAME: Henrietta
COMMENTS: Nice site. It helped with history homework.


Date: Thu Apr 25, 2002 - 19:23:27
EMAIL: lisa_advani@hotmail.com
NAME: Lisa
COMMENTS: UH yeah ok!!! Helped with history homework and quite interesting really!


Date: Wed Apr 24, 2002 - 14:28:31
EMAIL: ellen@webkin.co.uk
NAME: Ellen Stafford
COMMENTS: Very much look forward to seeing the exhibition! If there is any leaflets then I am sure we will get sent them or I will ask when I go down there. I help my mother run a guesthouse here in Bath.
Need any help with anything give me a shout!! Always willing to help.
Love the site. Bye. Ellen


Date: Mon Apr 22, 2002 - 00:25:07
EMAIL: 
NAME: A.S.Caffrey
COMMENTS: The monument is a great idea, good luck with it. I was born in Bath 6 years after the war but I've always felt a great affinity with those who lived through it all


Date: Tue Apr 2, 2002 - 06:18:08
EMAIL: r.lomax@epixtech.com.au
NAME: Ron Lomax, Adelaide, Australia
COMMENTS: Only those that lived through it can know the real feelings of fear, fright, cold and wet. As a very small kid living through the Blitz, I remember at night living in the fields, and later in the shelter at home. But then again maybe it was a very bad dream as we have this ability to remember and to go on.


Date: Sat Mar 30, 2002 - 16:22:59
EMAIL: redarnold@scottsville.com
NAME: Fred.J.(RED) ARNOLD (Now in Canada)
COMMENTS: sixty years? At times it seems like yesterday. Even though I was only three years old I can still remember the Daily Mirror taking photos of me in the ruins with a dog and wearing a gas mask.


Date: Mon Mar 18, 2002 - 10:41:22
EMAIL: tim@theconroys.freeserve.co.uk
NAME: Tim Conoy
COMMENTS: It's time Bath had a proper memorial in the city centre for this horrific event. It is such a shame the garden in Queen Square has been hijacked as this would be an excellent place where people from all over the world can learn about the suffering in our beautiful city.


Date: Sun Mar 17, 2002 - 18:28:07
EMAIL: hshfwebmail@btinternet.com
NAME: Darren and Wayne Wilkins
COMMENTS: Great site. A real tribute to those brave civilians who lived through this period of history and endured what we today can't even begin to imagine.


 

Memories Book

One of the aims of the Project is to preserve for posterity the memories of those who lived through the Bath Blitz.

If you were in Bath at the time of the blitz, or know the story told to you by a friend or relative who was, we would like to hear from you.
NOTE:  Some memories could take a long time to type, and if you are using an internet connection that charges you for the length of the call, there is a cheaper way than typing while on-line. If you are using a dial-up connection, you might find it easier to use NOTEPAD or a similar text editing utility to prepare your memory, before connecting to the internet. Once you are connected to the internet, you can then display the page where you can submit your memories, copy from NOTEPAD and paste into an e-mail. Then send the message using the button provided.

 

Date: Mon Feb 4, 2013 - 20:00:07
EMAIL: marywMaryirene@plus.com
NAME: Mary W
COMMENTS: I lived at Freshford and in April 1942 aged eight, I was sent to Bath Convent School. A week after starting school the two nights Bath blitz took place and the school closed temporarily. I travelled each day by train and remember passing the Bath Oliver Biscuit factory one morning. As I walked on the opposite side of the road the building collapsed. To this day I remember the huge fear which engulfed me but I walked on to school with tears pouring down my cheeks and was comforted by one of the nuns when I arrived.

My father, a driver for the National Fire Service told the story of how he drove down Lansdown Hill with twenty or so firemen in the back when the brakes of the vehicle failed. As he careered down the hill he revved the engine and managed to engage second gear. The fire engine ground to a halt outside the old post office. His nightmares due to this incident continued for the rest of his life and he regularly jumped right out of bed.

Two bombs were dropped in the field by the river at Freshford but we suffered little during the war.


Date: Sun Apr 29, 2012 - 17:11:22
EMAIL: stuartmills1970@googlemail.com
NAME: Stuart Mills
COMMENTS: My grandparents, Edna (nee Willcocks) and Kenneth Lewis, lived in Bath during the late 1930s early 1940s. They worked for Lord and Lady Lawrence for a time (Brockham End I believe). My Grandma told me that she ran through Bath from Lansdown to Rudmore Park just after a heavy bombing raid to find out if her mother-in-law, Florence Lewis (nee Costello) was ok. Grandma remembered running past a collapsed department store and hearing people crying out. She lost her shoes on the way. When she arrived at Rudmore Park in a state, her mother-in-law was sitting in her chair totally oblivious of bombing raid due to her impaired hearing!
Grandpa was a member of the Auxilliary Fire Service first in Bath and then in London.


Date: Mon Jan 20, 2012 - 06:11:52
EMAIL: unsui000@gmail.com
NAME: Michael E Sargeant
COMMENTS: I was born in St Martins Hospital, Bath, 7 March 1941. I would have been born in London but for the war.

My parents, Edward A Sargeant of Hounslow and Lilian F Henwood of Pimlico moved to Bath when he got an Admiralty job as a draftsman. My father was also a lieutenant in the Home Guard. His SMLE .303 rifle & kit were always ready in the corner of the living room.

Naturally I have no memories of the April 1942 blitz. Damage to our flat was limited to the roof and may have been caused by the April bombing but was not repaired until about 2 years later as mother said she found me up on the roof watching the roofers work. At about 3 years old I'd have been able to climb the ladder alone.

At that age my room was the box room off the landing outside our front door. The room's skylight gave roof access hence my attraction to the roof. Dad had punched a hole through the wall between the kitchen and my room for alternate access in case the landing was impassable. He also installed a switch by my bed that activated a buzzer in the bedroom they occupied so that I might call them if necessary.

I remember trips to shelters in '43 and '44. The cellar shelter under our top floor flat at 3, Vane St was whitewashed and had a fireplace that could be used for cooking. It was there that I contracted meningitis from an old man. I recovered in St Martins Hospital.  After that, we often spent the night in a small white tent in the parade grounds across from Vane St during air raid warnings. Late in the war we didn't bother to get out of bed and would just listen for falling bombs as warning. We left red bulbs on at night so we could move out quickly if necessary.

How did the war affect me? Knowing no other way of life and getting sufficient food to avoid health problems, there seemed at the time to be little to complain about and nothing to compare life to. However, moving away from Bath in '47 froze the memory of the time and place in mind. My Bath memories were not gradually assuaged as the city was restored after the war. Leaving England for Canada in '51 further encapsulated the experience so that as I matured I had contrasting experiences to compare that life to.

