of bombing in and around Hinckley.
was born in Hinckley in March 1935 and my memories of the Second
World War are very clear.
One of my earliest memories is of being taken by an aunt to Burbage,
where a German bomber had crashed in the fields. I can't remember
exactly where this was and all that I saw was a pile of ashes with
a piece of under carriage and a wheel sticking up in the air. I
remember thinking that it did not look like a plane.
The most documented bombing in Hinckley
was Merevale Avenue, where fourteen people lost their lives. This
took place in May 1941 when I was six years old, and I clearly remember
the same aunt taking me to look at the damage on the Sunday after
the raid. At this time, I lived near the bottom of Queens Road,
and one evening stands vividly in my mind when my aunt came into
the house with her husband, who was on leave. They had been walking
the foot path by the railway, running parallel with Southfield Road,
and near the station saw two parachutes coming down. My uncle recognised
these immediately as 'land-mines' and threw my aunt to the ground.
The mines landed and did not explode, as the ground in that area
is very soft.
Two bombs that I can positively identify
are, first of all, the house of another of my uncles and aunts,
Mr. & Mrs. W. Coley (both now dead) who lived at number 198
Tudor Road (map ref. H.5), who had an incendiary bomb go through
the roof, and it was successfully put out with a stirrup pump, with
very little damage. I clearly remember seeing the burn marks around
the roof hatch, on the landing.
Not far from this, just inside Wykin Road,
a bomb dropped a few yards away from the Co-op, near the pavement,
leaving a crater several feet wide and several feet deep (map ref.
H4). Strangely enough, the iron railing was still stretched over