Remember me - echoes from the lost generations
Second World War

A city road in England – one night in 1940

City centre devastationIt is not widely known that the CWGC also keeps records of all Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of "enemy action" in the Second World War – the Civilian Roll of Honour. Although it covers the whole of the Commonwealth, most of the names are from cities in the UK, which were badly bombed.

During the Blitz, over 2 million houses (60% of these in London) were destroyed and 60,000 civilians were killed with 87,000 seriously injured. Of those killed the majority lived in London. Until halfway through the war more women and children in Britain had been killed than soldiers.

The city of Coventry was home to many factories such as Dunlop, Daimler, GEC, Humber and Armstrong-Siddeley, which produced a whole range of products for the war effort from bombers to scout cars to tanks and machinery. This made it a prime target for destruction.

A munitions factory

On the 8th November, 1940 the RAF bombed Munich. Hitler made a public promise that "an attack on the capital of the Nazi movement would not go unpunished." On the night of the 14th November, German bombers flew over Coventry. For ten hours, from dusk to dawn, there was seldom a period of more than two minutes when a bomb could not be heard falling. The city took the force of 150,000 firebombs and 503 tons of high explosives, as well as 130 mines dropped by parachute. Seven vital factories were hit, halting production for months. In the city centre, 60,000 out of 75,000 buildings were destroyed or badly damaged; 568 people were killed and countless more injured.


Foleshill Road

Foleshill Road

Foleshill Road leads northwards out of the city centre. Look at what happened to the inhabitants of one road on one night in 1940.

Click here for the register entries of civilian war dead for Foleshill Road.

Using statistics

Your task is to use Excel and produce a graph to show:

  • the age range of those who died

If you’re not sure how to produce the graphs click here for a Step-By-Step Guide. The example uses data from Glenwood High School so you will need to insert the figures for Foleshill Road.

  • the locations of those who died – by house number or specific place

N.B. The ages of babies are in months. To put these into Excel:

  • select the cell in which you want the age to appear in the long white bar at the top
  • as an example, for 6 months, put in =6/12 then press enter. In the cell 0.5 will appear

Consider the following questions:

  • Who was the youngest to die?
  • Who was the oldest?
  • How many families were affected, in the total number of people killed?
  • Find the family that suffered the greatest loss of life.
  • Find the location that was worst hit. Can you explain this?
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