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Thread: Bentinck Street Bombing 1940

  1. #1

    Default Bentinck Street Bombing 1940

    From the Wartime Website. More info and pics on the link below.


    The Arches that people used as shelter.

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    The people who lived in Bentinck street, Vauxhall and the surrounding areas were using the railway arches at the top of Bentinck street as a shelter from the bombing raids. It was an unofficial shelter that the locals believed would offer them protection as the arches below the railway line were built strong.

    On the night of 20th December 1940 the alarms went up and people crowded into the arches. The area was hit hard this night and sadly the shelter took a direct hit resulting in the collapse of the arches. Many people were trapped beneath the rubble and concrete blocks and the rescue workers had a difficult task in helping the survivors. A newspaper report recorded 42 people as losing their lives in the shelter bombing. Two families the Fitzpatrick's and The Kavanagh's were hit hard in the tragedy.

    It is believed that a man survived the Bentinck Sreet bombing when his wife realised she'd forgotten the babies bottle and he went back for it. Another story tells of a young boy who left the shelter to go and make a pot of tea at his house, he survived but all his family were killed in the blast.

    A firm located within the arches in the 1960s had a worker claiming to hear scratching coming from inside. Rats were ruled out when the room turned out to be empty when they investigated. Also, loud singing, like a party was heard, only for when the room was entered, it was in darkness and empty. A chap in the company said "of course, they used to sing in the air raid shelters ".

    From the book " Bombers over Merseyside "

    " A series of 5 railway arches in Bentinck street, Liverpool, used as an unofficial shelter and crowded with people, were directly hit. This was one of the most dreadful of the nights incidents. The arches were quite destroyed, collaspsing in huge concret blocks and showers of ballast on to the packed ground beneath.

    The work of rescue was exceptionally difficult, since the blocks of concrete could not be moved, and were hard enough to turn the chisels of the compressors brought up to slit them. After many days, when the work was complete, 42 bodies had been extricated. "
    BE NICE......................OR ELSE

  2. #2
    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Stoneycroft / Old Swan


    Found this cutting the Liverpool At War - Part 2, an echo supplement from a few years ago,
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    Started the Old Swan Website:

  3. #3


    No air raid shelter or common house anderson air raid shelter where safe from a direct hit,these where purely for flying debri should a bomb hit the surrounding vicinity of the shelter.

    The purpose built shelters ie concrete bunkers could survive an impact but would weaken its structure another impact could do the damage.

    Basically anything above ground was suspect to destruction from the bombs.

  4. #4


    Great find Mart.
    BE NICE......................OR ELSE

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  1. Bentinck Street Bombing 1940
    By Wartime Liverpool in forum Liverpool Memories
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