Bath was beautiful. The architecture, the flower gardens, the surrounding hills where we had an allotment, the river, the classical music played on the wireless, all should have given me a lifetime of pleasant memories with perhaps a longing to return (I did for the day in 1970 but only to show my wife the beauty of the area).  Instead, I sink into an overwhelming melancholy when I see photographs of picturesque stone row houses climbing hillsides with wet slate roofs gleaming like silver in the sunlight, and I turn the page before I am drawn into some unnameable place of fear and death. I see bombed out houses as playgrounds rather than as places of lost dreams and lives. I see no hero in the Zionist puppet Churchill, have no respect for British royalty, no pride in British armed forces. I cannot reconcile with Germans even after visiting their country.

This is due to the vast amount of information that industrious individuals have posted to the Internet, I have had the opportunity the past few years to examine the causes of the world wars. Thus I take no pride in the victory or smugness over the defeat of combatant counties. The stupidity of humans is beyond measure as is their lost potential for greatness. We are all caught up now in the culmination of events leading in the most horrible of fashions to a world government. There should have been a better way to get there rather to leave me and others with a sense of a deliberately diminished and unfulfilled life.  I have no pride in my country of final refuge, the USA. The record is quite clear of its complicity in the devastation that I have continued to witness all my life. We have all paid the price for our follies.  'All are punish'd!' Shakespeare: 'Romeo and Juliet'

This probably does not meet your requirements for inclusion in the 'Bath Blitz' as a memorial to those who suffered and died. That is not the reason I wrote. I offer from an uprooted participant's point of view a different perspective on the site's memorializing of a time that should be forgotten, not passed on to future generations who, if past human behaviour is any indicator, have shown little ability to learn from any but their own experience.

Sincerely,
Michael Sargeant
Tempe, Arizona, USA

(Thank you Michael. The Memories Book is for personal perspectives, and that is the only requirement for inclusion. Yours meets that requirement and I am happy to include it.)


Date: Fri Jan 17, 2012 - 21:54:22
EMAIL: fielker@waitrose.com
NAME: David Fielker
COMMENTS: I was aged nine, and living in Bath at the time of the April 1942 bombs. My school, Widcombe Junior School, was hit and partially damaged. We were disappointed that most of the building was still usable so we still had to attend! I remember hearing the blast the evening before from our flat in Gt Pultney Street and we wondered what had happened.


Date: Sat Dec 10, 2011 - 15:12:37
EMAIL: vickoliver@aol.com
NAME: Vick Oliver
COMMENTS: An High Explosive bomb dropped on the Coronation Avenue side of South Twerton (now Oldfield) School.
I lived next to the school at 7 Lymore Terrace where the house was virtually blitzed.

Bullet holes are probably still in the top of the school wall which were fired during the all clear period on the first night.


Date: Thu Sep 22, 2011 - 10:42:50
EMAIL: dansona@ntlworld.com
NAME: Adrian Danson
COMMENTS: I was born in June 1938, so my memories are those of a young child, luckily a safe distance from where the bombs fell.

I went into the garden of 29 Broadway, Widcombe, Bath, to watch the search-lights, hear the anti-aircraft guns loud bangs, lights and flames of the explosions. I was grabbed, thrust under the stairs and told to stay there. Minutes later I was out again, wanting to see the spectacle. As far as I am aware, the nearest bombs fell near the Abbey and I was given some books rescued from a fire in that area.

Being taught to read by Grandpa Dyte before I reached my fourth birthday, this was my reward. In later years, when I discovered the extent of the bomb damage not so far away, I came to realise how lucky I was to live in the Broadway.

Silly I know, but the first Guy Fawkes celebrations to be held after the war seemed so tame compared with those provided by the Luftwaffe. Given the choice, give me tame every time.
Adrian Francis Sharpe


Date: Mon Sep 5, 2011 - 15:56:12
EMAIL: arris@talktalk.net
NAME: Dave Harris
COMMENTS: As a child in the 1960's we used to live at Larkhall Buildings, which is now a supermarket, and we had to be evacuated due to a gas leak. This was a result of wartime bombing and our houses had shrapnel marks on the rear which suggests that there may have been a detonation near to Dafford Buildings?
Looking at your map there does seem to be a larger gap between 1194 & 1195 than the others and this would fit in with what I was told.


Date: Sat May 14, 2011 - 7:10:53
EMAIL: sue_boazman@yahoo.co.uk
NAME: Sue Boazman
COMMENTS: My name is Sue Boazman and Dot Davis is my Aunt. She was resident in Bath for over 50 years and now lives in Hampshire. We recorded her memories of the Bath blitz on 4th April 2011:

Name:  Dorothy Davis
Age:  90 years
D.O.B:  23rd June 1920
Dot moved to Bath with her first husband, Reginald Opie when she was 21. Her young son, Reggie, was born soon after. Reg was working at the Admiralty in Portsmouth when, at the outbreak of war, the Admiralty was moved from Portsmouth to Bath. Soon after his arrival in Bath, he became an air-raid warden along with next-door neighbour, Alfred. They lived at 47 Coronation Avenue.

This is Dot’s story:
The houses in Coronation Avenue were three storeys high. You had a basement where you did all your washing and all that sort of thing. Then you came up on the ground floor where you had your living rooms, and then you came up again where you had the bedrooms.

They cleared out the cellar and put the table in there (a Morrison shelter). There was wire down the back and down the sides and you crawled in. There was a proper mattress on the floor and there was six of us in there. It was funny because the old man from next-door said to Reg, he said "Be thee on fire duty with I tonight?" And Reg looked up and he said "yes, I’m on with you" and he said "well you tell that little maid of yours and that babe to come down the shelter tonight – I’ve fixed it up today". And I did!!

When the siren went, a green light came through to where the air-raid wardens were and they used to ring a bell to give people warning. Well then everybody went mad and got their stuff ready to go down the shelter. Well then the next thing you heard was the siren starting up ..... It never went with a long note; it went with a beep and a stop, and a beep and a stop, like that. And then when they were nearly over the top and you should have been in the shelter, it was a long drawn out noise. And that stopped, and then you heard boom, boom boom.

One night we got buried for 10 or 12 hours - it was just a case of them not been able to get down and us not been able to get up. We could look out to the garden, but we couldn’t get out there. Then firemen started walking across the top and bits would start falling down and we just had to sit there and wait. Alfred was outside with Reg and they knew we were down there. After we got out we found out that up in the bedroom, one of the lintels had come down and stuck into Reggie's cot and they reckon if he had been in there he could have been badly injured or killed. Everybody was going around like chickens with no heads, you know, but you know, as I say the air-raid wardens would work like hell to get you out. When they did get me out, I thought I had a black baby instead of a white baby! We were covered in soot!

The next day, when you looked at it, there were no pictures - just the frames left hanging on the wall. It went all the way round – handles on the cups still hanging on the thing but no cups. Apparently, the blast came from Ivy Avenue which was that side and the school which was the other side, and we were stuck in the middle and it went WHOOOSH like that, apparently, from what I can understand and er.... If I had been under the stairs, there would have been no me and no Reggie. It just collapsed under the stairs that’s the only part that went – I mean I could have been severely injured or anything like that - and Reggie could have been killed, but because there was nobody there it just collapsed on itself.

