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- Mr Ashby
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- Contributed on:
- 30 July 2005
This story was submitted to the People's War site by CSV/BBC Radio Nottingham on behalf of Mr Ashby with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
Another of the most vivid memories i have during the war years was when Coventry was blitzed, November 14th 1940. We heard about it on the radio and my dad got on his Rudge Whitworth racing bike the next morning and went to see what had happened. He was very shocked by what he saw and told us when he came back that evening that there wasn't a wall standing and everything was flattened as far as you could see. He said that anyone living there would not have stood a chance and we were all very sad thinking of the ordinary families like ours who must have been killed that night.
I also remember dad coming home one night and saying a German bomber had crashed near Stanton and he had been there on his bike again. There was debris all over the place, some of it quite disturbing. I have since found out that it wasn't a German plane at all. Instead it was a Wellington bomber which was on a high altitude test flight from a test station at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. It was trying to reach 35 000 feet to see if they could fly that high and keep out of range of searchlights and anti-aircraft fire. Unfortuneately one of the engines started vibrating and a piece flew off the propellor, hit the cockpit and depressurised it. The plane came down near Stanley Village on the evening of July 12th 1942. On July 11th 2004 a memorial service was held in Stanley village for those five brave airmen and a plaque was unveiled in the churchyard. The service had been widely publicised and relatives came from all over the UK plus members of the armed forces and people who had lived there during that period. One gentleman from Devon still had a small piece of the aircraft which he had treasured for 62 years. There was a flypast by a Lancaster to commemorate the occasion.
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