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Thread: Liverpool Blitz

  1. #1
    Senior Member Samp's Avatar
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    Default Liverpool Blitz

    I have posted this info here as it seems the right place for it.

    It is an extract from a 'Shrewsbury Club' news letter sent in 1941 by the club secretary to club members who were in the forces during the war. He was in weekly contact with over thirty members of the club,while they were away, sending them all the weekly news letter.

    This extract has never been published before so you are reading it as it was sent to the club members.

    This sort of information would have been unavailable to the British public at the time. It gives you an insight into what our parents and grandparents went through!


    ?The raids have been repeated every night up until Thursday though there was nothing to equal the intensity of Saturday night?s attack - except what Bootle got on the Wednesday. To describe the total damage would be impossible but the main buildings etc destroyed are as follows. Lewis's, Bladders, the comer of Ranelagh St and Lime St, the corner of Lord St and Paradise St, about half Lord St on the left going towards Pier Head all South Castle St that matters, several blocks in, Castle St, Cook St Arcade, Town Hall (not demolished but fairly extensively burnt out) nearly the whole of Brunswick St, India Buildings burnt out), Dock Board Offices (burnt out) and a large part of James St.
    Exchange Station has been badly damaged and Central slightly. Seel St. Duke St and Hanover St are all in a shocking mess. The Technical School was damaged by fire and the Museum more or less burnt out.
    Damage in London Rd and Islington is slight only but Dale St is about the only one in the centre of the city completely undamaged. In Victoria St the GPO is burnt out also the County Court Buildings opposite.
    The following factories have been more or less destroyed, Cathrops, Bryant and Mays and Chadbums and damage was done to the oil works of Wakefields and W.B. Dick and Co by Clarence Dock though the Power Station by a miracle escaped much damage.
    Several Goods Stations have suffered and many of the churches in Liverpool have been burnt out including St Lukes, Walton Parish Church, Christ Church, Great Homer St and others in the club district in addition to what you have read in the news sheets.
    Edinburgh St and Beatrice St got bombs on Wednesday night and also the bottom of Nottingham St. In Edinburgh St there are said to have been six" dead at No 60 just opposite the Ash's though the latter didn't even lose any glass.
    Much of the area has suffered damage from blast and many people have been evacuated. Those who stay are grim but have shown and are showing a spirit which makes one proud of them. Perhaps I had now better try and give you some idea of the chief consequences of these unhappy events. In the first place the tramway system of the city is almost entirely at a standstill. Stanley Rd has no less than four hits one at Bankhall Bridge and one at the canal bridge at Bootle and it will be months before it can be used in those sections. Meantime all buses are packed and queues are the order of the day. Motor cars are not allowed to enter the centre of the city except on urgent business.
    Each night lorry loads of women and children are taken out to Maghull, St Helens, Huyton etc ?(the most pathetic sight of all) and brought back again next day. It simply makes you sick. There is hardly any telephone communication even for business and if you want to get in touch with people you have to go and see them. I jumped a lorry to get down to the club on Friday and had to walk back to Bootle after although it was only just ten o'clock. What they are going to do with all the people who are homeless I don't care to think but the sooner they get out of the city all who need not be there the better. Water, gas and light are all off in some districts but most have one at least out of the three and this situation is improving rapidly. But listen to no stories about shaken morale. Everyone agrees that the population have been hardened and not weakened by what has happened. There is no danger there.
    If the distribution of the necessities of life and the housing of the homeless can be managed things will right themselves by and by. I can only repeat that no praise is too high for the people. A week or two ago one sometimes heard defeatist talk in Liverpool. There is none now."

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    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    Nice one Samp. Great first hand reports.

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    pfft Spike's Avatar
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    Brilliant Samp and thanks for posting.

    Nothing is better than first hand accounts.
    Last edited by Spike; 12-06-2009 at 07:04 PM. Reason: I called samp SCAMP lol
    BE NICE......................OR ELSE

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    That was fascinating Samp, hard to imagine what that must have been like, aside from my parent's generation.

    D.

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Following is a poem I wrote some years ago about a Liverpool newspaper I inherited from my grandfather. It speaks for itself.