After the bombing, we couldn’t sleep in our bedroom and there were four or five other young ladies like me with babies. The men got together and they said "what about having a walk?" So I said "well, how far are we going to go?” And they said “only the next village". So then we got the babies in the pram and off we go, 4 miles there and 4 miles back. We get into the field and asked the farmer, and we slept in the haystack in the fields. You took sandwiches and things and we used to walk back in the morning – we did that every night for about four weeks. About the third night that we were coming back about 5.30 in the morning, the old farmer met us and he said “would ee like a cup of tea?” And of course we said "yes please" and they made tea and toast and cornflakes, and milk for the babies, it was all there.

Four weeks we did that, backwards and forwards like that. The farmer used to come round when you were there and write it down in his little book, and he used to say to us "Ye be shure you got that there pram under the wheat, put them shiny bits in the hay." And we used to think – what the hell is he on about! - and he was telling us to keep pram with the chrome underneath the wheat. So we had to turn the prams round – of course in those days, the prams had loads of chrome on, on the shade, on the wheels on the handlebars, everything – and the German planes might have seen it. They used to drop bombs on the way back from Bristol because if they got out over the Bristol Channel, Spitfires were waiting for them out there. And it was worse trying to fly with a bomb in so they used to let them go over the fields, because in those days it was all fields between Bristol and Bath. You see, if they didn’t lose the bombs, one stray bullet and the whole thing and everything would have gone up.


Date: Thu Mar 10, 2011 - 13:25:52
EMAIL: FEWilliams@uku.co.uk
NAME: Francis E Williams
COMMENTS: Hello, "Cynthia's Story" at this link page http://www.bathblitz.org/teens9.htm is incorrect about the location of the Bath Technical school. Cynthia is correct in that it was near Manvers street. The school occupied Weymouth House, next to St. James Church which was destroyed in the 1942 air raid. I am the author of this article which provides the details more fully. City of Bath Technical School. The Technical COLLEGE was at Upper borough walls. I Hope this helps.

(Thank you Francis. I corrected Cynthia's Story in the next update).


Date: Tue Mar 30, 2010 - 15:54:58
EMAIL: paulinemorant@yahoo.co.uk
NAME: Pauline Morant
COMMENTS: I was evacuated with the Admiralty and lived through the Bath Blitz. I was billeted at 9 Lime Grove Gardens.

On the night of the blitz, we were crouched on the dining room floor, listening to the sounds of the planes dropping their bombs, falling bricks and the shattering of glass, tracer bullets - the house trembled as did we all - but we were safe and no damage was caused to the house. Bath was the target and this raid I assume was unexpected as there was no defence whatsoever. The planes came over the hills and dive bombed the city. Sadly there was a lot of devastation and loss of life. I remember the R.C. church was hit and I was told that the priest had been killed. There was a lot of destruction around the Pump Room.

I later joined a team of Fire Watchers to protect Widcombe Hall, armed with helmet, axe, bucket etc. On warm nights we were able to drag our beds and sleeping bags out onto the flat roof - peaceful - until it rained!!! Thankfully Bath never had another Blitz as the one we experienced in 1942.


Date: Tue Mar 2, 2010 - 17:16:32
EMAIL: brlac@compuserve.com
NAME: Brian Lacock
COMMENTS: My family lived in Bath at 15 Southlea Road throughout WW2 and I was a pupil at King Edwards School in Broad Street.

Prior to the attacks on the city I had taken part in a number of ARP training sessions and exercises as a cycle messenger. As far as I can remember these were not on a particularly organised basis and when the first raid occurred I had no role to play. However by the third raid I had heard that a pool of cycling messengers had been organised by what I believe was called the Air League with an operational HQ in Broad Street. The leader of that organisation was the controller and I, aged 15yrs, reported to him for duty and together with a number of other pool members carried messages as directed for several days. Finally Mr W A Holland a form master at school (known as Wah) appeared at the HQ to reclaim any lost pupils and took me back to the class room - the excitement was over.

During the raids we slept in the under-stair cupboard and saw little of the action as our part of the city was not severely affected although I do remember a bomb exploding on the far side of the copse at the end of Southlea Road. The other nearer incident was in Apsley Road where the house at the top of the road before Newbridge Hill and opposite Penn Lea Road was badly damaged by either a direct or close hit. That house had been occupied by the Wheeler family and Gordon, the son, was a friend of mine. He told me that the family had been sleeping in a Morrison shelter in the living room at the time of the hit and all survived unscathed. They subsequently moved to a house in Penn Lea Road.

Shortly after these events The City of Bath Police organised a messenger service with training sessions. I joined with several friends of which I remember David Hayward, John Hind (son of the Chief Constable) and I believe Charles Dando. Unfortunately I lost touch with all these when I joined the Army in 1944 and spent 20years as a regular officer.


Date: Tue Mar 2, 2010 - 17:01:37
EMAIL: ws@wsalisbury.co.uk
NAME: William Salisbury
COMMENTS: At the time of the blitz I was 9 years old and living at Odd Down with my mother, and for the first night of the blitz my father was home on leave from the Army. I well remember us all (my mother's youngest sister lived with us) huddled in the coal cupboard under the stairs which had been cleared and whitewashed as the safest refuge in the house. We later had a table shelter but not at this time.

I shall try to collect my memories of those nightmarish hours. After the first night's raids I walked with my father into the city as my mother's relatives lived in Great Stanhope Street and we wanted to be sure of their safety. I will add my story later but the first thing we found was the crunch of glass and debris on the pavement as we walked down Bloomfield Road, some miles from the centre of the city.

Recently finding the site has brought back so many memories for me. For example the note about Fireman Peschel. He and his family lived a few doors away from me in Odd Down during the war and I remember him setting out each day in his fireman's uniform. His 2 sons were about my age, maybe slightly younger, but we all went to St. Luke's School at the top of Rush Hill, though I think it has changed its name now.

Thank you for this site which I have found produces great emotion even after so many years.


Date: Sun Oct 4, 2009 - 15:34:22
EMAIL: romang.t21@btinternet.com
NAME: Prof. Paul Romang
COMMENTS: I came across your excellent site whilst looking in to part of my families history - the Higgins of Newquay. One of them had married a Herbert Spurrell. This lady, Agnes Spurrell was killed in the first bombing raid with her baby. From the memorial I can see her name as well as her husband's father William Spurrell, also killed. No mention of the baby though and I can find no further information.

My father had just moved from the East End of London to work in Bath. It caused his landlady much amusement when bringing his evening cocoa to see he slept with his clothes on! That was the evening of the first raid!

If anyone can remember the Spurrells I would be grateful for any additional information on the baby.


