BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

Coventry Blitz, 14th November 1940

by WMCSVActionDesk

You are browsing in:

Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
WMCSVActionDesk
People in story: 
Alan John Wrigglesworth
Location of story: 
Coventry
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A6982743
Contributed on: 
15 November 2005

At the outbreak of war I was living at 124 Hartland Avenue, Wyken, Coventry and attended Scoke Heath School. I remember well lining up at school to be fitted with a gas mask and afterwards putting them on; and classes filing down into the basement which was the boiler house of the school and sitting amongst the piles of coke.

On November 14th 1940 the sirens sounded early and the damily went down the Anderson Shelter at the rear of next door’s garden. The exceptions were my older sister who was acting as a messenger and my grandmother who refused and insisted on sitting under the stairs. My father (a veteran of 1918) at the time was on nightshift at the Alvis on the Holyhead Road and had already set off on this bicycle to work.

The German Aircraft were easy to pick out on the moonlit night apart from the distinct sound of their desynchronised engines.

As the raid got worse, my grandmother was persuaded to come down the shelter and our neighbours’ relatives from Berry Street arrived to join us. Around midnight there was a thump on the roof of the shelter ad the adults went outside to put out what turned out to be an incendiary bomb. Meanwhile a stick of bombs fell in the immediate vicinity destroying a block of four houses further down the road and one in the other direction. The glow in the sky and the noise was incredible. The general feeling was that the Germans were aiming for the Admiralty Ordnance Works in Red Lane and Morris Motors at Courthouse Green.

When eventually the ‘All Clear’ sounded we emerged and the family from Brry Street returned home. During the night a delayed action bomb had landed in their garden and during the morning it exploded destroying a block of six houses. No trace of the family was ever found.

Meanwhile my father returned home. When the sirens had gone he had entered on of the surface shelter, leaving his bicycle outside. All that remained of the bicycle was the front wheel which he came home carrying, much to the relief of my mother.

The water mains had been hot and for some reason our house was the only one left with running water. People were coming from everywhere with all kinds of receptacles for my mother to fill but my mid-morning our taps had run dry as well.

The story continues in ‘Evacuation to Radway, Warwickshire’.

This story was entered by Jenni Waugh, BBC People’s War Outreach Officer, on behalf of Mr Wrigglesworth who accepts the site’s terms and conditions.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

The Blitz Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy