Monday, April 17, 2006

Coventry Air Raids

The Coventry Blitz Resource centre:
"Coventry Cathedral (St Michaels) was hit by so many incendiaries that the four fire watchers couldn't put them out fast enough; many began to puncture the lead roof and fall onto the wooden ceiling below once there they were very difficult to reach and smother. Eventually, due to the large number of incendiaries and the lack of sand, it became obvious that only the fire brigade could now fight the flames.
The local fire fighters were already bravely fighting hundreds of fires and could not attend.

When fire fighters finally arrived all the way from Solihull, the water supply failed and nothing more could be done.

Whole rows of houses were demolished by landmines; these fiendish creations consisted of a metal case attached to a parachute.
Unlike other bombs, the force of the explosion was not directed into the ground making a crater; instead they were designed to explode before they hit the ground causing maximum damage and killing many civilians. Coventry's tram system never worked again because so much of the track was destroyed that the cost of replacement was prohibitive.
When the raid was finally over there was hardly a water or gas main in Coventry that wasn�t destroyed. At least 554 people were known to have been killed, but it is possible that as many as 1000 people actually died. Many bodies were never recovered or were unrecognisable.

One mortuary was itself bombed, so identification for private burial became impossible. Another problem was that so many workers came from all over the UK to Coventry to work in the factories that unless they had relations in Coventry to report them missed then they would not have been counted as killed.
I have been contacted by several people 100% sure that their relative was killed in the blitz"

UK Family History Researcher cemetery destruction

UK Family History Researcher:


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