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Bombing Brum

Colin B

gone but not forgotten
The raid on 19/11/1940 was the 43rd raid on Birmingham, three deaths listed in St Stephens Road (Cope) some information on
Swanshurst School/BARRA site., just enter date in search..
There is also a number of pages regarding the raid in the book Heroes of The Birmingham Air Raids by Michael Minton.

Colin
 
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thecaptain51

master brummie
I always listened to the stories my late mother told me about the bombing of Birmingham, especially in the area where our family lived at the time.
She spoke about the noise of the German aircraft engines, she said " It sounded like I'm a coming, I'm a coming".
My mother also spoke about the time they hit Ellen Street school, Carver Street(They carried the dead out in plastic bags).
I think it was also the same raid where they hit our house in Hingeston Street (Nobody killed or wounded in our house because they always used The Royal Mint shelter, I wasn't born then), the kitchen where our family cooked and washed was damaged and my Mom said " When ever we cooked or washed eveybody could see us".

On a lighter side, one night the sirens were late going off and everybody made a rush for The Royal Mint shelter, my Mom had a friend with her who was rather large, her name was Amy. As they rushed to get in this particular shelter with my two young brothers under their arms, Amy got stuck in the doorway, which caused people to panic as they could hear the bombs dropping. So the story goes all the men who were there got together as a battering ram and pushed the luckless Amy throught the door. My mother said afterwards that" Amy had bruises all over her body for a couple of weekes, and no one else was injured that night at the shelter.

I think that you can safely say The Germans sowed a wind and reaped a whirlwind with their bombing raids. The number of German cities totally destroyed by The Americans in the day and Bomber Harris's R.A,F. of the night failed in its plan of trying to break the Germans civilians resolve. I believe about 80,000 British and Commonwealth aircrew lost their lives during this period till the end of the war.

If you want to look at a city totally destroyed by bombing look at this and it was alleged that the survivors went in to the parks afterwards to get away from it and were shot up by Americans fighter planes the next day.
Its the first time I have put up something from youtube, I dont know if its allowed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axx7uUtM7Hw
 

BirminghamLynda

proper brummie kid
The raid on 19/11/1940 was the 43rd raid on Birmingham, three deaths listed in St Stephens Road (Cope) some information on
Swanshurst School/BARRA site., just enter date in search..
There is also a number of pages regarding the raid in the book Heroes of The Birmingham Air Raids by Michael Minton.

Colin
The three Copes are my granddad, and my twin uncles. They saved my moms life by throwing her under a table, but got killed themselves. The space where their house stood is still there, never built upon. My mom and nan would never speak of it, it was all too painful. Now I wish I had known much more.
Thanks for the link Colin.
 

BirminghamLynda

proper brummie kid
ChrisM, that was very interesting, had not read that article before. I was aged 10 and 11 in 1940/1941 and we had just moved to Shirley (Cranmore Boulevard) from Sheldon and at night we could see the glow over Birmingham during the air raids. We felt for the people in Brum including our Gran and Grandad in Queens Rd Aston who refused to come and stay with us. Turned out to be a wise decision as a stray bomb fell on a house opposite us in Clinton Road completely destroying the house and the blast damaged our house and for the next 3 weeks we lived in a romany caravan at a farm in Earlswood whilst repairs were made to make our house habitable again mainly windows and roof damage. My sisters and I thought it was a great adventure, my parents no doubt thought different. Eric
Do you know the name of the farm in Earlswood? My uncle owned a farm there. He's passed away now, but the family still own it.
This is the sort of thread I'm interested in, very interesting. As I think I've said elsewhere, my granddad and twin uncles died in November 1940 during the blitz. Lots was made of the city centre, but I've seen very little about the suburbs, and I have nobody left to ask now....
 

tim eborn

master brummie
Hi, My family lived in Tillingham St. Sparkbrook and our house was badly damaged when a mine was dropped on Highgate Road which our garden backed onto. Whilst many were killed that night we were just left homeless.
As Dad was serving in the fire service (AFS) Mom took me with her to her parents who lived in Cornyx Lane Elmdon Heath,just outside Solihull. To her surprise her parents had also been bombed out and they had sought shelter at my Aunt Bella's just down the road in Forddrove Lane.
We retraced or steps to Mom's sister-in-law's who took us in at her small house in Olton.
On a similar forum it was reported that the bombs dropped on Elmdon were meant for the near by Rover factory and that a collection was taken up to buy some OS maps to be sent to the Germans to avoid a similar accident. I thought this showed the spirit of the people during this time of death an d horror
 