Date: Thu Sep 17, 2009 - 23:10:29
EMAIL: montedochaperral@aol.co.uk
NAME: Julie Hodgson
COMMENTS: My mother told, me that my grandfather and RAF pilot Lesley Samual Hall who was home from leave, had had an argument with my grandmother, and left the house, when the raid started. He joined in the rescue teams and was blown to pieces, all that was left was his lighter, which had been dented.

He died on that day in 1942. His grave was of course empty.


Date: Tue Jun 16, 2009 - 11:27:24
EMAIL: control11@tiscali.co.uk
NAME: Margaret Marshall nee Bolland
COMMENTS: At the time of the blitz I lived with my parents and brother at Ivy Villas, Ivy Avenue, and well recall the bombs on Ivy Grove. We were standing in Mrs.Garraways garden (no.52) watching the gasometers burning when they fell. Never did our mothers move so quickly!

Also we were the only house with running water in the area on the Sunday and word soon got round about that.


Date: Sat Jun 2, 2009 - 11:30:36
EMAIL: control11@tiscali.co.uk
NAME: Margaret Marshall (Bolland)
COMMENTS: I was 10 at the time of the blitz and lived with my parents and 7 year old brother in Ivy Avenue.

On the Saturday night I remember watching the bombs falling towards Ivy grove. They were meant for Coombs Nursery which was glinting in the moonlight. My dad was a Special Constable and on duty that night but he came home and the four of us crouched under the dining room table as the ceilings and windows disintegrated around us.

On the Sunday night we all went to the cellars of the Moravian Church. Mothers and children were inside singing hymns conducted by Mrs. Sylvester who taught the infants of South Twerton School, while the men stood outside giving a running commentary as our city burned.

On Monday evening we were 'bussed' to Paulton; at the time it seemed so far away! We stayed there a week then went to Devizes for a month until the house was repaired. As South Twerton School was damaged we had school at the Baptist Church. At the time it seemed an adventure.

I am now 77 but recall it all so vividly.


Date: Sat Jun 9, 2008 - 13:15:19
EMAIL: g4kjv99sqn1.@aol.com
NAME: John Densem
COMMENTS: I was born in Bath 1922. Alan Woods was my best friend for many years before the war and when war started we joined the LDV, that then became the Home Guard. We wanted to join the RAF in 1941 as air gunners but Alan was persuaded to wait for call-up and join the RAF as a motor mechanic. I was accepted and entered the RAF as a trainee air gunner.

I was home on leave the Sunday night Bath was bombed and can remember seeing numbers of people walking up Lansdown Road the following day. The night that Bath was bombed we spent under the kitchen table but could see the bombs exploding in the town earlier. Where we lived at Fairfield Park overlooked the town.

I served 24 years mostly as an aircrew radio officer. Did tours in Singapore when the Japanese surrendered, Egypt, Aden, the rest of the time was on long range transport.


Date: Tue Apr 22, 2008 - 13:52:34
EMAIL: 
NAME: Terry Gay
COMMENTS: In 1942, we lived in Twerton, and when the sirens sounded on the night of Saturday 25th April we ran for our lives to the Air Raid Shelter, but as we did so we were machine gunned. This was very frightening and the plane came so close we could actually see the pilot. But we arrived at the shelter safe and sound.

On Sunday, 26th April, my Father took me to Julian Road, where I saw all the destruction. This was about 10:00 am. I have vivid memories of horror of bodies everywhere at St Andrews Church that was damaged by fire in the raid during the night.

I particularly remember just the front wall of a large Georgian house still standing, and the sadness of seeing a lady in her nightdress who must have been in bed and then blown towards the shattered window which was on the top floor of the shattered building. She was in the window opening, dead, with her two arms hanging outside.

The demolition squad making the area safe could not deal with the wall until her body was removed, and they could not remove her themselves for fear that the wall would collapse if they tried. So she had to stay there in that undignified position until more help was available later in the day.

The strange thing, looking at all the damaged houses, is how fire grates often stayed in place, and the sight of pictures and mirrors still in place on the remaining walls with the glass uncracked.


Date: Tue Mar 11, 2008 - 11:42:34
EMAIL: john@evans647.orangehome.co.uk
NAME: John Evans
COMMENTS: Hello, I was six years old at the time. My parents and I lived in Wellsway overlooking Entry Hill.

I was awake at the time the first bombs began to drop. My mum and dad came to see where I was as they were soon convinced that our bungalow had been hit but it hadn't. After the lull, my father and I walked over the road to the Bloomfield Sports Club and noticed the fires burning over Bath.

Next morning we walked past the Bear Flat and noticed the damage. St James Church in the centre of Bath was still intact and I remember people coming out of a morning service.

Next time I went past the Church it was a burnt out shell. I remember very well the destruction in Holloway. On the third night we trekked out to somewhere near Combe Hay along with many others and spent the night under the stars.

Though our bungalow wasn't hit, it received quite a bit of structural damage from a stick of bombs dropped in a field (now part of a golf course) some 300-400yds away.


Date: Mon Oct 15, 2007 - 08:30:36
EMAIL: susieblue17@aol.com
NAME: Harrison
COMMENTS: Many years later I objected to wearing a label affixed to me identifying me at some social event.

The first time I was labelled was when I was evacuated from London. I objected that I was not a parcel and didn't want to look like one. The beginning of "behave yourself and do as you're told". We arrived eventually at a village school in the outskirts of Bath where my mother made it clear that my two sisters and the baby were to sit "nicely" and not move. Fortunately this resulted in being "chosen" by the most wonderful people who offered us shelter in their home.

There was an air raid shelter made under the roots of the apple orchard ... never used. We attended the village school and sandbags were piled high against the windows and we were warned never to pick up any unknown objects. Air raid drills had us dive under our wooden desks and to be able to distinguish between the alert and the all clear. I don't remember ever feeling afraid but had great confidence in the teacher's authority.

Then we moved to another house and when bombers were overhead we were awakened and taken to the cellars of the house. The people who owned that house lost their chauffeur who was also a fire fighter.

I often went to play at the local park. When the sirens went we just stopped what we were doing and went to the shelter. We had to know where every shelter was wherever we might be. There were no cell phones ... you just followed instructions. Sirens go off and you'd better know where the local shelter was and you knew what you had to do. People ask how could your parents have dealt with this without knowing where you were. It must have been difficult. But we were brought up to respond immediately and for safety's sake to do as we were told immediately. It worked!


Date: Mon Feb 26, 2007 - 06:35:03
EMAIL: loufinn@bigpond.net.au
NAME: Lou Finn
COMMENTS: I was 4 years old at the time of the bombings. I remember the windows blowing in and showering my baby sister, who was born in Bath on November 9th 1941, with glass. I think that this was after being bombed already, as the baby already had a little knitted blanket from the WVS. The room where the window blew in was below pavement level and apart from us there was no furniture in the room. We may have been sheltering there.

