Two remembrance services are being held this weekend to mark the 80th anniversary of the devastating Bath Blitz in which more than 400 people lost their lives.
Local historian on the Bath Blitz Chris Kilminster has arranged a Remembrance Service to be held at Shaftesbury Road Gardens on Saturday 23rd April 2022 at 11am.
Another service is set to take place at the City War Memorial in Royal Victoria Park at 1pm on Sunday 24th April.
The sustained bombing of Bath between 25th and 27th April 1942 was part of a number of retaliation raids by the Luftwaffe, following the RAF’s bombing of the historic German city of Lübeck.
More than 19,000 buildings in Bath were damaged, with over 1000 being destroyed and 417 people lost their lives.
Of the 417 people that died, 10 were police officers, the single largest loss of life in one day for Avon & Somerset Police.
Historian Chris Kilminster said: “All the children who died during the Blitz will have their names and ages read out during the Service, some 63 to date, which includes the Good Friday raid in 1941, Twerton High Street, and the Dolemeads at Widcombe.
“We will pay our respects to all victims who perished in 1941 and April 25th – 27th 1942.
“The Mayor, Councillor June Player, will be in attendance and lay a floral tribute.
“The ‘Sassparella’ all-female singers will sing several war-time songs, and will be dressed in 1940s attire. Everyone will be so welcome to attend this Service.”
The event on Sunday will be a simple act of prayer and silence to remember those who died, prayers for peace and those still suffering as the result of conflict and war.
Between Saturday 25th and Monday 27th April 1942, Bath sustained three bombing raids, with around 80 planes coming from northern France to target the city.
The first bombing raid happened at 11pm on Saturday, and continued through to 1am on Sunday morning.
Though air raid sirens sounded across Bath, many believed the bombers were heading for Bristol to continue their four-month bombing campaign of the neighbouring city.
The Luftwaffe planes flew back to France to refuel and rearm, and were back in Bath at 4.35am on Sunday morning.
Following their earlier attack on the city, the aircraft could now easily spot their target, which was well ablaze.
A third bombing run was carried out on the Monday morning, along with machine gun fire down the streets, damage from which can still be seen today on the former Labour Exchange building on James Street West.