tim eborn

master brummie
Hi Phil, Thanks for posting picture, our family were pretty close friends with the Moyden's and there are many happy memories there.
My father was in the AFS and they received their equipment in dribs and drabs, a bit like the Home Guard, and he was very proud of his fireman's axe which he wore to home on the day it became available.
The Moydens lived at 3 and we at 7,Tillingham St and when Dad came round the corner out of Turner St he saw smoke coming out of the front room of #3. Not hesitating he draw his axe and attacked the Front door panel to gain entry as per the training instructions. Having broken in he found that the door was not locked and that Mrs Violet Moyden was standing behind him having come the entry to see what was going on. When he asked why she hadn't stopped him she said that she didn't have the heart as he was enjoying himself so much.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
The Luftwaffe considered Birmingham an important target and aimed their X-Gerate radio beam to cross Birmingham approximately north-south and following a line just east of the city centre. I had seen a map many years ago showing the beam and have found another map which shows the beam crossing the city and just east of the Walsall Rd towards an area where I lived. The map came from a study commissioned by Birmingham City Council to carry out a SiteSafe Unexploded Bomb (UXB) Desk Study for an approximately 0.7 hectare (ha) site at Golden Square, Birmingham. A map in the study of the Jewellery Quarter marks where bombs fell. A link to the pdf file below has gone down and is now inoperative.
https://eplanning.birmingham.gov.uk/Northgate/DocumentExplorer/documentstream/documentstream.aspx?name=public:0901487a80b6c174.pdf&unique=433148&type=eplprod_DC_PLANAPP
beam.JPG
 
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Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Makes me realise the level of risk my nan took when she decided to bring her children back hone from evacuation in the country. They'd have lived on the line of the beam too. In fact I remember one relation telling me that, when they returned from the country, the kids used to get very excited jumping up and down on their beds when a raids started up. Doesn't sound that much fun to me though! Viv.

PS thought an amusing point in the report was that the Germans mistook the Midlands for Liverpool in WW1. !!!.
 

Jayell

master brummie
Very interesting reading Old Mohawk. Brings it home to you how strong our parents were living through all that, and keeping us kids safe. We lived on Walsall Road (on the line of the radio beam as shown) at the time, as my Dad was Manager of the Clifton Cinema, and we lived across the road from the cinema. When there was an air raid on Mom and Dad would pick me up out of my cot and run across the road to shelter in the cellars of the cinema at the beginning of the War. As time went on my Mom decided that she would rather take our chance and stay in our own beds at night.

Judy
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Hello Judy,

I remember nights in a water-filled air-raid shelter in the garden of 215 Knowle Road, Sparkhill. The next five houses had been flattened, so it was probably unlikely that the house was going to be a second target. But spending the night on duckboarding over about about two feet of water wasn't pleasant, whilst Dad was out fire watching. Dad spent half of World War I in the Army and was too old for WWII as well as being unfit.

Maurice
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi Viv and Judy,
It seemed many parents got their kids back from evacuation and often took risks staying in their houses during raids rather than the cold musty shelters.

I was watching a recent TV program about a Baedeker Raid on the city of Bath and a women who was there during the raid was talking about the way German aircraft flew low machine gunning the streets. I thought the documentary reporter look slightly skeptical listening to it but an extract below from the RAF Campaign Diaries shows it also happened in Birmingham on a Thursday afternoon.

RAF Castle Bromwich 31st Oct 1940
At 1444 hours, five enemy aircraft machine-gunned many houses in the vicinity and some damage was done to roofs and glass from AA guns and blast. The Repairable Equipment Ltd Factory was the chief sufferer but the extent of the damage is not yet known.
 

Jayell

master brummie
Oh yes, the low machine gunning along the streets definitely did happen. My Mom told me that she was on a bus taking me to visit my Grandad in Billesley. I was only a baby so this would be around 1940/41. The bus was going through Digbeth when a German plan flew low, machine gunning along the street as it went. She threw herself over me to protect me, and luckily no harm was done to either of us.

Judy
 
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Jayell

master brummie
I never spent any night in an air raid shelter Maurice. As I said it was either in the cellars of The Clifton Cinema, or when we moved to Handsworth in 1942, it was in the cellars of Soho House. However, my friends had both Morrison and Anderson Shelters, and I can remember playing in these after the war. I can't imagine the discomfort that must have had to be endured by spending the nights in either of these.

Judy
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Roy Blakey posted about decisions his parents made about his evacuation and early return with pics of a letter in his following posts #82 and #83. In this thread click/here
 
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norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
Oh yes, the low machine gunning along the streets definitely did happen. My Mom told me that she was on a bus taking me to visit my Grandad in Billesley. I was only a baby so this would be around 1940/41. The bus was going through Digbeth when a German plan flew low, machine gunning along the street as it went. She threw herself over me to protect me, and luckily now harm was done to either of us.

Judy
I seem to remember that a German fighter plane machine gunned the Grafton Cinema, on the Coventry Road. I believe someone was killed, but I am not sure . I also recollect seeing bits that had been taken out of the entrance masonry.

Eddie
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
Facebook has neat page. Matt Felkins. 'Wartime Birmingham and the Blitz' well worth a read IF you are not doing so already. John Crump Parker.Colorado USA
 

brummie nick

master brummie
I seem to remember that a German fighter plane machine gunned the Grafton Cinema, on the Coventry Road. I believe someone was killed, but I am not sure . I also recollect seeing bits that had been taken out of the entrance masonry.

Eddie
I think it was the Grange' cinema that had bullet holes on it.
Nick
 
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