We lived at No.33 High street Twerton, Bath. I can recall going to the WVS (I think) to get some clothing as we only had our nightwear. In your records I see you list no 34 as damaged but not 33. I also recall the house in the next street, our two back gardens were joined. I remember going through the gate in the fence and seeing an ARP man fiddling with the taps, their windows were gone but the building was ok. We heard later that the people had all been killed, we never saw the two children again. Their name was, to the best of my recollection "Judd" also not on the list of killed.

I can also remember being caught out in a raid with my mother and elder sister (don't know where the baby was). My mother pulled us into what would have been once a toilet, no pan in there, we stayed put until the all clear. I can not put all this into perspective as I was too young and I can no longer ask my mother. All she was able to ever tell me was that after we were bombed out she got one of the neighbours to help to pull the pram out of the rubble and then we went to the WVS.

I hope that this bit of my memory jogs someone elses. You have done a marvellous job with this site.
Lou Finn
P.S. I would like to thank Mrs Judith Stone of the Register office for making it possible for me to get my sisters birth certificate and that is how I found out the address. I am in Australia.


Date: Tue Feb 13, 2007 - 17:35:14
EMAIL: steph1965@blueyonder.co.uk
NAME: Stephen John Cowley
COMMENTS: This is a great site which I didn't know existed. I only found it because I was trying to find information on Dr Mary Middlemas the Bath GP who was killed in the Blitz, because my mum was named Jacqueline Mary after her!!! She was my Gran's GP and helped deliver both my mum in 1938 and her sister in 1940 when they were born in 32 Morford Street. It was so terribly tragic that Dr Middlemas was killed only 2 years later in the blitz.

My Mother, Father and Grandparents all were born and lived in Bath for many years. My mother and her family were living in Morford Street at the time of the Bath Blitz. Her name was CHAPMAN, and my father's family the COWLEY'S lived in Stirtingale Avenue at that time too.

My grandmother Gwen Chapman was from the Ashman family of 73 Brook Road that Brian mentions in his memories of Brook Road. My Granmother Gwen's maiden name was Ashman. In Brook Road lived her brother and his wife, my great Uncle Fred Ashman and My great Aunty Rose Ashman, and their children, my mums cousins, Jean and Brian. Also living with them at the time was my Great Grandfather Alfred Ashman (mentioned in Brian's Story) who lived in Brook Road from the early 1900's. My grandmother Gwen Chapman died in 2003 (aged 96!!!), so had many memories of Brook Road and Bath down the years, which she used to tell me!! Her mother's family lived in old Balance Street before it was all later pulled down. In fact her grandmother Mrs Clothier ran the Sunday School there I believe in the early 1900's.

My mother Jacqueline and her sister Gillian along with their parents, my grandparents, Stan and Gwen Chapman were living in 32 Morford Street at the time of the Bath blitz and although my mother was only 4 years old at the time, she can vividly remember the bombs dropping all around them in Morford Street and the surrounding area, and the church being bombed in Julian Road. My Mum remembers well going down into Mrs Franklin's basement kitchen which was below street level, to try and shelter from the bombs dropping all around. Mrs Franklin was the lady who owned the house in 32 Morford Street and my mum and her family lived in the flat upstairs.

My father's family the Cowley's were living in Stirtingale Avenue at the time of the Blitz and he remembers well, he has told me, to be able to stand at the bottom of the garden in Stirtingale Avenue and see the fires from the bombing of Bath and Bristol.

I hope this information helps. This is a wonderful web sites which I didn't know existed.


Date: Mon Jan 08, 2007 - 20:11:32
EMAIL: victor.lawrence1@btinternet.com
NAME: Vic Lawrence
COMMENTS: My family have been associated with Bath since the early 1900's. I vividly remember the war years ...as a Boy Scout {17th Bath} clearing bomb damage at The Paragon ...coming home from Bathwick Junior School when a Spitfire chased a German aircraft at low-level over Cleveland Bridge ..so many more memories... So pleased to see the Memorial Project progressing so well.


Date: Fri Jan 5, 2007 - 17:15:22
EMAIL: grahamtoogood@tiscali.co.uk
NAME: Graham Toogood
COMMENTS: I was recently given a copy of the following letter, which was written about 20 years ago by my mother, Mrs Gwen Toogood to one of her grandchildren for a school project. At the time of the Blitz we lived at 2 Shaftesbury Rd.

Dear Thomas
I am very pleased to tell you all about my experiences in the second war. I am afraid my writing isn’t very good, also my memory is not like it was in 1939 when war broke out.

Grandad and myself lived in the top but one of a row of terraced houses. We had four boys, the youngest 1 year old and the oldest 8 years (Uncle Morris 8, Uncle Alan 5, Uncle Graham 3 and Uncle Colin 1)

In the front room of our 3 bedroom house we had what was called a table shelter and at night when the sirens went we had to get under it and the boys used to sleep there.

Granddad was a builder with his own business but when war started he had to give up and go into a pool repairing damage. He had to join the Civil Defence as an air raid warden. He wasn’t a soldier as he wasn’t A1 (not fit enough)

In 1942 the Germans started bombing all the big cities - London, Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, all over the towns and docks. We thought Bath was fairly safe until April 1942 when we had 2 nights of very heavy bombing and we were one of the first houses to be destroyed.

Grandad was out on duty and I had to put the 4 boys and their little cousin aged 1 (who I was looking after while his mother was in a nursing home having a baby) to bed.

Grandad came in to say a lot of German aircraft were overhead and we had better get the boys into the shelter. The 2 older ones walked down and the 2 little ones Grandad carried down and I had gone upstairs to fetch their little cousin when we had a direct hit. Luckily the boys were in the shelter with broken windows and stone work all around but none of them were hurt.

By this time the wardens and civil defence were around and they knew that our boys’ aunt lived along the road so they carried them to safety. Their little cousin and me were exposed to the sky and we were being machine gunned. Luckily a door flew off from the other side of the room and protected us. It was all over in minutes and I was taken to my mother’s house nearby with only a bruise on the back of my leg, and the little one was taken to another house and no one knew where he was until the next day.

Well to cut a long story short we had no home. We managed to get 2 rooms in a small house and the two older boys were evacuated to the Quantock hills where they lived and went to school. Meanwhile Grandad, me, uncle Graham and uncle Colin were living in 2 rooms. The boys were very poorly and the doctor said we must get them away. We got some petrol (which was rationed) and went to Weston Super Mare. The Germans started raids there and we slept in the car in the country. Eventually things quietened down and the 2 boys (uncle Morris and Alan) came back to live with us. We managed to rent a house until ours was rebuilt in 1946.

War was over in April 1945 and your mother was born that month. We had dancing in the road outside and I left your mum in her basket in the house only 2 weeks old.

Uncle Morris had a letter the day we were blitzed to say he had won a place at the City of Bath Grammar School.

After the war Grandad had his building licence back and was able to carry on his own business again.

