Glasgow & West Scotland

Services remember Clydebank blitz on 75th anniversary

Burned-out trams on Dumbarton Road Image copyright West Dunbartonshire Council
Image caption The bombing destroyed the town's infrastructure and thousands of homes

Services of commemoration have been held over the weekend to mark the 75th anniversary of the Clydebank blitz.

The town was devastated and 528 people killed when Luftwaffe bombers targeted local shipyards and munitions factories on 13 and 14 March 1941.

A service was held on Saturday at the Blitz Memorial in Old Dalnottar Cemetery, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the town's Polish Memorial.

A further service was held on Sunday at the town's Kilbowie St Andrew's Church.

Image copyright West Dunbartonshire Council
Image caption The German airforce targeted local munitions factories and shipyards during the blitz
Image copyright West Dunbartonshire Council
Image caption The raids killed 528 people - including whole families - and seriously injured 617 others
Image copyright Other
Image caption Many of the dead were buried at the town's Dalnottar Cemetery - unclaimed victims were laid to rest in a communal grave

The attacks, 18 months into World War Two, saw the area suffer the worst destruction and civilian loss of life in all of Scotland.

Following two days of heavy bombing, 617 people were seriously injured and only seven homes in the town remained undamaged.

Out of about 12,000 homes, 4,000 were completely destroyed, 4,500 severely damaged and about 48,000 people left homeless.

Image copyright West Dunbartonshire Council
Image caption The destruction in Clydebank created 48,000 refugees, who needed to be rehoused
Image copyright West Dunbartonshire Council
Image copyright West Dunbartonshire Council
Image copyright West Dunbartonshire Council

West Dunbartonshire Provost Douglas McAllister said: "The Clydebank Blitz is one of the most devastating events to have happened to West Dunbartonshire, and it's still in living memory.

"We know there were many acts of bravery, from the emergency services to ordinary citizens and the sailors remembered at Solidarity Plaza, yet sadly many lives were lost or changed beyond recognition.

"It is important that we recognise the emotional and physical destruction that those two nights caused, and learn lessons from the past."

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