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This page has been archived and is no longer updated.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

Bombing in Leicester

by Imazad

Contributed by 
Imazad
People in story: 
Dennis Neal
Location of story: 
Leicester
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A2682380
Contributed on: 
31 May 2004

Leicester was lucky in many ways as we did not suffer bombing in the same way as many other cities. However, we were in the direct flight path for the german bombers targeting Coventry and the Black Country. The result was that we woke most nights to the wail of the sirens and heard the aircraft flying overhead with the AAA guns making plenty of noise. If an aircraft was hit, it would possibly shed it's bombs on us and occasionally an aircraft was brought down.

The night of 19/20 November 1940 was to prove different. There was the usual air raid warning and constant explosions for several hours. I was 11 at the time and sheltered under the stairs with my mother. My dad was on ARP duty in the street and kept popping in to see if we were OK.

We were suitably terrified when the whole house shook and we were smothered in dust and debris. Thinking it was us or our next door neighbour who had been hit, we started to emerge from the pantry when my dad came running in to check on us. He had watched a bomb on a parchute descend towards the house and shift with the wind to fall in the next Road.

When the all cleasr sounded, I climbed the dividing wall to gain access to the next street and saw a mass of destruction. 16 houses reduced to rubble and a huge crater in the road filled with water from a broken main. My dad was helping with the rescue and saw me and sent me packing.

Looking at the pattern of the bombing some time later, it would appear that the possible target was the railway lines and three major bridges. If they had been hit, it would have been a major blow to the war effort.

That was the only truly bad raid Leicester had but there were many instances of casual bombing and machine gunning.

© 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.

Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
Leicestershire and Rutland 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