Love from Grandma Toogood

PS. A lady in the house next door was killed by shock. I forgot to say people came from all over the city because the cot was hanging from the front bedroom window and all thought the baby must have been killed. It was in the evening paper.


Date: Mon Dec 11, 2006 - 12:06:30
EMAIL: rsnelgar@aol.com
NAME: Roger Snelgar
COMMENTS: I found a Reparation Document for £3 14s 6d from the Council the other day . We had our Back Window and Door blown out.
This was 7 Lansdown View, Combe Down. Now 185 Bradford Road Combe Down.


Date: Thu Dec 07, 2006 - 05:51:10
EMAIL: yatesmail@optusnet.com.au
NAME: Geoff Yates
COMMENTS: I was born in 1934 and lived at 1 Lower Dover St in Walcot with my younger brother and sister, dad in 8th army and mum looking after us. No 1 Lower Dover St was a small pub called the Travellers Rest and on bombing nights we went downstairs to the bar and lay under stout tables.

In the morning I remember walking up to Junior school in Dover Place, picking our way through the rubble blown from the bombing in nearby Snow Hill, to the school naturally hoping that the school had been bombed. No - but we were given the day off because of the broken glass everywhere. So off we went trawling the streets looking for bomb debris and shrapnel which was barterable.

Even when we returned to school after repairs the effects were felt in that the kitchens making school dinners were damaged to the extent that what small meals we did receive were bolstered by bread and jam purchased locally. My task was to collect the bread from Youngs Bakery.

I always picked hot freshly baked loaves from the bread racks which by the time I returned to school were a sorry sight where I had picked the corners off.

I remember electricity, gas and water being off for periods and damage to a brick lined sewer in our street which laid open an ovoid shape, almost large enough to stand in.

60 plus years later memories of the bombs are still very clear, the whistle and the noise and the ground shaking.


Date: Fri Jul 28, 2006 - 22:53:46
EMAIL: julie@hanif.me.uk
NAME: Julie Hanif
COMMENTS: My uncle Eric Reynaert aged 23 and aunt Evelyn Reynaert aged 22 of Third Avenue, Bath, were killed when a bomb landed on the Scala air raid shelter - killing all inside. My father David, was a young boy at the time and had been staying with his brother until 2 weeks prior to the Blitz when he returned to Dover, Kent. That is all the information that I know. Does anyone have any other information?

Kind regards Julie
(I have responded to this by e-mail).


Date: Fri Jun 23, 2006 - 17:05:56
EMAIL: tweedie123@tiscali.co.uk
NAME: Michael Ruddock
COMMENTS: I was 10 years old at the time of the Blitz and living at Richmond Place Beacon Hill. We were at 13.

I remember that the morning after the first night the the only people around was the Tea Bar of the Salvation Army. We had our windows blown out owing to a bomb falling at the rear of Richmond Place. It fell in Bill Phillip's Field. He had a farm behind Richmond Place. The Salvation Army van came to Beacon Hill Common. I can do more later if anyone wishes.


Date: Sat Apr 8, 2006 - 19:33:12
EMAIL: scotty65@ntlworld.co.uk
NAME: Ian Scott
COMMENTS: I born in 1936 and lived in Mount Rd at the bottom of Roundhill Park with my parents and younger brother. On the nights of the Blitz we were under the table in the dining room with my aunt. My father was on duty with the home guard. My mother had tacked blankets over the windows. I remembers the whistle of of the bombs. Several fell in Roundhill Park and our windows all blew in, and soot fell down the chimney covering us.

After the second night they discovered an unexploded bomb at the Co-op and we had to go to friends in Englishcombe Village. I was very young but I remember it very well. I got a perforated ear-drum and was sent to my grandparents in Scotland for the rest of the war.

My father Major GD Scott received the OBE for his efforts during that period which seems so incredible in this day and age. I remember stood at our front door and watching people walking along in night clothes. My mother went out and gave someone my brother's push chair.


Date: Tue Oct 4, 2005 - 18:54:48
EMAIL: mimaian@hotmail.com
NAME: Ian Guy
COMMENTS: At the time of the Blitz on Bath I with my mother, brother and two sisters were under the kitchen table at 32 Locksbrook Road.

I was 6 years + at the time and my oldest memory was looking out of our bedroom window and witness the Cabinet Makers all ablaze (we use to call these works the Aircraft Works). I also recall the back door being blown off and never found. My father was in the Royal navy and away at the time.

We then had to move from this house to safer ground in Bathford where we all came through the ordeal unharmed.


Date: Thu Oct 14, 2004 - 20:58:42
EMAIL: awood01@prodigy.net
NAME: Annette Wood (nee Maguire)
COMMENTS: I was five years old we lived in Ashley Avenue, in the Lower Weston area of Bath.

I know I was very young at the time of the Blitz. Of course we were all used to the sirens, it was a daily occurrence. The first night when the bombing started we went into the coal cellar under the front steps, We being my Grandmother, My Aunt and her two month old baby, and Miss Palmer who had a room at the top of the house. My Grandfather, my Mother and my Aunt were outside, I guess you called them Home Guards.

It was very dark, the adults were very tense, each time they heard a bomb falling there was crying and praying, and then the sighs of relief. Sometimes the bombs were very close, the houses on the opposite side of the street were totally destroyed and the people who lived there were all killed. Eight I believe. Our house was hit several times, the roof was blown off, and there was a lot of smoke and fire, the smell of burning rubber was very strong, we were told that a motorbike in our neighbour's yard was burning. All of a sudden there was a big commotion outside, it was my Grandmothers family from Ashley Terrace, their house had been hit, so we were joined my Great-Grandmother, my Aunt and three cousins and their dog. It was really crowded.

The next morning my Grandfather took me with to examine the damages. Lots of soot. Broken windows. Strange things, that he pointed out to me. The bathroom window was blown out from the wall, sitting in the bath tub, the window pane unbroken. In the front room a vase was sitting on the window ledge still full of water, the violets were strewn all over the room. Then we went to the attic. There was no roof. That was a scary place. I held Grandpa's hand tight. It was a strange world we saw: the huge crater across the street, and a tree in the middle of the road that had been uprooted and bent into an arch.

That day we went to stay with some relatives who lived in the country near Combe Down. I think back and wonder what it was like for them to see all of us arriving. There must have been almost 20 of us.

That night when the sirens started, everyone left the house and went to the old stone quarry. There was a full moon, the country lane was like a tunnel, hedges on either side. There were some very low flying planes, I could see the fire from the guns as they fired on us running down the road. When we arrived at the quarry there were people already there, huddled together. Some had candles, the sound of people shovelling trash, moving it back from the mouth of the quarry to make room for the people. There was a horrible sour smell there. I believe we stayed at Combe Down three nights, returning to the quarry one more time.

Passing through Bath on our return home we saw the devastation, bombed buildings, reminding me of a doll's house with the side lifted off, the furnishings falling out. These are memories that are so vivid and chilling. I still hate the sound of sirens, low flying planes, the smell of burning.

In 1989 when we had a severe earthquake in California, when I saw the destruction in a local grocery store, it all came back, I started to shiver and cry. It all came flooding back. I have many childhood memories of those war years. Our neighbour took in young refugees from other areas. One girl in particular stands out. I never really met her, our bedrooms were on the same floor, she was a young teenager and had been severely burned in a bombing, her face and hands were covered with bandages, we held mirrors out the window and talked to each other. She had no idea where her parents were. One day she was gone.


Date: Sun Jul 4, 2004 - 12:56:27
EMAIL: f.sumsion@btinternet.com
NAME: Frank Sumsion
COMMENTS: On the evening of 25th April, 1942 at the tender age of 16, I attended a dance at the Avenue Hall (Church Rooms) at Combe Down, Bath. My sister and several of my relations were there also.

At about 11:30 pm the organiser said the dance must end as an air raid was taking place on the city of Bath. We left the dance hall and hurried to the home of our cousin, Wilcox the Baker, at Combe Road, Combe Down, where we sheltered in the basement until the end of the first raid.  Even there, some two miles from the city centre, the noise was terrifying in its intensity. The raid lasted about 1 hour and we stayed with our cousin for another hour or so before my sister and I decided to walk to our home at 18 Upper Bloomfield Road, Odd Down, as quickly as possible as we knew our parents would be worried.

We were proceeding along Bradford Road between Fox Hill and Entry Hill when the second raid started.  From memory I believe it was close to 3:30 am. There were no houses at Fox Hill at that time, just fields belonging to Springfield Farm and we had a clear view over the city towards Lansdown. We could clearly see the huge glow and smoke billowing to the sky from the fires already burning from the first raid.

As this second raid started the planes came in very low, it seemed almost above our heads and were diving down over the city. In previous months we had watched the raids on Bristol many times from the top of Rush Hill, where we could clearly see the fires and explosions as they were taking place, but this was a new experience for us, very frightening and very close. We watched, spellbound, for some time and then as far as I recall we ran all the way home. Our parents were very relieved to see us; they were sheltering in the smallest room in the house which was a coal cellar between the larder and the living room. Being inside the cellar gave us the protection of two walls either side.

We had two near misses; one bomb hit Colborne Road close to the Wansdyke Inn about 100 yards away and another hit Ballantyne and Rudds Garage, in Upper Wellsway, again about a 100 yards away. The only damage to our house was a few cracked windows, front door being jammed and the back door being blown open.

Early the following morning I went with my employer (who had a lorry) into Bath, to see if we could help. The damage was horrific, the civil defence and fire brigade were doing everything they could. There were hosepipes everywhere. My clearest memories are of the devastation at the Bear Flat, Oldfield Park and Green Park, and the ruins of the churches also stand out in my memory.

St James Church was being used as a mortuary, parties of civil defence workers were combing the buildings looking for survivors, and we heard of several success stories during the day where people had been pulled from the wreckage of their homes. Sad stories kept emerging of tragedies where whole families had been killed, and the loss of life of the Civil Defence workers killed by a direct hit on an air raid shelter opposite the Old Scala Cinema in Oldfield Park.

We helped a dentist, Mr Butcher, recover some of his equipment from the basement of his property at Green Park where they were also looking for survivors and were then told to clear the area because of the danger of collapsing buildings. I can remember old tramlines sticking out from the ground close to the Midland Station at Green Park. The trams had been taken out of service a couple of years previously, if I remember correctly.

My memory of things that happened during the rest of the day is vague, but I remember making several trips to the countryside, taking people in my employer’s lorry. Here they found refuge wherever they could in case the bombers returned at night time.

We were without gas and water, I cannot remember if the electricity was affected. I was at home with my family when the bombers returned after midnight on the night of the 26th. If anything the noise seemed louder than ever. Although we had a Morrison shelter in our living room, which served as a table for the duration of the war, my father thought having the two walls either side of us was the safest place in the house. We spent the duration of the raid (about an hour it seemed) in the coal cellar again.

There was a smell of burning. This turned out to be soot that had shaken from the chimney (had we been in the Morrison shelter the soot would have covered us). We were lucky that we only had the clearing of this to tend to in the morning. The next day we again used the lorry to take people to places such as Dunkerton, Combe Hay and Peasedown. Once there they were taken in by the local people, to shelter and rest during following days. Jim Hunt, my employer, at that time had relatives at Trowbridge and we decided to take their offer of shelter during the night of the 27th. We slept on the floor of the Liberal Club in Trowbridge that night and returned home the following day as the bombers had not returned.

After all this time what still amazes me is that with all the loss of life and the devastation that surrounded us, how seemingly quickly things returned to normal. Perhaps it’s because of the passing of time and the innocence of youth.


Date: Fri Jun 4, 2004 - 20:42:45
EMAIL: cliff.densley@ntlworld.com
NAME: Clifford George Densley
COMMENTS: At the time I was ten years old, and lived at Haycombe Drive, Whiteway, Bath.

On the first night we stayed in a Wood Copse up behind Newton Park college as it is now known. The second night we spent in a Barn at Chaves Farm at Newton-st-Loe, I remember going to Third Ave my Mother's parents lived in No 5 and were both killed in the air raid shelter. My Fathers step dad was also killed and he lived in Herbert Road, My Mother and myself and my two Brothers seem to go from one place to another trying to find out were there bodies had been taken to.

One of the things I remember was the clock that had fallen out of the Tower and lay in the middle of the road, from a Church that used to stand where Woolworths was built on after the war.


Date: Sat Feb 7, 2004 - 12:16:20
EMAIL: hansford@barnfield.eclipse.co.uk
NAME: Tony Hansford
COMMENTS: Congratulations on an excellent site and an important project. My mother's family were from Bath and as a small child (about 6) my mother and I lived for a while at Trafalgar Cottages off Holloway. I remember going to St Marks School and the bombed area of Holloway.

I also remember Mrs Hoopers Toy Shop and Jack Allens cafe (and lardy cake - tuppence a slice and afterwards you could fight anybody - but you couldn't swim very far!). There was a wonderful atmosphere of relief and excitement at the end of the war with huge celebrations and street parties on VE Day.


Date: Thu Jan 15, 2004 - 00:02:49
EMAIL: mark@fliers.freeserve.co.uk
NAME: Mark Wheeler
COMMENTS: My mother, Sylvia Harding, was living in Roundhill Park during the Baedeker Raids (a teenager at the time). She escaped injury, as did the rest of my large family in Bath (thank goodness), but witnessed the terrible human loss and injury from shattered houses literally yards away.

More of our family lived in Elm Grove Terrace, only just escaping in time when the whole row of houses was demolished. My great grandfather virtually had the front door blown out behind him as he ran down the path.

No doubt my mother will contribute her memories to this important project. A sincere thank you to all involved for all their hard, and necessary, work.


