On 10 February 1943 at 16.40 hrs a German plane attacked Newbury, opening fire with machine guns and dropping four large bombs and six smaller bombs. Fifteen people lost their lives and many were injured. The Senior Council School, St John’s Church, St Bartholomew’s Almshouses and Southampton Terrace were destroyed. Overall 265 dwellings were damaged and many were later demolished.
This event remains very clear in the memories of a large number of Newbury residents, many of whom witnessed the destruction which was the main damage sustained by the Town during the course of World War II.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing, which changed the face of an area of Newbury, a Church Service will take place in St John’s Church on Sunday 11 February 2018 commencing at 3 pm. Following the service, there will be a procession from the church to the Memorial Stone in St John’s Gardens where flowers will be laid.
Mr Tony Wheeler is one of many elderly residents of Newbury who remember the Bombing raid on 10th February 1943. He has shared his story and along with several others, it will be used to help remember those that lost their lives at the Commemoration service at St John's church on February 11th at 3pm.
The Mayor of Newbury, Cllr David Fenn said, “It has been very moving to hear the reminiscences of some of the people who witnessed the bombing and it is a miracle that more people were not killed. Had the bomb dropped prior to the school finishing time who knows how many more people could have been killed and injured”.