    The Day War Broke Out Evening Express

    On the newspaper my Grandad
    bought one evening in 1939,
    the print is rubbed off along the folds
    after a duration in successive drawers
    in successive dressing tables
    but the headline BRITAIN AT WAR
    still stands out
    like a burst of shrapnel
    in a clear sky.

    Half the front page is filled
    with German troop movements in Poland
    and the Prime Minister's announcement
    broadcast at 11:15 a.m from Dowing Street:

    "I have to tell you now
    that no such undertaking has been received...
    we will fight brute force, bad faith, and oppression..."

    At top left, an announcement in red ink, to say
    "Mervyn Russell's Film Fan Fare" is on page 4.

    At the bottom of the page,
    T. W. Garnett, sole survivor of the first test
    match between England and Australia, has turned 81,
    and J. L. Coleman has holed what's believed
    to be the worlds longest putt from 220 yards.

    An 18-year-old playing his first league match
    has scored the winning goal
    for Liverpool, first in the First Division,
    against Chelsea, placed eleventh;
    the season is one week old.

    Miss Mollie Bowdler has married Walter Roberts
    at St. Luke's Church; she wore a crinoline gown
    of white lace and carried a bouquet
    of red roses and lilies of the valley.

    Christopher T. George
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Thanks Samp, that was an amazing piece of archive. I can't imagine what living through that must have felt like? 7/7 was bad enough in London. Imagine living with that fear, and sense of the unknown, day in, day out?

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post

    The Day War Broke Out Evening Express

    On the newspaper my Grandad
    bought one evening in 1939,

    [last verse]

    Miss Mollie Bowdler has marred Walter Roberts
    at St. Luke's Church; she wore a crinoline gown
    of white lace and carried a bouquet
    of red roses and lilies of the valley.

    Christopher T. George
    Hi Chris,
    Walter and Mollie made just in time before they bombed the church? Great idea for a poem.

    D.

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    I endorse what has been said about your posting.There is such a sense of immediacy about it,the place names and the list of damage,this could have happened last night.
    I missed the blitz by two years but my father was in the fire service during the worst of it. Like most men of his age,he never bragged about what he did in the war,it was my mother who told me of how he would come home exhausted,his eyes full of the horrors he had witnessed. It is hard for us to understand what our parents and grandparents had to endure during that horrific time. Thank god they endured, they gave us the world we live in ,thank you for that reminder,
    Briand

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Great Samp and shortly you will notice photographs of some of those places you mention in your 'Raids' story, appearing on the wartime website, particularly Bryant & Mays - Bootle, James st station, Lewis's, Lord St, Brunswick St, South Castle Street, Ranelagh st, Cook st arcade which was flooded to make an emergency reservoir.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    Nice one Ged.

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    Member jimmytx3's Avatar
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    Hi All, here is a then and now photo i took today, a house in Bootle bombed out, but now you would not know,,

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    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
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    great pics there Jimmy
    Started the Old Swan Website:

    http://oldswan.piczo.com/?cr=5

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    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Pemberton Road in the Swan was hit by a bomb apparently - the second half of the street, and the houses do look a lot different. Do you know if this is true Martin?

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    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
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    Yes, my dad lived on the corner of Derby Lane and Ravenswood and got bombed out.... to Fitzgerald Road ! 3 streets away.

    Below is an extract from an email I recieved from Les Bentley, formerley of Fitzgerald Road.

    The Bentley Family from No 50 were Father Lol, Mother Lucy and two sons, Les and David.
    Les remembers when they lived in Southgate road originally, No 63.
    Opposite them were the Parsons, who moved, like the Bentleys, to Fitzgerald Rd, No 48, eventually emigrating to New Zealand.
    During the second World War ( Les was born in 1935 in the Royal Infirmary ), he remembers watching a Parachute mine floating down, his dad Lol, who was a ARP Warden at the time, threw him into the Shelter, just outside their house in Southgate Rd, as the mine exploded. It destroyed a few houses in Pemberton Rd and left so many more with bomb blast damage.
    Shortly after this event, when Les was around 10, they packed up and moved to Fitzgerald Rd.
    Started the Old Swan Website:

    http://oldswan.piczo.com/?cr=5

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    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hmtmaj View Post
    great pics there Jimmy
    Yup I'll go along with that too.

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