Remembering one of Redditch’s darkest Second World War days - The Redditch Standard

Remembering one of Redditch’s darkest Second World War days

Redditch Editorial 11th Dec, 2022   0

THE REDDITCH Royal British Legion’s Philip Jarvis believes more should be done to highlight the town’s history on the 82nd anniversary of its darkest day of the Second World War.

On December 11, 1940, HE (High Explosive) bombs rained down on Orchard Street, Glover Street and Evesham Street, during which six people were killed and 12 were seriously injured.

The devastating raids led to eight houses being demolished with 60 badly damaged, a further 178 partly damaged and 80 plate glass windows broken.

The Haywood Compressor Works were also damaged while bombs were also dropped on nearby Wythall and Alvechurch.

By September 1940 at the height of the Second World War, daylight reconnaissance raids had become common.

Redditch had become a target with a recovered Luftwaffe aerial photograph from September 23, 1940 showing images of the ‘Britannia Battery Ltd’ works.

Those who suffered and sacrificed at home were honoured by the local Royal British Legion branch at this year’s Remembrance Sunday service for the first time in the town’s history.

Philip Jarvis laid a wreath at the town’s memorial during the Remembrance service on behalf of the Royal British Legion and it was later moved to be placed on the grave of Bryan John Ellins in Plymouth Road Cemetery.

Bryan was among those who died during the air raid.

Philip said: “This is the first time we’ve done anything like this – I brought it to the attention of the legion committee as I’m a historian and we thought ‘let’s lay a wreath to commemorate this’.

“I hope this will become an annual Act of Remembrance, there’s so much emphasis put on the incredible bravery soldiers displayed during the World Wars but we tend to forget to honour the residents who were killed right here.

“There’s a plaque in Birmingham remembering those who died during air raids but we’ve never remembered the people of Redditch.

“After the Remembrance Sunday service, a lot of people approached me saying they were totally unaware of what had happened – these events are a crucial part of Redditch’s history and those who lived and died during it deserved to be remembered.”

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