Coventry’s suffering during World War Two is well known and well documented. The blitz which began just after 7 pm on 14 November 1940 and lasted well into the early hours of the following day is one of the key moments in that horrific conflict from a British point of view. At the time it was biggest air raid the World had witnessed. The Germans tried to destroy the city in one fell swoop - to “Coventrate” it. Maybe if they had returned on the following nights they would have succeeded in their aim. Thankfully they didn’t. This raid is also popular with conspiracy theorists who like to believe that the city was sacrificed to protect the fact that the bods at Bletchley Park had cracked the German’s “top secret” enigma code. They claim that Churchill knew the city was for the high jump but if it had been evacuated then the Germans would have realised that enigma was not so secret after all. Certainly mistakes were made by our intelligence services in the lead up to the attack but there is no credible evidence of a deliberate plan to leave the city to its fate. It wasn’t the end of Coventry’s ordeal though - in Easter week of the following year raids of a similar magnitude took place with heavy loss of life.
One of the victims of the attacks in April 1941 was a 3 year old girl called Delphine Plastow. She lived at 5 Clovelly Road, Wyken and died in a nearby air raid shelter on 9th April. Her father Arthur died as a result of injuries suffered in the same raid. In the War Memorial Park both Delphine and her father have trees dedicated to them with plaques recording their names and the date of their deaths. Delphine’s plaque also has her age, as do the other ones in the park that are dedicated to the child victims of Hitler’s lunacy. It was partly because of her tender age that I have named my tribute video to the victims of air raids on Coventry after her. The main reason though was simply the fact that I think Delphine is a lovely name. May she and all the others rest in peace:
For more information about the Coventry Blitz visit the "Historic Coventry" website here:
Jane Hewitt's "UK Family History Researcher" website also has excellent section's on Coventry at War. She has painstakingly listed all the known victims of air raids and when raids took place.