Date: Fri Dec 12, 2003 - 02:47:24
EMAIL: ewlmkl@sbcglobal
NAME: eugene W. Luciano
COMMENTS: The Beautiful City of Bath, that I do remember in 1944. I was 28 years of age. Roman Baths and the beautiful park.

In 1944. I was a soldier, stationed in Chippenham with the American Fourth Armored Division and would pass through Bath to go Bristol.

I met a WRAF (young lady) and we were to meet at the Chippenham Train Station. But it never happened because we were restricted to the Barracks and sent down to guard the Plymouth shores in preparation of the invasion.

A copy of my book for free, "OUR BLOOD AND HIS GUTS" in which I take a couple of POT SHOTS at General Bernard Montgomery.

I loved England--Great Memories and People.


Date: Thu Aug 28, 2003 - 05:44:57
EMAIL: stevengca@earthlink.net
NAME: Steve Gordon
COMMENTS: This is a fabulous website, doing exactly what is needed, to keep alive the memories of that crucial period in history, when freedom was saved. I'm an American, whose only visit to Bath revealed to me how this beautiful city had a tragic and courageous time. As a professor with historical interests, I visited your Cathedral, where to my astonishment the Memorial Book was open showing pages of so many Blitz deaths!

This story is not widely-known; the great sacrifices of London and Coventry are more familiar, but after visiting Bath, I looked into the wartime histories of Bath, Norwich, York, Dover, Rye, Portsmouth. As a professor, I was interested in how civilians respond when suddenly thrust into war! It's so ironic that while doing this research two years ago in Canterbury, the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 occurred in my home country, making my historical concern tragically up-to- Date.

The best widely-available sources I've found about the Bath Blitz are Niall Rothnie's The Baedeker Blitz, and Britain Under Fire: The Bombing of Britain's Cities, by Charles Whiting. On your site I see more, local books I will buy for my studies. So far I've found that Canterbury and you have the best historical coverage, while York and Portsmouth offer rather little to remind us.

So far in my research I'm impressed with how Bath responded, given that there were almost no anti-aircraft nor fighter plane defences against the surprise German attack, even though London had moved government offices to Bath for safety. And the shelters were few and inadequate, while many of your fire trucks were driving off to Bristol, assuming this raid was for them not you.

I'll be in Bath from Sept. 14-17,2003 and nearby thereafter for a few days, to see what I can discover about those events 60 years ago.


Date: Sat Jul 12, 2003 - 20:32:49
EMAIL: philjen@fsmail.net
NAME: Phil Newman
COMMENTS: This is a memory of my mother, named Susan, who lived in Bath for most of her life and was 27 years old when the Bath blitz took place.  My Mum was living with my aunt and grandmother at 15 Regents Terrace, Widcombe whilst my Dad was away fighting in the Somerset Light Infantry.

Mum had just finished work as a bus conductress on the night of the first raid, and was walking home along the riverside alongside the cricket ground when the bombs started to fall. She hurried along the towpath and as she reached the arches that carry the railway from Bath Spa Station she heard the whistle of a bomb.  As she jumped over a small brick wall at the terraced houses the blast threw her over it (the wall is still in situ 2003) when the bomb hit St Johns RC Church.  When she came to she found the body of a priest about 10yds from her with no head, as she frequently recalled!

Mum died in 2003 aged 87yrs.


Date: Sun May 18, 2003 - 18:36:33
EMAIL: cllr,dargue@ne-derbyshire.gov.uk
NAME: John Arthur Dargue
COMMENTS: I was 9 years old and lived at 14 Norfolk Bldgs, Bath.  On the 26th April 1942 my father was on duty as a Warden and was in the street when the bombs hit the house.  I was taken by an Irishman who lived in the flat below out of the house and away towards the City Centre.  We spent the night in various air raid shelters.

The next morning I was taken to The Theatre Royal where I was reunited with my mother and my brother and sister.  I was then told that the blast had killed my father James Horsman Dargue.


Date: Thu Feb 13, 2003 - 14:45:18
EMAIL: arepet@onetel.net.uk
NAME: Rose Green
COMMENTS: I was the youngest of 10 children and my mother got us to Bristol at the beginning of the war, to get us away from any bombing in London.  My mother found a house to rent in Wells Road.  Not many of us left now so I have no one to ask, your site is a great find.

I was four and a half years old on the weekend of 25th April '42 and can remember sitting on my mother's lap in the basement and burying my head in her chest. There was a lot of rumbling of bombs dropping and I remember feeling very frightened.  There was a tremendous clatter and my mum yelled "they're coming down the steps !!" (to the basement).  But apparently the Germans hadn't invaded; it was a corrugated roofing sheet from the outside toilet!

The next memory I have is of us coming back from the shelter (no memory of going) and my big brother carrying me through streets with the gutters filled with broken glass.  My mother later told me that the house was demolished as it was unsafe.  I know it was almost opposite a pub and i think there was a school further down the road.

My mother took the six of us under working age back to London, where the Salvation Army got us 2 rooms in Camberwell.  Needless to say us kids spent the rest of the war on an underground platform and later in the deep shelter at London Bridge, but we didn't get bombed in London.  Incidentally, my father went for "war work" from Bath a while before the raids and we didn't see him again.  He had run off with a lady friend, so I expect I have a few half siblings out there somewhere!!


Date: Sun Feb 2, 2003 - 05:57:41
EMAIL: keithridgeway@cox.net
NAME: keith ridgeway
COMMENTS: My father lived at 14 Kensington Gardens. The back of their house was destroyed. He, my uncle and grandfather (a police officer) were under their steel table and my aunt and grandmother were in the coal cellar. They had to be dug out. I plan to call him tomorrow and will mention your fascinating web site.
Keith Ridgeway, Chula Vista, California


Date: Mon Oct 21, 2002 - 16:09:34
EMAIL: mariemowbray@yahoo.co.uk
NAME: Rocky Rochester
COMMENTS: As I served as a messenger during the Bath Blitz, I look forward very much to getting a copy of the video. I served with the Bath Civil Defence for two years from the age of 16 to 18, at the time of the Blitz I was 16 1/2 and carried messages non stop throughtout the nights of the Blitz from my wardens post at Southdown to control centre in Newbridge Hill.


Date: Sun Apr 28, 2002 - 15:55:59
EMAIL: malcy.mitchell@virgin.net
NAME: MALCOLM MITCHELL
COMMENTS: Just been to the 60th Memorial Service in Bath Abbey. It's the first time that I really realised that I was a survivor of the Bath Blitz. I was born on the 30th March 1942 at 4A Kingsmead Street. On the 25th April 1942 I was at home with my parents, three sisters and two brothers and we survived the blasts that devastated Kingsmead Street that night.
A memorial to those who died that fateful weekend will be very appropriate and we should not forget, although we need to look forward.


 


If you can't find where you want to go next using the navigation buttons at the top of this page, this button   Index   will take you to the page containing the complete site index.