Thursday, April 23, 2015

Clydebank Blitz

In March 1941 the German Luftwaffe made Clydebank their target. During two devastating blitzes, much of the town was destroyed. Amateur historian, Les Taylor, called the blitzes the "most cataclysmic event" in war-time Scotland. The Germans sent well over 400 bombers over Clydebank and dropped over 1,000 bombs, including incendiary, during the nights of 13-14 March. Major German targets were the John Brown & Company Shipyard, ROF Dalmuir, and the Singer Corporation factory. 528 people were killed and 628 seriously injured. There were about 12,000 houses in Clydebank. Only 7 escaped damage or destruction.

Clydebank after the blitz; photograph courtesy of Education Scotland

Glasgow Herald on 18 Mar 1941: "The cool unwavering courage of the people is evident, and when the full story of their heroism in the face of the Luftwaffe is told, they will take their place alongside the citizens of London and Coventry."

Thomas Riddell and his extended family lived through this awful destruction. What terrible memories they must have had.

'Clydebank after the Blitz,' Education Scotland
Clydebank Blitz, BBC

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