Somerset

Bath Blitz memorial unveiled on site of WW2 explosion

Chris Kilminster
Image caption Chris Kilminster lost five members of his family to a single bomb blast

A new monument has been unveiled in Bath on the spot where 28 people lost their lives during World War Two.

Local historian Chris Kilminster, who lost five family members, raised more than £15,000 to fund the memorial on the site of an air raid shelter hit by the bomb on 26 April 1942.

Mr Kilminster said he was "so grateful" to people who supported his campaign.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Kilminster said his memorial was for the 417 people who died in the Bath Blitz.

It is believed German bombers were intending to hit a nearby railway junction or gas works with the 500kg (1,100lb) bomb but fell short.

'No victors'

The site at Roseberry Road is currently being redeveloped into a mix of apartments and retail units.

Developers funded the statue and gave Mr Kilminster the space for his memorial.

It is in small garden named Mary's Walk, in honour of his sister who was seven when she died.

"My other sister Shirley was blown out of the shelter, she landed on the rubble," he said.

"She remembered seeing the sky on fire, and wondering why everyone was asleep on the floor.

"My mum also escaped with her life but she lost a leg in the blast.

"It was a disaster, it was such a big loss of life."

Image caption 31 Roseberry Road residents were in the shelter when the bomb hit, killing 28, of which six were children.

Also dedicated at the site was a World War One gravestone, found during building works, which honours two soldiers of the South African 1st Regiment.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Kilminster said "in war there are no victors, only victims".

"If I can make one person realise the consequences of war, then I've done my job."

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