Recalling the wartime bombing raids on Cliftonwood, Bristol, when many lost their lives.
THE first Luftwaffe raid on Bristol was in June, 1940, when BAC's Filton works and the docks at Avonmouth were targeted. In early September it was the turn of the City Docks (the Floating Harbour) but Cliftonwood, despite being prominently situated on a nearby hillside, remained unscathed.
But on Sunday, November 24, the bombers were back and this time the area shared in the pain of a devastated inner city.
A high explosive bomb which landed on Nos. 23 and 25 Clifton Wood Road completely destroyed the properties, killing Tom Edwards (78) his wife Mary (72) and their daughter Daisy (50).
Tenants, Edwin Krichell (32), his wife Marjorie (30) and their son David (2) also lost their lives.
This week's delicious £5 5 O'CLOCKTAIL is a refreshing Tequila Sunrise. Available everyday from our Bar for only £5 between 5pm & 7pm.
Terms: £5 cocktail applies to the cocktail of the week.
Contact: 0117 2448281
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
The site, which has been re-developed, is now the location of the Clifton Wood Court apartments.
The raid, which resulted in 200 deaths and 689 injuries, hit the city's shopping centre (Castle Park) which suffered substantial destruction.
St Andrews church in Clifton was lost to the fires started by the incendiaries, as was the Clifton National School in Church Lane which was completely gutted.
On January 3, 1941, the Luftwaffe subjected Bristol to nearly twelve hours of intense bombing along both sides of the River Avon and the City Docks.
This time Cliftonwood suffered the impact of a high explosive bomb which landed to the rear of, No.67, Ambra Vale East.
Three houses were totally destroyed with another seven being rendered uninhabitable.
Merchant seaman George Gould and his friend Frederick White, died at No. 63 with Robert Horley (73) from nearby Ellenborough Terrace, being seriously injured.
Today the site is an overgrown strip of land on the north side of Ambra Vale East and Argyle Place, partly used as garaging.
On March 16, in what was to be a seven hour long ordeal, 164 Nazi bombers arrived over Avonmouth and the City Docks.
This time it was the suburbs, Fishponds, Eastville, Whitehall, Easton, St Paul's, Montpelier, Kingsdown, Cotham, Redland and Clifton which sustained major damage.
One high explosive bomb, close to its intended target, the City Docks, landed on the slope between the rear of Cliftonwood Crescent/Southernhay and Hotwell Road.
They did little physical damage with the only property made uninhabitable being No. 4 Rock Cottages, which lay mid way down the hillside.
Three houses in Southernhay, however, were completely destroyed.
Post war the site was cleared and a small terrace of houses built in the former rear gardens.
The inhabitants of No. 17, Cliftonwood Crescent were less lucky.
The house was rented by George White, his wife Violet and their three children, Joyce (14), Christine (9) and David (3)
The blast, or impact wave, from a bomb is believed to have caused the collapse of a wall in the basement.
Christine was killed outright and her two seriously injured siblings taken to Southmead Hospital.
Many families, like the White's, sheltered in their basements with the nearest public shelter being Clifton Rocks railway tunnel.
The land between Cliftonwood Crescent/Southernhay and the Hotwell Road was cleared of housing after the war and new apartments now cover the site.
Another bomb landed between Crosby Row and the Hotwell Road, just missing the Spring Gardens Hotel and the nearby Hotwells cinema.
Crosby Row then consisted of 22 small terraced houses rising up the hill between Ambra Vale and Cliftonwood Terrace.
The bomb left all but two of these uninhabitable (they were later demolished) together with Nos 1-8 Ambrose Road and thirteen Victorian terraced houses in Rosemount Terrace. Flats and apartments now cover the Crosby Row and Ambrose Road sites.
It is likely that Cliftonwood would have suffered substantially more damage, and casualties, if the Luftwaffe crews not been hampered by poor visibility.
Bristol then experienced a short break before a devastating Good Friday raid in April 1941.
In this attack a stick of three high explosive bombs fell in a line from Hill View (off Constitution Hill) hitting Bellevue Crescent and the site of St Peter's church and hall at the junction of Jacob's Wells Road and Hotwell Road.
Both had been demolished in 1939.
Fifteen out of sixteen houses in Hill View were rendered uninhabitable.
Surprisingly there were no deaths, or injuries, reported here, a situation which contrasted sharply with that of Bellevue Crescent.
The impact site of the bomb which hit home here can still be seen today, at the Constitution Hill end, where Bellevue Court flats now stand in place of Nos 1 – 6.
The blast killed Richard Clark (65) and his wife Blanche Kate (65) owners of No 5, together with Rose Elizabeth Harris (71) who was possibly related to Kate.
At No 4 Trevor Evans (46) and his wife Elizabeth Minnie (43) together with their lodgers Winifred Josephine McCarthy (35) and her daughter May (12) were killed.
The same blast also caused substantial damage to three houses in Constitution Hill.
At No.15 Harold Leslie Edgar sustained serious injuries, as did Horace Milton (37) at No.13
Two Home Guard/ fire watchers, Reginald Harold (19) and Herbert Collins (50) attending the incident also lost their lives.
I believe a third bomb impacted somewhere between the rear of Bellevue Crescent and the properties which stood where Brandon House flats now are. At No 42, Jacobs Wells Road Kenneth Milton (22) sustained serious injuries.
On May 30, 1941, fifteen aircraft broke off from a larger force heading for Liverpool and attacked Bristol, dropping some four tonnes of high explosive and twelve land mines.
In Bristol twelve people died with twenty-nine injured.
Three of the deaths, and two of the injuries, occurred in Argyle Place, to the rear of new properties on Cliftonwood Terrace.
At No.1a, the home of the Budd family, Iris May (19) lost her life while her brother Clifford (17) and father Walter (52) were both seriously injured and admitted to Southmead Hospital.
At No 4, Alice Louise Derrick (50) and Samuel Lane (48) both lost their lives.
Locals believed that the six houses destroyed in the blast had been hit by a "torpedo" – for which, incidentally, there is no evidence – meant for shipping in the City Docks.
The site of the tragedy is now the Argyle Place playground.
The buildings below Cliftonwood Terrace, served off Church Steps, consisted of seven houses known as Halburton Terrace which, together with Waterloo Leather Works, survived the war only to be demolished later by the council.
Undoubtedly other damage, of which there is no record, was caused to properties in Cliftonwood by the incendiaries that were dropped in huge numbers upon the city.