Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry Blitz anniversary marked by 'human chain of light'

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Media captionThe chain of light was passed from person to person

About 1,000 people have taken part in a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the Luftwaffe bombing raid on Coventry, which left 568 people dead and most of the city centre in ruins.

A chain of people passed a light to each other, finishing at the cathedral.

As part of the annual Peace Festival in the city, the cathedral was lit up in blue, white and red to mark Friday's attacks in Paris.

The event was led by the Bishop of Coventry and the Duke of Kent.

Image caption The cathedral was lit up in blue, white and red to mark Friday's events in Paris

The human chain idea came from a similar event held annually in Dresden to commemorate the allied bombing of February 1945, which destroyed the city's centuries-old baroque city centre.

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire was broadcasting the event live until 21:00 on Saturday.

As part of the ceremony, the Saint Michael's Singers also performed Mozart's Requiem and Solemn Vespers with the Parliament Choir and the English Symphony Orchestra.

Ann Lucas, from Coventry City Council, said: "With each passing year the relevance of the human tragedy of the event and how Coventry rallied to become the city of peace and reconciliation grows in significance.

"Whilst remembering the horror of 1940 is vitally important, it's also key we view this as an opportunity for looking forward and ensuring that people and communities come together as a city to work towards a place we can all be proud of."

In Dresden, an estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people died as a result of a series of raids by British and US bombers during World War Two.

Image copyright PA
Image caption About 1,200 people were killed and the city centre demolished in the bombing raid of 14 November 1940
Image copyright Jens Meyer
Image caption Coventry's human chain of light was inspired by a similar one held in Dresden every year

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